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It Must Have Been The Beard

Maybe this is just sucking up too much, but my favorite part of this past year’s festival was the friendliness of the volunteer staff (I’m not a volunteer I swear!!). For me, the true “folkie” spirit is exemplified by those small and spontaneous moments of friendship that develop out of nothing other than the love of music and the environment you find yourself in. These moments were countless and one in particular involved one person who I think was the “volunteer coordinator’s assistant”. I’m not sure about the title, but I remember finding him looking exhausted, devouring his lunch, during what must have been a very long day for him. I came up and said “Is that all you volunteers do then - listen to music, get a tan, and now gorge yourself on food? Sweet gig you have there!” I immediately felt embarrassed and probably flushed redder than a firetruck. Recognizing my failed attempt at an ice breaker, he smiled and responded “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” I couldn’t believe it. He took my obnoxious and poorly formed conversation starter, and replied to me with Shakespeare. He offered me to sit, and we ended up chatting about everything we love about the folk festival - the dancing, the diversity of music, the beach - before he rushed off to get back to work. The next day, I was sitting alone having dinner watching Nomadic Massive on stage 3. “So you sit around, listen to awesome music, and eat the food vendors out of business? Pretty sweet gig you have here.” I turned around, and it was him. “True is it that we have seen better days” I replied. We watched and danced to the rest of the show together, and we have been talking ever since! Strange and awesome things happen at the Folk Fest and I love it for it all the more :)

#vfmf #vancouver folk music festival #memory project #submission

Memory Project

In 2012, for the 35th anniversary of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, festival goers and artists were encouraged to submit their fond memories of years gone by right here on The Memory project. And you certainly did! We commissioned Veda Hille – singer, songwriter, composer and all-round creative force – to pour over these, and from your words she created The Memory Project.

Some memories are ephemeral – here one moment and gone forever. And it might have been that way with last summer’s Sunday evening performance of Veda Hille & The Memory Choir. The concert was not recorded.

But thanks to Veda Hille, Geoff Berner, Dan Mangan, Patsy Klein, Marta Jaciubek-McKeever, Ford Pier, Martin Walton, Barry Mirochnick, Dawn Pemberton, Doug Kellam, Dylan Rawlyk, Eric Napier, Gráinne Sheridan, Heather Meori, Jennifer Gibson, Kate Henderson, Kelsey Zachary, Lucas Hille, Pietro Sammarco, Rachel Strobl, Robin Anne Grier, Sammy Newton, and Tyler Morgenstern, along with the engineering of Colin Stewart and Mariessa McLead at The Hive, you can hear it again.

As a 35th anniversary gift, all these artists went into the studio this spring and recorded the songs. Now, in the quiet of your own space,  you too can relive those 25 minutes and be reminded of what fantastic artists we have living in our city, and just what an incredible place this weekend is each July.

Having just finished up our 36th year, we invite you all to continue posting any new memories you may have made!

SoundCloud / VanFolkFest

#2013 #Veda Hille and the Memory Choir #accent #The Memory Project #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #vfmf

The Folk Fest Blew My Mind
I was 12 and shy and new to the citystill don’t know why some cool kids took me under their wingsnuck into the folk festand blew my mind
I was trying to hula hoopif that were the orbit of the sun the universe would endsaid my friend
(ooo)naked women painted blue danced in the highland flingwe sidled into the front row, spat watermelon seeds (ooo finishes)we were dicksit blew my mindit blew my mind
folk fest hit me like a freight train. a fun train. a great trainI rode my bike down in the pouring raineverybody in the crowed waved their shoes over their headsand I dreamt about kissing ani like everybody did
in the 80s my parents became socredsso I guess I was a socredthen a pretty girl licked the stamp on her wristpressed it onto my wrist we waltzed into the folk festit blew my mind
billy bragg, on stage 3, sang the world turned upside downthe words to the world turned upside downactually turned my world upside down…..the sin of propertywe do disdainno man has any right to buy and sellthe earth for private gainby theft and murderthey took the landnow everywhere the wallsspring up at their command
it blew my mindit blew my mind
folk fest hit me like a freight train. a fun train. a great trainI rode my bike down in the pouring raineverybody in the crowd waved their shoes over their headsand I dreamt about kissing ani like everybody did
I was a 14 year old prairie kid from Saskatchewanmade my pilgrimage in 1991landed at the folk festit blew my mindit blew my mindit blew my mind
~ Veda Hille and the Memory Choir

The Folk Fest Blew My Mind

I was 12 and shy and new to the city
still don’t know why some cool kids took me under their wing
snuck into the folk fest
and blew my mind

