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Midsummer festival packs in a little something for everyone

Local musician Faith Fehr receives Marshal Boucher Memorial Award

From pop-up puppets to world folk metal, the Midsummer Music Festival had a little something for everyone over the three days July 5 - 7.

Among the headliners of the event, the 2024 lineup saw the return of two accomplished Smithereens. On Friday night, it was renowned flutist Toby Moisey getting the crowd moving with his super tight and funky band Major Funk from Whitehorse, Yukon.

On Saturday night, it was Juno Award-winner Dan Mangan, by himself with a guitar, who captivated concert-goers. Mangan created one of those magical festival moments when he roamed out into the audience enlisting the surrounding crowd in a chorus that rang out over the fairgrounds as the sun ducked behind Hudson Bay Mountain.

Other headliners included the legendary Valdy, Juno Award-winner Caleigh Cardinal and Christine Tassan et les imposteurs from Montreal. 

In all, there were 72 performances and workshops by 56 local, regional and national acts.

Mother Nature smiled on the festival this year with clear skies and sunshine, although extreme temperatures did have people seeking out shade and other ways to cool off. Sprinklers and misting stations were a popular feature on the festival grounds.

On Sunday afternoon, the Bulkley Valley Folk Music Society, which runs the festival, presented its annual Marshal Boucher Memorial Award. Named for the Witsuwit'en musician who was "a beacon of positive influence and an incredibly talented musician," the award, which comes with $1,000 cash is given to a promising young person seeking to pursue a career in the performance arts.

This year, the award went to Faith Fehr, whose band All In Down and Out, described as "original jam band style with folk, rock and funk," performed at the festival on Sunday afternoon.


Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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