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Mission Folk Music Festival

Mission Folk Music Festival

The Mission Folk Music Festival is a 3-day music festival featuring a wide range of concerts and local performers at the Fraser River Heritage Park in July.

The 33rd edition of the festival was going to take place on the weekend of July 24th to 26th in 2020.


FESTIVAL CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

Similar to many other Lower Mainland events this year, the 2020 Mission Folk Music Festival won’t be happening because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For details about the cancellation see the Mission Folk Fest website.

To learn about other festivals impacted by the virus outbreak, click Vancouver, COVID-19 and Event Cancellations.


Mission Folk Fest

In 2019 the Mission Folk Music Festival happened on the weekend of July 26th to 28th. In years when it does take place, it’s a fair-sized festival at a beautiful venue which attracts dozens of performers and thousands of local folk-music enthusiasts.

What to Expect at the Festival

At the Mission Folk Music Festival you can expect around four or so stages with performances taking place throughout each of the 2.5 days. Some people camp overnight at the festival right on site while others attend just for the day.

At the venue there’s a camping area, an artisan market with around 20 vendors and a Wee Folks Area for children. There are also usually half a dozen or so food trucks and a licensed bistro.

The Mission Folk Music Festival isn’t a huge event, but it’s pretty big, and a nice one. It’s also family-friendly and attracts a wide range of music lovers.

As many as 1500 people show up on the first evening (when admission is by donation), but fewer on the regular full days.

Musicians at some stages attract small crowds, while others attract the majority of attendees. Most of the musicians are local, but the quality of play is very high.

Mission Folk Fest Market
Folk Festival Food Trucks and Vendor Stalls

Festival Location

The festival takes place at the Fraser River Heritage Park which is located at 7494 Mary Street just above the Fraser River in the town of Mission, BC.

Mission is a community in the Fraser Valley just north of Abbotsford.

Admission

Admission to the festival depends on your age, when you buy your tickets and whether you plan to camp.

As of April 2019, advanced tickets could be purchased online at $90 for adults for the full weekend, $85 for students and seniors, and $50 for youth. Camping packages cost between $10 and $30 extra per person.

One-day adult passes for the Saturday or Sunday cost about $50 for adults, $45 for students and seniors, and $35 for youth. Taxes and fees are extra for all online purchases, while prices at the gate were likely more.

On the Friday in 2019, the same as in past years, admission to the evening concerts was by donation where you were asked to just Pay-What-You-Can.

For comparison, the year before, at the gate for the full weekend, adults cost about $80, students and seniors (ages 60+) were $75 and youth (ages 13-18) cost $45.

Tickets bought online and in advance can save you around $5-$10.

2021 prices and other details will likely be similar to the above, but exact details are to be confirmed.

Mission Folk Fest Bands

Some of the bands scheduled to perform at the Mission Folk Music Festival in 2019 included the following:

  • Beaton-Plasse – a couple of fiddlers from Quebec and Nova Scotia.
  • Geoff Berner – a BC-based Folk singer, songwriter and accordionist.
  • Élage Diouf – a Senegalese-born singer, percussionist and songwriter who is currently based in Quebec and who performed at the Mission Folk Music Festival last year too.
  • Diyet & the Love Soldiers – an Alternative Country, Folk and Roots group with an Indigenous background from the Yukon.
  • Cécile Doo-Kingué – a Blues, Groove and Soul guitarist from Quebec.
  • Leaf Rapids – a Pop, Folk and Indie group from Manitoba.
  • Zachary Lucky – a musician from Saskatchewan.
  • Irish Mythen – a singer-songwriter from Prince Edward Island.
  • Oktopus – a Quebec-based group specializing in traditional East-European tunes.
  • Podorythmie – a Washington State-based team of musicians who play a mix of French Canadian and Celtic tunes and who performed at Coquitlam’s Festival du Bois in March of 2019.
Podorythmie
Podorythmie in Coquitlam in 2019
  • Roads Unknown – a BC-based band that plays Roots, Blues and Country music and includes Jennie Bice, Tony O’Hara, Michael Jantzen and Solomon Janzen.
  • Schryer, Hillhouse & Dobres – a trio of Celtic Folk musicians comprised of Pierre Schryer, Andy Hillhouse and Adam Dobres from BC.
  • Roots & Grooves – the inter-generational duo of Rick Scott and Nico Rhodes.
  • Strangely – a one-man cabaret from Washington State.
  • Turkwaz – an Ontario-based quartet featuring Balkan, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tunes. Band members include Maryem Hassan Tollar, Jayne Brown, Sophia Grigoriadis and Brenna MacCrimmon.
  • Jesse Waldman – a local BC-based musician.
  • John Welsh & Los Valientes – a band specializing in Folk, Surf Rock, Reggae, Latin and other genres. In 2018 the band played at numerous Lower Mainland events including Uptown Live in New Westminster, the Surrey Fusion Festival and Squamish Wind Festival.
  • Zigue – a Quebec-based duo featuring Dana Whittle (on guitar, vocals and foot percussion) and Claude Méthé (on fiddle and vocals).

