Festival Program

Here is the 2016 Program.

Program for 2017 will be posted in the spring.


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.


Main Stage and Field

Time Event
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 ceremonies
1:00 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 Scandinavian Festival Choir – Celebrate the day with song
2:30 pm Royal City Concert Band – Sharing the simple joy of making music
3.30 pm Vancouver Okinawa Taiko – Okinawan style drumming and dancing
4:00 pm Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver  & Gammel Dansk – Traditional Nordic fold dancing
4:30 pm Aerialistis – Captivating new sounds drawn from Gaelic and Nordic folk music
5:00 pm Beer Garden – Emberfield – This folk trio captures the power and groove of rock n’ roll to get you tapping your feet
6:00 pm Aerialistis – Beer Garden – Captivating new sounds drawn from Gaelic and Nordic folk music
7:30 pm Bonfire and traditional singalong
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!

Time Event
11:30 am Paavo Nurmi Run – award presentation
2:30 pm Schottis 101! Get a taste of everyone’s favourite (and easy!) Scandinavian folk dance, with the Midsummer Spelmanslag
3:30 pm Karaoke with a Scandinavian Twist! Come and try it out



Main Stage and Field

Time Event
10:00 am 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
11:30 am ON THE FIELD – Dog Show presented by the Canadian Finnish Spitz Club – You will lose your heart to these beautiful foxy dogs!
12:15 pm Faith Numada & Band – Full of energy, family friendly country-rock music
1:00 pm Vancouver Dorfmusik – Sounds of the traditional Swiss village band
2:00 pm ON THE FIELD  Wife-carrying Contest
3:00 pm Vancouver Kilplased – Lively and colourful Estonian folk dances
3:20 pm ON THE FIELD – Midsummer Traditions –  Vancouver Kilplased Estonian dancers will lead everyone to the Midsummer Pole for games and dances with the Midsummer Spelmanslag & 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!

Time Event
11.30 am Work off those waffles! Easy-going, come-as-you-are fun in motion – “Viking Aerobics” to live music with the Midsummer Spelmanslag and dance-fitness leader Magdalena Lima “Maggie Fu”
12:00 noon Nipponilainen – Japanese Finnish fusion
1.00 pm Definitely not wife-carrying! Easy-going, come-as-you-are fun in motion – “Viking Aerobics” to live music with the Midsummer Spelmanslag and dance-fitness leader Magdalena Lima “Maggie Fu”
1:45 pm Wife-Carrying Contestants – Orientation and Rules Session


Entertainer Biographies

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.


Nipponilainen (Bandstand — Sunday 12:00)

Nipponilainen, a collaboration between Yasushi Ishimura and Kaoru Henry, presents a felicitous fusion of Finnish and Japanese musical spirits. Yasushi has been organizing entertainment for many years at the Midsummer Festival. He is a member of the Sakura singers and Runeberg Choir and sings Finnish folksongs, influenced by the late Henry Lahti. Kaoru is a talented soloist who studied voice and also sings with Runeberg Choir.


Midsummer Spelmanslag (Midsummer Traditions – Saturday 1:00 and Sunday 3:00, Bandstand  — Saturday 2:30, Sunday 11:30 and 1:00)

Midsummer SpelmanslagThe 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!)


Scandinavian Festival Choir (Main Stage, Saturday 2:00)

The Scandinavian Festival Choir has been in existence since 2003.  Members were originally recruited from the Danish, Norwegian and Runeberg Choirs but anyone who is interested in preserving the choral heritage of Scandinavia is welcome to join.  Practices are held at the Scandinavian Centre every year in May and June.


Royal City Concert Band (Main Stage, Saturday 2:30)

The Royal City Concert Band is in its 28th season as an active community musical group based in New Westminster. This 45-member ensemble of accomplished adult musicians from varied walks of life is drawn together by the simple joy of making music. Under the direction of Kris Covlin, the band performs a wide repertoire of musical styles, from traditional concert band and classical to jazz and pop. The band was awarded a Gold standing at the 2014 Kiwanis Fraser Valley International Music Festival and was named the Most Promising Community Concert Band.

Contact: Bill Walters, President 778-866-9908 bill.walters@nullshaw.ca


Vancouver Okinawa Taiko (Main Stage, Saturday 3:30)

OkinawaVancouver Okinawa Taiko, formerly known as Yuaikai Ryukyu Taiko founded in 2004. Vancouver Okinawa Taiko been performing in numerous cultural festivals, charity functions and anniversary events. The group’s aim is to share Okinawan style drum-dancing and to promote Okinawan culture. Their membership is made up of several generations to reflect this grassroots folk art. Vancouver Okinawa Taiko performs using eisa style drums accompanied by traditional and contemporary Okinawan music.

Contact: Masami Hanashiro at hanashiro.masami@nullgmail.com


Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver and Gammel Dansk  (Main Stage, Saturday 4:00)

Scandinavian DancersThe 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 DanskGammel Dansk 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.