I was trying to hula hoop
if that were the orbit of the sun the universe would end
said my friend

(ooo)
naked women painted blue danced in the highland fling
we sidled into the front row, spat watermelon seeds (ooo finishes)
we were dicks
it blew my mind
it blew my mind

folk fest hit me like a freight train. a fun train. a great train
I rode my bike down in the pouring rain
everybody in the crowed waved their shoes over their heads
and I dreamt about kissing ani like everybody did

in the 80s my parents became socreds
so I guess I was a socred
then a pretty girl licked the stamp on her wrist
pressed it onto my wrist
we waltzed into the folk fest
it blew my mind

billy bragg, on stage 3, sang the world turned upside down
the words to the world turned upside down
actually turned my world upside down…..
the sin of property
we do disdain
no man has any right to buy and sell
the earth for private gain
by theft and murder
they took the land
now everywhere the walls
spring up at their command

it blew my mind
it blew my mind

folk fest hit me like a freight train. a fun train. a great train
I rode my bike down in the pouring rain
everybody in the crowd waved their shoes over their heads
and I dreamt about kissing ani like everybody did

I was a 14 year old prairie kid from Saskatchewan
made my pilgrimage in 1991
landed at the folk fest
it blew my mind
it blew my mind
it blew my mind

~ Veda Hille and the Memory Choir

#2012 #Veda Hille and the Memory Choir #accent #memory project #vancouver folk music festival #vfmf #Billy Bragg #Ani DiFranco


Dear Old Folk Fest
F is for all the fun you gave usO is for topless lesbians   oh!  oh!L is for lucky that we have youK is for keeping it together, together
another F is for freedom and for foolishnessand finally a beer tentE is for everybody everywhere enjoyingexcept those who dislike the beer tentS is for Sunday night     oh Sunday nightand T is together, together,  together
Oh Folk Fest you are our alma materin the sense that means “bountiful mother”beautiful beautiful dearAlready I look forward to next year.
~ Veda Hille and the Memory Choir

Dear Old Folk Fest

F is for all the fun you gave us
O is for topless lesbians   oh!  oh!
L is for lucky that we have you
K is for keeping it together, together


another F is for freedom and for foolishness
and finally a beer tent
E is for everybody everywhere enjoying
except those who dislike the beer tent
S is for Sunday night     oh Sunday night
and T is together, together,  together


Oh Folk Fest you are our alma mater
in the sense that means “bountiful mother”
beautiful beautiful dear
Already I look forward to next year.

~ Veda Hille and the Memory Choir

#accent #vfmf #memory project #vancouver folk music festival #2012 #Veda Hille and the Memory Choir

Festival MadLib

Hello! My name is Edan and this is MY Festival Experience.

Hello, my name is Edan and this is the 17thtime I’ve experienced the greasy Vancouver Folk Festival. When I got here at 3pm Saturday my ears were walked by the small sound of Poulidor coming from stage 2. I started everywhere smashing and the crowd was doing the ballroom – it was amazing! Feeling slight, I wasted over to Pig on the Street to get my…

#2012 #MadLib #Memory Project #vfmf #vancouver folk music festival #The Head and the Heart

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Famous blue raincoat

During last year’s very rainy and muddy folk festival, we went to the Folk Fest shop and bought a plastic raincoat for $5. It was blue, so of course we tore it at the shoulder, and then we sat huddled under it for the remainder of the weekend. That famous blue raincoat now lives in our suitcase and travels everywhere we go - reminding us that good times are possible, even when it rains.

~ Heather Mitchell (Vancouver, BC)

#2011 #vfmf #vancouver folk music festival #memory project #submission

Family History
Henry in his regalia in the woods (with his Bob Marley t-shirt underneath!) on the walk talking about a photo taken 65 years before - of his grandfather. Henry’s family was one of the last Musqueam people to live in the Endowment Lands.
Photo by Heather Hogan 
~ Celia Brauer (Vancouver, BC)

Family History

Henry in his regalia in the woods (with his Bob Marley t-shirt underneath!) on the walk talking about a photo taken 65 years before - of his grandfather. Henry’s family was one of the last Musqueam people to live in the Endowment Lands.

Photo by Heather Hogan

~ Celia Brauer (Vancouver, BC)

#2012 #Memory Project #Musqueam First Nation #VFMF #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #photo

Musqueam Welcome!
The Welcome from the Musqueam people on Friday night at the opening of the Festival. That is Thelma Stogan on the left, Henry Charles, John Stogan Junior drumming and Thelma’s daughter Nicole Jack on the right. Thelma’s dad Vincent Stogan Sr. used to welcome people to the Festival and Thelma was there as a kid when he did this. Vince Stogan was a well-respected and very knowledgeable elder with the Musqueam people.
Photo by Janine Bandcroft
~ Celia Brauer (Vancouver, BC)

Musqueam Welcome!