Other “Community Voices” participants in 2019 included Fraser Valley Music Awards-winner Jenny Banai, graduates of the Railyard Youth Open Stage Project, the Festival Choir (lead by Deborah Handley) and Low Barrier Cabaret.

BC Day Long Weekend

Festival Times and Dates

In 2019 the Mission Folk Music Festival ran from the evening of Friday, July 26th, until the early evening of Sunday, July 28th. 2021 dates will be similar.

Below is the 2019 festival schedule for day stage and main stage performances.

Friday Schedule (in 2019)

On the Friday evening of the festival, admission was pay-what-you-can.

Starting at 6 pm, the following bands performed on the Main Stage in 2019:

Mission Folk Fest Fans and Stage

Saturday Schedule (in 2019)

In 2019 the Mission Folk Music Festival ran from 11:15 am until 10:30 pm on the Saturday and included live music and workshops on five different stages.

Below is the list for the 2019 Day stage and Main Stage performers.

On the Ursa Minor Stage (2019)

  • 11:15 amAccordion to Whom (Geoff Berner)
  • 12:15 pm – Festival Choir Workshop
  • 1:50 pmFraser Valley Music Awards 
  • 2:45 pmRoots of Resistance (Irish Mythen, Geoff Berner & Kat Wahamaa)
  • 4:00 pmFestival Choir Workshop

On the Fraserview Stage (2019)

  • 11:30 amOur Roots are Showing (Rick Scott, Nico Rhodes & Zachary Lucky Trio)
  • 12:45 pmSchryer, Hillhouse & Dobres
  • 2:00 pmOktopus
  • 3:15 pm – Our Skies are Blue (Cécile doo Kingué Trio, Jesse Waldman Trio, Tony O’Hara and Solomon Janzen)

On the Log Cabin Stage (2019)

  • 11:10 amRailyard Youth Stage
  • 12:00 pm – Raw Honey
  • 12:45 pm – Leaf Rapids
  • 1:45 pmPodorythmie
  • 2:45 pm – Mother Tongues
  • 3:45 pm – It’s a String Thing (Trad Music and Song Zigue, Beaton-Plasse, Schryer, Hillhouse & Dobres)

On the Gazebo Participatory Workshop Stage (2019)

  • 12:00 pmFiddle Workshop (Beaton-Plasse)
  • 1:00 pmResilience Quilt Project 
  • 2:00 pmBlackberry Jam

On the Main Stage (2019)

Starting at 5 pm, the following bands performed:

Viper Central Band on Stage
The band Viper Central

Sunday Schedule (in 2019)

On the Sunday the festival ran from 11:15 am until 9:30 pm.

Below is the list for the 2019 Day Stage and Main Stage performers.

On the Ursa Minor Stage (2019)

  • 11:30 amCranking Stories (Podorythmie)
  • 12:30 pmRoads Unknown
  • 1:30 pmFestival Choir Workshop
  • 2:40 pmIrish Mythen
  • 3:45 pmZigue

On the Fraserview Stage (2019)

  • 11:15 am – Soaring Vistas (Turkwaz & Raw Honey)
  • 12:15 pm – Stringing Traditions Together (Schryer, Hillhouse, Dobres & Zigue)
  • 1:30 pm – Under Western Skies (Leaf Rapids, Zachary Lucky Trio, Diyet and the Love Soldiers
  • 3:30 pmRhythm Nations (Élage Diouf, Boris Sichon & John Welsh)

On the Log Cabin Stage (2019)

  • 11:15 amLow Barrier Chorus
  • 12:30 pmNecessary Voices (Cécile doo Kingué Trio, Élage Diouf & Irish Mythen)
  • 1:45 pmJesse Waldman Trio
  • 3:00 pmRick Scott & Nico Rhodes 
  • 4:15 pmEast Meets West (Geoff Berner & Oktopus)

On the Gazebo Participatory Workshop Stage (2019)

  • 12:00 pmBitter and Sweet (John Endo Greenway, Interviews Keri Latimer)
  • 1:00 pmNow for Something a Little Different (Strangely and Dandelion) 
  • 2:15 pmBlackberry Jam
  • 3:30 pm Podorythmie 

On the Main Stage (2019)

Starting at 5 pm, the following bands performed:

Mission Folk Music Festival Sign

Other Information

Parking is available on site by donation, both in the regular paved parking lot and on the grass in a field. Except for at times when admission is by donation or when a major band is playing, parking spots are usually available.

For more information see the Mission Folk Music Festival website.

For a list of other major Lower Mainland events throughout the year, click Festivals & Events.

 

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