Festival Program

Scandinavian Midsummer Festival 2024

 on Saturday June 22 & Sunday June 23

2024 Program


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.

Program 2024 DOWNLOAD HERE!


Salmon BBQ, Smørrebrød (Danish open-face sandwiches), Swedish Meatballs, Finnish Meatballs, Hot Dogs, Waffles, Coffee, Pastries and Beer Garden.

Pets are not allowed; only Certified Service Dogs welcomed.


PROGRAM – SATURDAY JUNE 22nd Main Stage and Field

Time Event
10 am Gates open
10 am – 10:30 am Perfect Force
11 am – 12 Noon Vancouver Dorfmusik – European-style band playing music of Switzerland, Germany and Scandinavia
12 Noon – 12:30 pm Setup for Opening Ceremony
12:30 pm – 1 pm Opening Ceremony (Flag and Anthem ceremony)
1 pm – 2 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 pm – 3 pm ON THE FIELD – Hobby Horse Steeplechase
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm  Dovbush (Ukrainian Dancers)
4 pm – 5 pm Midsummer Spelmanslag with Scandinavian Dancers
6 pm Country tents close

Evening in the Beer Garden – Jazz

from 5pm – 7:30 pm

5 pm – 6 pm West Coast Charisma – (Heather Soles & friends) – Soulful jazz, blues, bebop, swing and vintage rock
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Cat Toren Trio
8pm – 11 pm The Beagles – Great music for dancing and relaxing in the Beer Garden


PROGRAM – SUNDAY JUNE 23rd Main Stage and Field

Time Event
10 am Gates open
10 am Midsummer Pancake Breakfast in Beer Garden – Scandinavian breakfast and music by Bo Fred Olsson, a true “Scandihoovian!”
11 am – 12 noon Deep Cove Big Band – The beloved music of the big band era with audiences
12 :15 pm – 1 pm Metis Dancers / V’n Dansi – toe tapping traditional Metis music and dance
1:15 pm – 2:15 pm Ukrainian Folk Orchestra
2 pm – 3 pm ON THE FIELD  Wife-carrying Contest
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Royal City Concert Band – a rousing finish to the Main stage entertainment
3:30 pm – 4 pm ON THE FIELD – Midsummer Traditions – gather round the Midsummer Pole for games and dances with the Midsummer Spelmanslag,  & the Knotty Trolls
4 pm Festival Closing





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 travelled 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 Olson (Beer Garden, Sunday 10:00 am)

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 film and television following a teaching career.  He has won awards for his stage acting and for original music that he composed for award-winning short plays.

He plays saxophone, guitar, and a high-tech keyboard to accompany his singing.   He continues to perform at various functions around the Lower Mainland and several here at the Scandinavian Community Centre.  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 loves to perform in Swedish.


Perfect Force  (Saturday 10:00 am)

The Perfect Force band is a group of four very musical high-schoolers led by the singer, Sophie. They have been playing and performing together ever since joining the Moscrop Secondary School concert/jazz bands. The Perfect Force performs songs of original composition by Sophie, pop music, rock music, sea shanties, and folk music. Sophie is a composer, is the gold prize winner of the Kiwanis musical festival, and has won several awards in national poetry contests. The Perfect Force adores performing and they have played their own songs in elementary and secondary schools, in different festivals, and private parties. Composed of their drummer Nathan, their pianist Chris, their bassist Dennis, and the guitarist and the singer Sophie, the Perfect Force will astound you, thrill you, and bring you lots of fun with their concerts.  http://perfectforceband.com/



The Royal City Concert Band (Sunday 2:30 pm)

The Royal City Concert Band was founded in 1987 and is composed of over 45 adult musicians who aspire to a high level of performance. They rehearse weekly at New Westminster Secondary School, but their members come from throughout the Metro Vancouver region. Under the direction of Music Director Kris Covlin, they enjoy performing traditional and new concert band repertoire to delight their audiences. New members are welcome.




Knotty Trolls (Midsummer Traditions Saturday 1:00, Sunday 3:30, and Bandstand – by appointment!)

The Knotty Trolls have been making mischief at Midsummer for many years! With their stripey socks, pointy ears, and knotty tails, they’re hard to miss…. And they love food, so watch out for your waffles & sandwiches! You can catch up on their past antics on Instagram.

