Sidney will hold the first ever Folk N Fiddle festival this summer

The line-up has been released for the 1st annual Folk N Fiddle Festival, which will be held in Sidney on May 31 and June 1.  It's an expansion on the Fiddle Festival that has been running for the last 7 years.

Artists Director of the Folk N Fiddle Festival and President of the Victoria Fiddle Society, Nellie Quinn, says the Fiddle Society has decided to partner with other organizations to grow the festival this year.

"So this is Fiddle Fest, but has grown into Folk N Fiddle, which is actually supported by the Victoria Fiddle Society, the Victoria Folk Society, the Victoria Blue Grass Association, as well as the Deep Cove Folk Club.  So all the folk clubs are really working together on this project, and that's why it's going to be such a beautiful event, because we're all working together and what could be better than that."

The festival will be held on multiple stages in the Mary Winspear Centre, as well as the Sidney Bandshell and the Artsea Gallery in Tulista Park.  Quinn says she's excited about this year's line-up.

"We have Darryl Anger and Mike Marshall coming up from California.  We also have Coco Love Alcorn coming in from Toronto, she's a great singer/songwriter.  Really unique this year, we have Alex Wells, who's a hoop dancer from Curry BC, and he was actually part of the Winter Olympic celebrations."

She says what's really unique about expanding the festival is being able to incorporate more acts than just fiddlers.

"We'll also have the Victoria Irish Dancers, we're gonna have Stephanie Cadman, an amazing tap dancer.  There's Daniel Lapp, we also have the Sweet Lowdown, West My Friend, Tiller’s Folly coming in from Vancouver, as well as The Wilds coming in from Vancouver.  And they're really good with kids, so we're going to feature them in our kids room."

There will also be free concerts leading up to the festival at the Sidney Bandshell, where Victoria's own he Sweet Lowdown will play on Thursday, May 30 at 5pm, and Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres and special guests on Friday, May 31st at 5pm.

The Artsea Gallery in Tulista Park will feature “Straitscapes” from May 24 to May 30, a photography exhibit by local resident Tim Rogers.

There will also be local artisans, a kid's room with music and art, food trucks, dance and art classes, and music workshops leading up to the festival.

"Some of [the workshops] are going to be Mater Classes, and that's when you can bring your instrument in and learn on your instrument. Some will be free and some will be ticketed... Some of the workshops will be festival style.  So you can go in and listen to, for example, maybe Daniel Lapp will be holding a BC fiddle workshop, and you can learn about BC fiddling.  So there will be lots of different things and you don't necessarily have bring your instrument in to take part."

Tickets for the festival and the workshops are available online through the Mary Winspear Centre's website.

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