- Viking Village
- Wife Carrying
Festival Dates 2018
Friday, Friday, June 22nd our Midsummer Night Bash Ember Skies is at 8pm | Saturday, June 23rd & Sunday, June 24th
Festival Day Pass TBA. Free admission for kids under 16. Free parking all weekend.
There are a number of activities going on that you can enjoy during the Midsummer Festival. Among them are two almost full days of live music with the a number of individual artists, groups and choirs. There will be performances by the Scandinavian Dancers and the Vikings in the Viking Village, including songs, games and a real Viking raid – beware of the Norse! At the Midsummer Marketplace, you find over 50 vendors with shopping kiosks with lots of exciting products and crafts. There will be cultural displays, kids’ activities, a troll forest, carnival games and a vintage Volvo car show by the Volvo Club of B.C.
For the Midsummer beginner – there are two very popular events during the festival that you may not want to miss! The raising of the Midsummer Pole with dance around takes place on Saturday afternoon. The popular and crazy Finnish wife carrying contest takes place on Sunday.
Make sure that you don’t miss the Paavo Nurmi Run, early Saturday morning!
Salmon BBQ, Smørrebrød (Danish open-face sandwiches), Swedish Meatballs, Hot Dogs, Waffles, Coffee, Pastries and Beer Garden.
|9.00 am||Paavo Nurmi Run Burnaby LakePark|
|10:00 am||Gates open!|
|11:30 am||Hannu Lambert – Traditional accordion, to get you into the Midsummer mood|
|12:30 pm||Flag and anthem ceremony, featuring a First Nations celebration by Coastal Wolfpack|
|1:20 pm||ON THE FIELD – Midsummer Traditions – Enjoy a festive parade, help us raise the Midsummer Pole, and dance on the grass with trolls and kids from 2 to 92! Midsummer Spelmanslag with Scandinavian Dancers and Knotty Trolls|
|2:00 pm||Runeberg Chorus – Celebrate Midsummer with song|
|2:30 pm||Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver & Gammel Dansk – Traditional Nordic folk dance|
|3.00 pm||The Jocelyn Pettit Band – vibrant fiddling, Celtic, folk and world|
|4:00 pm||Louis Riel Dancers – lively traditional Metis dancing|
|5:00 pm||Great Danes – this year’s featured Nordic dogs show off on stage|
|5:30 pm||Heather Soles & Michael Creber – vocals and piano in the Beer Garden|
|6:30 pm||The Cat Toren Trio – award-winning jazz in the Beer Garden|
|7:30 pm||Bonfire and traditional singalong in the Beer Garden|
|8:00pm||The Beagles – Great music for dancing and relaxing in the Beer Garden|
Bring your coffee and snacks to the cozy tent next to the Viking Village!
|11:30 am||Paavo Nurmi Run – award presentation|
|2:30 pm||Karaoke with a Scandinavian Twist! Come and try it out|
|3:30 pm||Msfits Love Company – jazz trio pushes the boundaries|
|10:00 am to 11.30am||Midsummer Breakfast in Beer Garden – music by Bo Fred Olsson, a true “Scandihoovian!”|
|11:00 am||Capilano Brass Ensemble – Fanfare and Welcome, eclectic music from the Renaissance to the 21st Century|
|12:00 noon||Vancouver Estonian Choir – enjoy great Baltic choir tradition|
|12:30 pm||Vancouver Dorfmusik – Sounds of the traditional Swiss village band|
|1:30 pm||Nordic Bleu – there’s always a surprise from these lively singers|
|2:00 pm||ON THE FIELD Wife-carrying Contest|
|3:00 pm||Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver & Gammel Dansk – Finnish Folk Dances|
|3:20 pm||ON THE FIELD – Midsummer Traditions – gather round the Midsummer Pole for games and dances with the Midsummer Spelmanslag, Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver & the Knotty Trolls|
|4:00 pm||Midsummer Lottery Draw & Festival Closing|
Bring your coffee and snacks to the cozy tent next to the Viking Village!
|11.30 am||Dance like a Finn Episode 1 – Learn two easy circle dances from Finland, to lively music by the Midsummer Spelmanslag. Everyone is welcome, no partners needed!|
|12:00 noon||Liven up your Lunch with traditional tunes by the Midsummer Spelmanslag.|
|1.00 pm||Dance like a Finn Episode 2 – Learn two more easy circle dances from Finland, to lively music by the Midsummer Spelmanslag. Everyone is welcome, no partners needed!|
|1:45 pm||Wife-carrying Contest Contestants – Orientation and Rules Session|
Hannu Lambert (Main Stage, Saturday 11:30)
Hannu Lambert became the Canadian Accordion Champion in 1967. When he graduated he opened up his own Music school in Toronto. He taught piano, accordion, voice and other instruments as well. Hannu has performed in almost every major city west of and including Montreal in Canada. He has also been on tour in Finland, USA and even Australia. He has recorded CDs in the past and is contemplating recording a new one soon.