Aerialists (Main Stage, Saturday 4:30, Beer Garden 6:00)


Contemporary folk band Aerialists melds their ferociously creative harmonic sensibilities with a deep love for fiddle traditions.Hailing from Canada, the US, and Scotland, the quintet draws from the wells of Gaelic and Nordic folk music to create captivating new sounds on fiddle, harp, guitar, drums, and bass.



Emberfield (Beer Garden, Saturday 5:00)


Emberfield is an acoustic folk trio from Vancouver, British Columbia featuring Steve Marriot (guitar and lead vocals), Gavia Lertzman-Lepofsky (fiddle and back-up vocals) and Jessica Heaven (vocals).Emberfield’s music combines the power and groove of rock n’ roll combined with the delicacy of folk lyrics and harmonies. Together, with Steve’s captivating lyrics invoking vivid imagery, the enchanting fiddle accompaniment, and vocal harmonies, this trio rapidly has you tapping your feet.



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 (Beer Garden, Sunday 10:00 am)

Bo Fred Olsson was born in Sweden and raised in Vancouver.  Involved with music, acting, and entertaining since his youth,  he plays several instruments including saxophone, guitar,  and more recently the keyboard to accompany his singing.   He has won awards for his stage acting and original music composed for award-winning plays. He has had many roles in film and television, including principal parts in over 50 commercials.

A true “Scandihoovian”, he has performed at various functions at the Scandinavian Community Centre over the years.  His repertoire includes pop and country songs from the 50’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


Canadian Finnish Spitz Club (on the field, Sunday 11:30)

PystykorvaThe Canadian Finnish Spitz Club is dedicated to protecting and promoting the Suomenpystykorva, Finland’s National Dog. The Finnish Spitz is fox-like, medium-sized dog whose natural good looks and clean, easy-care coat makes an ideal pet.  In Finland the dog is used for hunting grouse or Capercaillie in dense forests, chasing the birds up into the trees and then indicating its position with a distinct bark.  The bark is said to hold the bird until the hunter approaches.  The breed is also used for hunting squirrel, Pine Marten, moose and even bear.  Finnish Spitz are affectionate, loyal, independent and brave.  Barking can be controlled with firm, consistent training. They are quite vocal and enjoy conversing with croons and yodels.  The ideal Finnish Spitz: fox-like, small erect ears, almond eyes, triangular head, dense coat, bright red colour, light of foot, inquisitive in nature, square in body with a tail that curls most particularly “forward, downward, backward to press firmly against the middle of the thigh”.


Magdalena Lima “Maggie Fu” (Bandstand, Sunday 11:30 and 1:00)

MaggieAs a native of Mexico, I grew up surrounded by dance and music. My love for dance and passion for fitness came together in 2000 when I discovered Capoeira in Guadalajara, Mexico and began to train. After relocating to Vancouver, I have since performed at community events, corporate events, fundraisers, parades, and private gatherings. The idea of combining my history of dance and capoeira into an aerobic workout highlighted by the great sounds of Latin music brought me to ZUMBA® Fitness! I am excited to show you an easy to follow workout designed to help you dance your way into a better and healthier lifestyle!


Faith Numada (Main Stage, Sunday 12:15)

Faith NumadaFaith Numada is Canadian Country female who beautifully stands out among the rest. Hailing from interior BC, Faith grew up in a family of singers and guitarists, singing at her local churches and community events. Faith went on to study Voice and Theatre at Trinity Western University. Several years ago when she was involved in a serious car accident and rushed to the hospital she recalled thinking how she regretted having recently given up on music. She then promised herself to set her life back on track and pursue her dream. Since then, Faith has worked with some of BC’s finest industry talent in the Canadian Country community including songwriter and producer Dan Swinimer. An avid songwriter, Faith’s original country ballad “No Match For Me” won a semi-finalist position in the prestigious International Songwriting Competition for both the Country Genre and Unsigned Artist categories.


Vancouver Dorfmusik (Main Stage, Sunday 1:00)

DorfmusikThe 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 many other parts of Europe. The group has played at the German Christmas market, on top of Whistler, Leavenworth and have had two trips to Switzerland and Germany. Gordon Koch is the Conductor. The Vancouver Dorfmusik can be heard on youtube.


Vancouver Kilplased (Main Stage, Sunday 3:00)


The Vancouver Estonian Folk Dance group ‘Kilplased’ have been an official dance group within the Vancouver community since 1995. The name of the group comes from a popular tale about a crew of adventuring characters who are nearly constantly blundering in their activities, but for whom everything always seems to work out for the best, in the most amusing way possible. The name truly describes the lively and spirited group of dancers, who have come together through a shared love of Estonian dancing and culture – with a generous dose of fun along the way. Directors: Michael Toompuu and Brigid Zurock.