(Pictured: musician Oliver Swain/Photo by @oliswain - Instagram)

Some of the best ways to measure how awesome your city is, is by looking at the kind of talent it produces, is able to attract, as well as the diversity of festivals it’s able to host.

It may be easy to forget how truly lucky we are in Victoria, often being able to enjoy all three at once. Case in point – the inaugural Trad Weekend Concert & Workshop Festival, which kicks off on February 15th.

And if you aren’t sure whether you know what Trad Music is – you do – it is just traditional music, of the Irish folk variety. 

The Festival is being spearheaded by homegrown Juno award winner, fiddler Ivonne Hernandez, who has gathered some of the best traditional folk musicians from across Canada.

Fans new and old will have plenty to enjoy as the festival boasts performances by Calvin Vollrath, Shane Cook, Troy MacGillivray, Daniel Lapp, Coastline, Oliver Swain and more.

It’s also a rare chance to bring these musicians to the west coast, as Hernandez knows how difficult it can be to get talent from one side of country to the other.

“Being from Victoria, I understand how hard it can be for artists to get here, and if I have the opportunity to bring people to Victoria, then I will! It’s a win win for everyone,” she told Victoria Buzz.

It’s all about community

The two-day festival not only delivers a knockout day of music performances, but there’s also an opportunity to hone your own musical skills at any of the workshops being held.

Ultimately, for Hernandez, it’s about giving thanks to a community that has given her so much.

“As a musician and fiddle teacher, I am doing what I can to help and support the musical community (who has supported me as well) both in Victoria and in Canada.”

“The music scene here is so wonderful, vibrant and supportive and there are many people in Victoria that can now have the opportunity to learn from these amazing artists, who may not otherwise come to the Island.”

It’s also hopefully a sign of things to come, as Hernandez aims this Trad Weekend Festival to be the first of many.

“I would love to have a successful first festival, and get the buzz going and hopefully be able to have this be an annual event.”

For those interested, make sure you get your tickets now, and do not miss out on what is going to be one of the first great Trad Music weekends of the year!

Trad Music Festival

  • When: Friday, February 15th, 7:30 p.m
    Saturday, February 16th, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Where: Friday: First Church of Christ, 1205 Pandora Ave
    Saturday: Esquimalt United Church, 500 Admirals Rd
  • Admission: Tickets range from $20 to $140 depending on the number of events you attend. Click here to purchase.

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