The Welcome from the Musqueam people on Friday night at the opening of the Festival. That is Thelma Stogan on the left, Henry Charles, John Stogan Junior drumming and Thelma’s daughter Nicole Jack on the right. Thelma’s dad Vincent Stogan Sr. used to welcome people to the Festival and Thelma was there as a kid when he did this. Vince Stogan was a well-respected and very knowledgeable elder with the Musqueam people.

Photo by Janine Bandcroft

~ Celia Brauer (Vancouver, BC)

#2012 #Musqueam First Nation #VFMF #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #photo

The VPD is a Folk Fest Fan too!

Video by Heiko Decosas

#VFMF #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #2012 #Memory Project #VPD #Video

Musqueam First Nation
Henry Charles is a Musqueam speaker, a Native historian and storyteller. He has great knowledge of stories and is one of 2 speakers left who is fluent in the Musqueam language. He led the First Nations History walks on Saturday and Sunday in the woods behind the Festival and down the west side to the ocean. This is the 2nd year we have done these. I am with the False Creek Watershed Society and spoke about the water, plants and sealife.Henry told stories about the Musqueam people who originally lived in the area for thousands of years. Jericho Beach was originally a village site called “Ee-yulmough”.  The first photo shows him drumming and welcoming us at the beginning of the walk near the east gate. He’s wearing his tie-dye t-shirt in honour of the Festival!
Photo by Janine Bandcroft
~ Celia Brauer (Vancouver, BC)

Musqueam First Nation

Henry Charles is a Musqueam speaker, a Native historian and storyteller. He has great knowledge of stories and is one of 2 speakers left who is fluent in the Musqueam language. He led the First Nations History walks on Saturday and Sunday in the woods behind the Festival and down the west side to the ocean. This is the 2nd year we have done these. I am with the False Creek Watershed Society and spoke about the water, plants and sealife.

Henry told stories about the Musqueam people who originally lived in the area for thousands of years. Jericho Beach was originally a village site called “Ee-yulmough”.  The first photo shows him drumming and welcoming us at the beginning of the walk near the east gate. He’s wearing his tie-dye t-shirt in honour of the Festival!

Photo by Janine Bandcroft

~ Celia Brauer (Vancouver, BC)

#VFMF #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #Memory Project #2012 #Musqueam First Nation

A Real Workshop

1978 - before the evening rain there was still a high grey overcast. In the true tradition of Festival workshops I brought my banjo and sat with Cathy Fink beneath the Stanley Park totems and finally learned how to frail. Thank you Cathy, thank you Gary Cristall and Mitch Podoluk and thank you VFMF

~ Eric Posen (Vancouver, BC)

#memory project #vancouver folk music festival #VFMF #1978 #Cathy Fink #submission

Lost & Found Baby pt. 2

Hello Festival Folks,

A friend just sent me a scan of the 2012 festival magazine. I was touched.
I was introduced to the festival by my brother Brent Gibson (there was a tribute to him in your magazine this year).  He lived and breathed the festival, and it was contagious.  At our celebration of his life in April—the festival spirit was there—between the people, the music and the stories.
That is my picture with that beautiful baby on my shoulder(lost and found). That was 1987 and my daughter’s first Festival and she loves music too! (it is one of my favourite pictures ever—and I am so happy to see it again—would love to receive a digital copy)
Whenever I listen to Nancy Griffith, Connie Kaldor or Christy Moore I am back at the festival.
I live in Haarlem the Netherlands now———I know I will be back at a Festival one of these years.
Thank you all of you.

~ Shelley Gibson (Haarlem, Netherlands)

#VFMF #Memory Project #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #2012 #1987 #Nancy Griffith #Connie Kaldor #Christy Moore

Thanks to that caller

For a few years I lived close to Jericho and as I worked nights and weekends in the movies I could never get a parking spot when I got home. Then one year I was listening to CBC and a guy called in to say how happy he was that he got the chance to see Stan Rogers at the festival before he died. I had just discovered Stan’s music and that was it for me.  I have been taking the weekend off and going to the festival ever since. So thanks to that caller and to CBC radio.

~ Leslie Murray (Vancouver, BC)

#VFMF #Memory Project #Vancouver Folk Music Festival #Stan Rogers