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Symphony in the Park in Abbotsford

Symphony in the Park in Abbotsford

Symphony in the Park is a great outdoor concert in Abbotsford‘s Mill Lake Park. The event usually happens in August and admission is free.

In 2023 expect the park to be full of people and music on Friday, August 18th. There are food trucks on-site too. It’s a great event and highly recommended. And it’s totally free (although donations are always welcome)!

For videos of what the event looks like, click Symphony in the Park Videos. And for the event’s official website, visit calvindyck.com.


This article contains the following information about Symphony in the Park:

2023 Orchestra and Music | 2022 Program | Symphony in the Park Videos | Tips and Suggestions | Other Information


Symphony in the Park


Abbotsford’s Symphony in the Park

Symphony in the Park is produced by Calvin Dyck who is also the director of the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra and Concertmaster of the Vancouver Island Symphony (which is based in Nanaimo). The evening of music in Abbotsford features orchestral performances of popular movie soundtracks, Broadway music and more.

Symphony in the Park takes place on an evening in August most years at Mill Lake Park which is located in the middle of Abbotsford at 32960 Mill Lake Road. At the event there are usually about two hours or so of free entertainment to enjoy.

After not taking place in 2020 and 2021, Symphony in the Park returned on August 12th in 2022. The event is happening again in 2023, on Friday, August 18th. It starts at 6:30 pm.


For the event’s official website visit calvindyck.com.


Symphony in the Park in Abbotsford
Calvin Dyck and the Symphony


2023 Orchestra and Music

This year’s orchestra at Symphony in the Park is conducted by Calvin Dyck and features Jim Hopson as a special guest. Jim Hopson is a Juno-nominated musician, composer and arranger currently based in Vancouver.

The symphony at the event features professional musicians from the Lower Mainland as well as from Vancouver Island. The orchestra is composed of over 40 talented musicians playing a variety of instruments. There’s a blend of violins, clarinets, horns, trumpets, trombones, percussion, bass, piano and more.

Highlights of the 2023 event include The Mandalorian theme and an Alphorn Concerto with Jim Hopson. Also expect to hear Raider’s March by John Williams, Moon River by Mancini, as well as other pieces from famous shows and composers. The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra performs Victory by Bond as well.


For the event’s official website visit calvindyck.com.


Free Vancouver Summer Concerts


2023 Program

The pieces performed at Symphony in the Park in 2023 are listed below. Between the first and second halves of the night there was a short intermission. The concert begins at 6:30 pm and runs until approximately 8:30 pm.


First Half

  • O Canada (by Calixa Lavallee)
  • William Tell Overture (by Giaochino Rossini)
  • Slavonic Dances Op. 46, No. 8 (by Antonin Dvorak)
  • Mack the Knife (by Kurt Weill)
  • Blue Tango (by Leroy Anderson)
  • Pizzicato Polka (by Johann Strauss)
  • Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (by Edvard Grieg)
  • Tico Tico (by Zequinha de Abreu)
  • Jodelhorn (by Jim Hopson)
  • Hot Canary (by Paul Nero)


Second Half

  • Die Fiedermaus Overture (by Johann Strauss)
  • Moon River (by Henry Mancini)
  • Hungarian Dances (#2 & #7) (by Johannes Brahms)
  • Victory (by Bond)
  • My Neighbour Totoro (by Joe Hisaishi)
  • Overture from La Travlata (by Giuseppe Verdi)
  • The Manalorian (by Ludwig Goransson)
  • Raider’s March (by John Williams)
  • Radetzky March (by Johann Strauss)


For the event’s official website visit calvindyck.com.


Symphony in the Park Videos

To give you an idea of what to expect at the concert, check out the following videos. The first one shows scenes from Symphony in the Park from 2019 (which was the event’s third year). The scene is pretty much the same as this every year. As you’ll see in the video, it’s a very popular event!


Video of Concert in Mill Lake Park in 2019



Drummers at Concert in 2022

The following video is of a scene of the event from 2022. In addition to more traditional performances of both classical and more modern popular tunes, the orchestra usually plays one or two special pieces that include a bit of a show, like you’ll see with these drummers from the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra.



Tips and Suggestions

Listed below are some tips and advice to help you plan and make the most of your experience at Symphony in the Park.

TIP #1: The concert takes place in a park. Everyone is encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. Just don’t bring anything that would obstruct the view of people sitting behind you. So no large umbrellas or tents!

TIP #2: Symphony in the Park is an outdoor event that happens rain or shine. If the forecast predicts cold weather or a chance of rain, be sure to dress accordingly.

TIP #3: Everyone can bring their own snacks and beverages. However, it’s good to know that there are food trucks at the park on the day and stations to refill water bottles.

TIP #4: Organizers of the event recommend parking at Abbotsford Middle School, Seven Oaks Mall or the MSA Skating Arena. However, if you’re bringing seniors and young children, you might want to drop them off with your lawn chairs at the playground along Bevan Avenue before searching for parking.


Other Information

For more information about Symphony in the Park, visit Calvin Dyck‘s website.

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