Coastal Wolfpack (Main Stage Saturday 12:30)
Tsatsu Stalqaya or Coastal Wolf Pack is a traditional Salish song and dance group. They consist of over 50 members male and female from age 1 to over age 60. The variation in age and gender allow for more song, dance and stories to be shared on stage. The member of the group representing the following communities: Musqueam, Stolo, Tsartlip, Squamish, Panliquilt, and many more.
These communities are all Coast Salish people who have joined together to form TSATSU STALQAYA. Coastal Wolf pack is proud to share we are 100% operated by Coast Salish First Nations peoples.
The group was founded in 2009. The intention where to create a opportunity for the children and families to celebrate being Coast Salish and to express that in songs and dances. The Coast Wolf Pack give a sense of Pride and brings belonging to the Coast Salish territories with the multigenerational performances.
Midsummer Spelmanslag (Midsummer Traditions – Saturday 1:00 and Sunday 3:00, Bandstand — Saturday 2:30, Sunday 11:30 and 1:00)
The Midsummer Spelmanslag is a group of local musicians who gather each year to share Scandinavian folk music with everyone at the Midsummer Festival. Our greatest joy is to get our audience tapping their toes, or better yet, up and dancing!
Knotty Trolls Midsummer Traditions Saturday 1:00, Sunday 3:00, and – well, they like to surprise us!)
The Knotty Trolls have been causing mischief at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival regularly for several years. With their pointy ears, stripey socks, and knotty tails, they’re hard to miss! If you can’t find them, though, try the Troll Garden – it’s one of their favourite spots. They can also be bribed with edible treats…. (And don’t worry, these trolls are vegetarian!)
Runeberg Chorus (Main Stage, Saturday 2:00)
The Runeberg Chorus was originally founded by Swedish-speaking immigrants from Finland in the 1920s. In the beginning the repertoire was mainly Swedish with the inclusion of some Finnish and English songs. With the addition of singers from other language groups they have expanded their programs to include all the Scandinavian languages, English and Japan.
Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver (Main Stage, Saturday 2:30, Sunday 3:00pm)
The Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver is a group of energetic dancers and musicians, going strong since 1971. Though many of us are not Scandinavian, we’re dedicated to the preservation, enjoyment and performance of ethnic dances and music of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. We dance on Wednesday evenings at the Scandinavian Centre and welcome both experienced and beginning dancers.
Gammel Dansk (Main Stage, Saturday 2:30, Sunday 3:00pm) is an ensemble of six ‘dancer-musicians’ (violins of various types, clarinet, accordion, bass, pump organ, guitar, ukulele, whatever) occasionally accompanied by guest vocalists and instrumentalists. They play old-time Scandinavian dance music (waltz, schottis, polka, hambo, etc.), set and mixer dances, and the more traditional regional ‘bygdedans’ music of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
The Jocelyn Pettit Band (Main stage Saturday 3:00) West Coast Canadian musician Jocelyn Pettit is a vibrant fiddle player, step dancer, singer and composer. With her band, she has performed across Canada, and in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, and Malaysia; performed on national television and radio; and received multiple award nominations. Her latest album, Caravan, was nominated for 2017 “World Artist of the Year” at the Western Canada Music Awards.
Msfits Love Company (Bandstand, Saturday 3:30) is a jazz trio comprised of voice, violin, and guitar, but don’t let the setup fool you! Though typically a lightweight combination, the trio plays a spectrum of jazz from Fats Waller to Bill Frisell that aims to push the boundaries of their instrumentation and traditional roles within a jazz combo. This trio is not one to miss!
Louis Riel Dancers (Main Stage, Saturday 4:00) Company V’ni Dansi is a Vancouver-based traditional Métis and contemporary dance company dedicated to sharing the dances, stories and culture of the Métis. Led by Artistic Director Yvonne Chartrand, the company is dedicated to preservation and innovation. Dancers perform Métis dance under the name, the Louis Riel Métis Dancers, and contemporary works as V’ni Dansi.
Heather Soles and Michael Creber (Beer Garden, 5:30 Saturday)
Heather Soles is a Vancouver-based singer and songwriter. At six years old, she watched Eartha Kitt perform on the Ed Sullivan Show, and said, “That looks like fun!” Heather went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and sing for audiences across Canada. Her style brings a smokiness and a natural, bluesy feel to a repertoire of soulful jazz, blues, bebop, swing and vintage rock.
After an extended break from music, teaching at a college and raising two children, Heather found herself longing for music, and returned to singing in 2013. She has since performed with some of Vancouver’s top musicians at the Cottage Bistro, the Fairview, Frankie’s, the Central Bistro, Pat’s Pub, the Kino Café and Jazz Vespers at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church.
