Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole from southern Louisiana perform July 8 during the Harrison Festival of the Arts.

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole from southern Louisiana perform July 8 during the Harrison Festival of the Arts.

Harrison Festival covers Cajun, Celtic, Zydeco and blues

Harrison Memorial Hall will be the scene of eight full-length concerts from July 7 to July 15.

Avoid the crowds and high ticket prices July 7-15 by going for the serenity and good vibes offered at the Harrison Festival of the Arts.

Catching some live music at the fest is always a truly global experience, say proud organizers of the 34th annual event.

From lively Cajun and Zydeco riffs, to ancient and updated Celtic music, to some of the best blues artists and African performers, there is something for every taste.

Harrison Memorial Hall will be the scene of eight full-length concerts, one evening of theatre and one evening of literary readings include performances by powerhouse blues vocalist Shakura S’aida, blues/gospel group Mike Farris & the Cumberland Saints and Louisiana Cajun/Zydeco crew Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole.

Other standouts in the lineup include Mississippi blues joined with West African music from Markus James & the Wassonrai, Mali’s Sidi Touré and the ‘golden voice’ of Mozambique Wazimbo.

Champion fiddler Niamh Ni Charra brings Irish traditional music and dance while Sketch combines Scottish trad with modern dance rhythms.

The always popular Literary Café and plays from the University of the Fraser Valley Directors’ Festival round out the program.  Evening concerts are the only ticketed events at the Festival and seating in the Memorial Hall is limited.

Enjoy musical from around the world at the Music on the Beach Stage with the mountains and majestic Harrison Lake as a backdrop. For the price of a daily $2 Festival button, sample a smorgasbord of global music and dance.  The Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration will present some amazing dance, while roots and blues music will be well represented by Ken Whiteley, Harrison Kennedy, Pura Fe, the 24th Street Wailers, and Rick Fines & Suzie Vinnick.   A wide range of styles will be featured by many other Beach Stage performers.

Visit the Festival’s visual art exhibit in the picturesque Ranger Station Art Gallery featuring the work of Leo Labelle.

Stroll and shop at the juried Art Market, under the tents on the lake front.   This Market features some of BC’s finest artists and artisans displaying a dazzling array of hand crafted items.  Open July 7 & 8 and July 13, 14 & 15, select from pottery, jewelry, glass, metal, sculpture, musical instruments, paintings, leather and wood work and much more.

Children’s Day offers a special day of fun and activity including crafts, the Climbing Wall, street performers, music and featuring The Kerplunks in the Memorial Hall.  The fun happens from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11.

It’s become the perfect way to immerse yourself in cutting-edge world music and art, while basking in the natural splendour of Harrison Hot Springs.

If you would like to volunteer, contact Volunteer Coordinator Jaime Gammel at j_gammel@hotmail.com.

For more information visit www.harrisonfestival.com. Tickets are available online through the website, by phone at 604 796-3664 and in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery. Tickets for these performances are now on sale and a Festival Pass is available for all evening concerts.  Early bird discounts are available until June 22.