Labour Day Weekend brings Perseverance Folk Fest to Cumberland

Join the Cumberland Museum and Archives and friends for a sweet little old fashioned folk festival in the heart of the historic Village of Cumberland. Bring down a blanket, a picnic and your family for a full day of wonderful music from local and visiting artists. From miners and mountains and trials to triumphs, join us for songs and stories “that fit between the cracks”, songs shared between friends and neighbours and passed down through generations, songs all about the messy and beautiful human story. Story songs.

The line up:

Elise Boulanger is a sweet darkness wrapped in orchestral instrumentation. Hailing from Nanaimo (Snuneymuxw), Canada, this Chamber-Folk-Pop artist completely captivates audiences with her haunting avalanche of a voice. She creates cinematic dreamscapes influenced by nature, her classical training and artists like Regina Spektor, Patrick Watson, Franz Schubert and Radiohead. She is described as sharing semblance with Kate Bush, Lana Del Rey, and Kishi Bashi. For more see:

Kurt Loewen is a songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He previously spent much of his career in music writing, performing, and traveling with The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra. Last year he released his debut solo album, Heavy & Low, an impressive foray into solo-songwriting that fused rock and folk with the utmost charm. His second solo album, Becker Lake, is a creative reawakening touching on the open heartedness and strength found in new love and possibility. Loewen has taken advantage of these strange and isolating times to dive deep into the songwriting and recording processes. Although the album represents a body of work created in solitude, its themes centre around hope, open heartedness, kindness, and optimism… something the world could use more of right now.

Gordon Carter was born in Cumberland. The second oldest of four boys, he is a third-generation valley resident and it is his roots and love of the land that comes through, not only in his music and lyrics, but also in his performances. With his innate storytelling gift, combined with a compassion for the land he lives on, he brings to life stories of draft dodgers, touching tales of his family, and social/political songs from the local area. Gordon’s sense of melody and thought-provoking lyrics make him one of the foremost songwriters in the Comox Valley today.

Mary Murphy hails from Wexford, Ireland, and gifts those with Irish roots a taste of inheritance, and ushers those who wish they were a wee bit Irish, into an ephemeral union. It has been said that she has the power to transcend her listeners to a time and place, thus creating a musical bridge on which she invites all visitors to step across. While this set will be primarily songs in the English language, Mary will also bestow a glimpse of the Irish language and Irish penny whistles. Mary will be joined by guitarist, Paul Keim, who brings sparkling rhythmic guitar elements and percussionist extraordinaire Jon May adding his thoughtful seasonings to the set with a myriad of percussive sounds.

Western Canadian folk singer/songwriter & actor John Gogo is from a large musical family in Nanaimo. After a two year stint as a Chokerman in a logging camp, he began his musical career with his brothers Tommy and Paul in the ‘progressive rock’ band Graphics. In 1985 John switched gears and began playing his acoustic guitar in beer parlours and at folk festivals. He released his first album ‘Coal & Wood’ in 1990, which included original songs about his family history in mining and logging. The Victoria Times Colonist called John “one of the most talented singer/songwriters this area has ever produced”. His 2015 release ‘Coal & Wood (Revisited)’ was a return to his early ‘folk singer’ days, featuring 2 songs from the original album plus a handful of new originals about the people, places and historical events of Canada’s western islands.

Tereza Tomek is a Cumberland based songwriter who draws inspiration from great stories both real and imagined. She uses colourful characters, vivid imagery, and a good dose of humour to bring unique tales to life. Tereza is also the driving force behind, and artistic director of, the Woodstove Festival, a remarkable little winter festival held annually (under normal circumstances) in the Village of Cumberland.

The High Quadra Ramblers are Mack Shields on fiddle and vocals and Kaitlin Chamberlin on banjo, vocals and step dancing: a powerhouse duo keeping the magic of traditional music alive. They’re doing ambitious things with Appalachian old time, translating traditional Celtic into clawhammer banjo rhythms and taking inspiration from middle eastern, French-Canadian and classical to create original music. Their compositions range from high energy instrumentals to beautiful lyrical folk songs. Hailing from the East and the West, the influence of both coasts can be heard in the driving rhythm and intricate melodies of their music.

What, where, when

Gates open at 1:30 at #6 Memorial Mine park in Cumberland. Music starts at 2 pm. The full site is licensed, and Cumberland Brewing Company beer and non-alcoholic beverages will be available onsite. Please bring ID to avoid disappointment.

From 2-6 pm the event will also feature a kid’s story tent (over near the playground) featuring children’s stories about social justice, migration and community read aloud. All ages welcome.

$25 each, Kids 16 and under are FREE. Bring a blanket for your bubble, low rider chairs (very low) welcome. Dogs permitted only if on leash and restricted to your blanket. Parking available at Dunsmuir and Sutton Road (CRI lot) and behind the Museum and Cultural Centre.

Thanks in advance for coming healthy, for giving space, for respecting the comfort zones of others, and for caring for our shared community.



The Perseverance Folk Festival is produced by the Cumberland Museum and Archives.

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