Vancouver Folk Music Festival Announces Lineup for Thursday Night Free Concert to open festival


The Vancouver Folk Music Festival has teamed up with fellow folk festivals in Winnipeg, Calgary, Canmore, and Regina to curate a groundbreaking live touring collaborative project called Canada Far & Wide: Grands Esprits – a celebration of the Canadian songbook.

On Thursday, July 13 the VFMF presents the results of this remarkable initiative to Vancouver with a free, opening night concert!

This concert showcases an eclectic range of amazing Canadian artists performing songs written by some of Canada’s most renowned and talented composers – and making each of those songs their own!

The evening features performances by Cris Derksen, Mélisande [électrotrad], Cold Specks, C.R. Avery, Katie Moore, Jim Byrnes, Women in the Round, Carolyn Mark, Choir! Choir! Choir!, Leonard Podolak, The Funk Hunters and Paul Pigat.

You’ll hear the much-loved songs of renowned composers with surnames like: Aglukark, Bolduc, Cockburn, Cohen, Lightfoot, McGarrigle, Mitchell, Rogers, Sainte-Marie, Snow, and Tyson – along with songs penned by Ferron, K’naan, Arcade Fire, Blue Rodeo and Spirit of the West.

Hear Cold Specks’ take on Feist’s “Feel It All”, and who doesn’t want to catch Jim Byrnes’ version of Gene MacLellan’s composition, and Anne Murray’s iconic hit, “Snowbird”. See what C.R. Avery does with Stompin’ Tom’s “Sudbury Saturday Night”, and hear a rendition of Parachute Club’s anthemic hit, “Rise Up”, by the powerful Indigenous women’s voices of Women in the Round (Sandy Scofield, Dalannah Gail Bowen, Andrea Menard and Renae Morrisseau).

And the audience gets to be part of the show, too! Choir!Choir!Choir! will lead us in sing-alongs, belting out Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon”, Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by a Century”, and Leonard Cohen’s heart-stopping “Hallelujah”.

What an amazing night of song it’s going to be – a night to celebrate the festival’s 40th birthday – a night to remember for the next 150 years! 

Tickets are FREE! To reserve, go to

For the full list of who is singing what, click HERE! | *program and content subject to change