Heather is preparing to release her album, Until I Met You, and writing a show featuring the songs of Miss Peggy Lee. Next on her to-do list is a F*** Cancer Benefit.
Michael Creber is one of the West Coast’s most sought-after musicians, both onstage and in the recording studio. He is a regular on the Vancouver jazz scene with his own Michael Creber Trio and has a wide-ranging career as a player, composer and producer, in jazz, Latin, R&B, rock, pop, musical theatre, country and folk.
Michael has performed and recorded with many great Canadian and international artists including: The Rankin Sisters, David Foster, Powder Blues, Cyndi Lauper, Roy Forbes, Shari Ulrich, Phil Nimmons, Jim Byrnes, Dee Daniels, Kate Hammett-Vaughn, Christine Duncan, Connie Kaldor, Valdy and Nancy White.
Michael has three albums of original music: two solo piano collections, Brand New Smile, Dancers of the Spheres, and a CD by the Trio entitled Smooth Sailing. Michael and his music have been featured several times on CBC Radio’s nationally broadcast JazzBeat, and on Vancouver’s Hot Air.
The Cat Toren Trio (Beer Garden, Saturday 6:30 pm) Join Juno winners (2013) and nominees (2017) Cat Toren and Russell Sholberg with their good friend Ben Henriques on Tenor Saxophone in the Beer Garden for an hour of cool jazz.
The Beagles (Beer Garden, Saturday 8:00 pm)
The Beagles are a musical duo that has been performing music together for the past 20 years. The Beagles are made up of two music teachers, Ken Mason and Ed Sadler. Together they have traveled all over British Columbia covering all types of music from the 50’s to the 2000’s. Great music that you can dance to and guaranteed fun for all!!
Bo Fred Olsson was born in Sweden and raised in Vancouver. He has been involved with music and entertaining ever since high school along with acting in T.V and film following his teaching career. He plays several instruments including saxophone, guitar, and more recently, a high-tech keyboard to accompany his singing. He has won several awards for his stage acting and for original music he composed for award-winning short plays. He has performed at many venues around B.C. and at various functions here at the Scandinavian Community Centre. This is his fourth year at the Midsummer Festival. Bo’s repertoire includes rock and roll, pop, and country songs from the 50’s, 60’s and later, with a mixture of songs he performs in Swedish.
Capilano Brass (Main Stage, Sunday 11:00 am)
The Capilano Brass Ensemble play music from the Renaissance to the 21st century. They have been performing around Metro Vancouver for over 20 years. The Scandinavian Midsummer Festival is a highlight event on their calendar.
Vancouver Estonian Choir (Main Stage, Sunday 12:00)
The Vancouver Estonian Mixed Choir ‘Läänetuul’ has been joyously singing together for a number of years, regularly performing for the local Estonian community. They have had the honour to perform at the two most recent Song Festivals in Tallinn, Estonia, where 30,000 singers come together and sing songs about their homeland. They have also performed at West Coast Estonian Festivals, which are held every two years across the West Coast from Vancouver, south to Los Angeles. They are directed by Thomas Kirves, and are excited to be a part of the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival this year.
Vancouver Dorfmusik (Main Stage, Sunday 12:30)
The Vancouver Dorfmusik (Swiss for “village band”) was founded in 1983. Their style of music is what would be heard in the towns and villages of Switzerland and other European countries. The group has played at the German Christmas market, the Kitsilano Showboat, Leavenworth and made two trips to Switzerland and Germany. Gordon Koch is the Conductor. The Vancouver Dorfmusik can be heard on youtube.
Nordic Bleu (Main Stage Sunday 1.30pm)
Nordic Bleu was formed in 2011 to entertain in the dining area at the Midsummer Festival. The original idea came from Yasushi Ishimura who convinced some members of the Runeberg Chorus that it would be fun. The group enjoyed singing so much l that they decided to continue performing. Members of the group are: Janet Mowatt-director, pianist, alto. Janet has a Master’s degree in Music Education from UBC and is currently teaching ESL in the Vancouver Public School System. Kaoru Henry-soprano. Kaoru studied voice and currently sings with the Pacifica Singers which exists as part of the Vancouver Chamber choir organization. Yasushi Ishimura-tenor, guitar-flute. Yasushi sings with Sakura singers and the Runeberg Chorus. He is a popular volunteer at the Scandinavian Centre. Bruce Norman-bass. Bruce sang with the Community choir under Lars Kaario at Capilano College, the Sons of Norway Choir and currently sings with the Runeberg chorus. Dianne Kilback-alto. Dianne enjoys the challenge of singing in a small vocal ensemble. Lachlan Mowatt –tenor. Lachlan sings with the Runeberg Chorus and is the youngest member of the group. He is the go-to person for our pronunciation of French Lyrics.