The Midsummer Festival is back, and so are the Knotty Trolls! Whether frolicking around the Midsummer Pole, causing trouble at the Wife Carrying contest, or hiding among their friends in the Troll Garden, you can find them by their stripy socks and knotted tails. They’ll be making mischief for the whole weekend, so come say hello – just make sure they don’t steal your waffles!   https://www.instagram.com/knottytrolls/



Midsummer Spelmanslag (Saturday 1:00 & 4:00; Sunday 3:30 pm)

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!   http://www.vcn.bc.ca/scandi/



The Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver (Saturday 1:00 & 4:00 pm)

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. From September to May, we dance on Wednesday evenings at the Scandinavian Centre and welcome both experienced and beginning dancers.   http://www.vcn.bc.ca/scandi/



Vancouver Dorfmusik (Saturday 11:00 am)

The Vancouver Dorfmusik was founded in 1983 by musicians from the Swiss community who wanted to play music from their homeland. Dorfmusik means Village Band.  Today the members are as diverse as the population of Canada. The band has performed at such venues as the Kitsilano Showboat, Ladner Bandfest, the European Festival and the Swiss National Day. We are happy to be returning to perform at the Scandinavian Festival 2024.   Vancouver Dorfmusik is conducted by Gordon Koch.




West Coast Charisma (Beer Garden – Saturday 5:00 pm)

Heather Soles is a Vancouver-based singer and songwriter.  Inspired by the constant wonder of jazz music — how fresh and new and beautiful the songs are each time they’re played — Canadian jazz singer Heather Soles and her band will take you on a musical journey full of depth, heart and swing.  Supported by Vancouver’s top musicians, Heather interprets her expansive repertoire of jazz standards, blues,  bebop and jazzified arrangements of vintage rock with  a natural sophistication and hint of smokiness. A recent project  with Vancouver pianist Miles Black, has been to reinterpret and reharmonize rock songs from the psychedelic 60’s through David Bowie and give each song her own personal flavor. Heather knows it’s all about connecting with the human experience and communicating emotions to the audience  in her soulful, bluesy style. She says “When I sing it’s synergy with the other players.  Music is my life.   Ray Charles said it best…  ‘For me, music is like breathing.  I never get tired of breathing, just like I never get tired of music. ‘ “



Mike Creber (piano)  CREBER is a Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning artist who was dubbed “a cross between Floyd Cramer and Thelonius Monk” by one LA reviewer. As one of the West Coast’s most sought-after musicians, Michael pursues a wide-ranging career as a pianist, film composer, arranger and producer; embracing many genres of music such as jazz, Latin, R&B, rock, pop, musical theatre, country, folk and classical. He has performed as a featured guest with many symphony orchestras across North America and has recorded and toured internationally with k.d. lang, the Irish Rovers, and world-renowned family entertainer, Raffi, as well as Jim Byrnes, Dee Daniels, Valdy, Lee Aaron and David Foster. Michael has released four albums of original music: Brand New Smile, Dancers of the Spheres, Smooth Sailing and Songs For My Babywww.MichaelCreber.com



Dave Say (sax)  Vancouver Island-native, jazz saxophonist Dave Say loves jazz and all its variations. He is renowned for his soulful interpretations, powerhouse sound, tasteful inventiveness, and adventurous improvisations. Dave has headlined at every major venue in western Canada, and is a favourite at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival where he presents his contemporary jazz original compositions to a riveted audience each year. Dave’s versatility makes him a first-call musician on the west coast for all styles of jazz, funk, R&B and as part of big bands and larger ensembles. He has performed with Western Canadian Music, Juno and Grammy Award winning musicians  as Dan Brubeck, Brad Turner, Michael Bublé, Dee Daniels, The Supremes, and Oliver Gannon. He swings hard and improvises melodically, conjuring the jazz greats of yesteryear and infusing each note with his own brand of heartfelt emotion. Whether playing straight-ahead swinging standards, or original music, Dave’s dedicated following of fans and musician colleagues certainly have something to say about Say!



Kerry Galloway (bass)  is an ‘in demand’ West Coast bass player and bandleader whose work encompasses  roles from bassist to producer to composer/arranger. And stylistically,  the  breadth of  his experience  is vast, ranging  from jazz (Altered Laws) to rap (Sweatshop Union), pop/opera (The Tenors), jazz fusion (The New Noakes Quartet, Crash), country (k.d. lang), variety (Bob Hope, Leon Bibb, Pat Boone, “pops” with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), klezmer (Olam), “Buddha Bar” style lounge/chillout (Astrid), latin (World Music Award winner Gabriel Palatchi Trio, the Fito Garcia Bass Ensemble), Balkan/Flamenco (Tambura Rasa, featuring the Black Dog String Quartet) funk, R&B, reggae, Brazilian, musical theatre and more. As well as teaching courses at Capilano University, Kerry has been involved in online music education, music editing for TV, and has played on hundreds of studio recordings. Kerry is also co-founder and Musical Director of the popular band, Steelin’ in The Years, a loving tribute to the music of Steely Dan.


Ray Ayotte (drums)       Ray Ayotte is a drummer, percussionist, drum teacher, and drum maker. He is known world-wide for his drum making and design and has a long history in Vancouver’s drum retail and manufacturing. Ray Ayotte was born in Maillardville Canada where as a youngster he began playing drums for rock bands he formed with schoolmates. Throughout his early playing days Ray made little adjustments to his kit and learned that other players enjoyed the changes and sounds he could make. He dreamed of one day making his own drum set. After working in the music retail business Ray finally had his chance when he created the Ayotte Drum Company. After selling the company he began creating new models for Taye Drums to great success. He now handcrafts RAYA Drums and does restorations and repairs of rare and vintage drums. He enjoys playing many genres of music including Jazz, Rock, Blues and R&B.



Metis Dancers / V’n Dansi (Sunday 12:15 pm)

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.

V’ni Dansi holds the distinction of being the only company in Canada to teach and perform both Métis and contemporary dance. Meaning “Come and Dance” in Michif, V’ni Dansi is thrilled to share the Métis people’s joyful culture with audiences of all nations.         https://www.vnidansi.ca/


Vancouver Folk Ensemble (Ukrainian) (Sunday 1:15 pm)

Long before the doors of our Cultural Centre at 805 E. Pender Street opened, early Ukrainian immigrants to Vancouver were assembling, rehearsing and sharing their Ukrainian culture.

Recognized as one of the oldest folk orchestras in Vancouver, the Vancouver String Orchestra (later known as the Vancouver Folk Orchestra, Vancouver Folk Ensemble, and more recently as the Vancouver Ukrainian Folk Orchestra, VUFO) was an integral part of the multicultural scene in Vancouver and a key cultural force at the Ukrainian Hall. True to its legacy, it not only continues to provide the musical inspiration for our dancers and choir but stands as a cultural force in its own right, offering many wonderful pieces of music at our concerts and events. While staying true to its Slavic roots, the orchestra plays a wide variety of music offering the musicians a window into many classic pieces.

Under the baton of Pavel Rhyzlovsky, the Vancouver Ukrainian Folk Orchestra rehearses and performs regularly in the Greater Vancouver, providing a continuum of music begun so many years ago.



The Deep Cove Big Band (Sunday 11 am)

For over 25 years, The Deep Cove Big Band has been sharing the beloved music of the big band era with audiences on the North Shore.  They are thrilled to be getting back to “The Swing of Things’ after the pandemic!
This group of passionate musicians gathers every week to rehearse, and regularly performs at community events, festivals, and other local venues. They are thrilled to be getting to share their love of this great music with you today!
Director Casey Thomas-Burns is an accomplished trombonist and vocalist, who started working with the band last year. When not with the Deep Cove Big Band, she leads her own 10-piece ensemble “The Leading Ladies”, and performs with jazz ensembles throughout the Lower Mainland.  We are excited to play for the Midsummer Festival!



Dovbush  (Ukrainian Dancers)  (Saturday  2:30 pm)

More to come!




Cat Toren Trio    (Beer Garden – Saturday – 6:30 pm)

Cat Toren is a Juno Award winning pianist and composer. Born and raised in Vancouver, Cat Toren has become a fixture in the vibrant jazz scene of New York City and recently relocated to Washington State where she is a faculty member at Western Washington University. She has performed with various ensembles internationally and is happy to be returning to the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival. Joining her onstage are local luminaries: bassist Russell Sholberg and guitarist Tom Wherrett.



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