Festival Dates 2019

 Saturday, June 22nd & Sunday, June 23rd.
Festival Day Pass $10. Free admission for kids under 16. Free parking all weekend.

2018 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.

This year there will be no Paavo Nurmi Run 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
10:00 am Gates open
11:00 am West Vancouver Concert Band – Energetic music to start the day.
12.oo  Vasa Youth Folk Dancers – Young dancers from Portland share their love of Scandinavian tradition
12:30 pm Flag and anthem ceremony
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 Midsummer Choir – Celebrate Midsummer with songs
2:30 pm  Vasa Youth Folk Dancers – Young dancers from Portland share their love of Scandinavian tradition
3.00 pm Nordic Bleu & Midsummer Spelmanslag A potpourri of Nordic folk songs.
4:00 pm Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver  & Gammel Dansk – Traditional Nordic folk dance
5:00 pm  19Twenty A Capella Singers – Uplifting Finnish songs
5:30 pm West Coast Charisma (Heather Soles, Ron Thompson, & Ray Ayotte) Soulful jazz, blues, bebop, swing and vintage rock.
6:30 pm The Catherine 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

PROGRAM – SUNDAY JUNE 24TH Main Stage and Field


Time Event
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 Puppet Theatre – Beloved folklore characters brought to life.
12:45 pm Nordic Bleu & Midsummer Spelmanslag – A potpourri of Nordic folk songs.
1:30 pm Dorfmusik  – European style village band music
2:30 pm ON THE FIELD  Wife-carrying Contest
3:00 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


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 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 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 Ensemble (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.

The Catherine Toren Trio (Beer Garden, Saturday 6:30 pm) Cat Toren is a Juno Award winning pianist and composer. Hailing from North Vancouver, Cat now resides in Brooklyn, New York where she has built up a career as a composer and performer of modern music and as an educator. Well known to the jazz scene in Vancouver, she returns regularly to play at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Before then you will find her and friends playing some of jazz’s most loved standards here at the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival.


Gammel Dansk (Main Stage, Saturday 4:00) is an ensemble of six “dancer-musicians” (playing fiddles 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.


Heather Soles (Beer Garden, Saturday 5:30 pm) 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.

Ron Thompson was born in Vancouver and began getting immersed in the local music scene at age 11 when he began guitar lessons. As well as an extensive music education he gained experience working with Vancouver legends, Fraser MacPherson, Bobby Hales, Oliver Gannon and Hugh Fraser. He has played in the bands of Michael Buble, Dal Richards and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Some of the many singers he has accompanied are: Rosemary Clooney, Joani Taylor, Dee Daniels, Jim Byrnes and Raffi.



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. He 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.



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!)


Midsummer Choir (Main stage  — Saturday 2:00) The Midsummer Choir brings together members of the Tivoli Singers and Runeberg Chorus to celebrate Midsummer with song. 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 Japanese.
Since 1959, the Danish Choir of Vancouver, later to be renamed Tivoli Singers, has met weekly to sing—for their own enjoyment and also to practise for public performances. The choir has enjoyed a reputation for being willing and able entertainers at various functions in the Danish community and elsewhere.

Midsummer Spelmanslag (Midsummer Traditions – Saturday 1:00 & Sunday 3:00, Main stage  — Saturday 3:00, Sunday 12:45) 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!


19Twenty A Capella Singers (Main stage — Saturday 5:00) The 19Twenty A Capella Singers from Vancouver’s 19Twenty church (Finnish Bethel Church) is a group of young Christian musicians who love to share their faith in a form of music. They hope to spread joy, hope and encouragement through the songs that they sing.

Current members from left to right are Jackson Noso, Liisa Karjanlahti, Mirjami Mononen and Jorian Noso.


Nordic Bleu (Main Stage — Saturday 3:00, Sunday 12:45) 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.

The Scandinavian Dancers of Vancouver (Main Stage — Saturday 4:00) 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.


Vancouver Dorfmusik (Main Stage — Sunday 1:30) The Vancouver Dorfmusik was founded in 1983 to perform in the style of a Swiss “village” band. The core repertoire is still traditional but many well known melodies from around the world have been added and the regular membership has increased to 20 musicians. The band makes regular appearances around Vancouver and has performed at such popular events as the Alpine Festival in Whistler, the Kitsilano Showboat, the Leavenworth Autumn Festival and the Ladne Bandfest .The band had successful tours through Switzerland and Germany.


Vancouver Puppet Theatre (Main Stage  — Sunday 12:00) Viktor Barkar is the artistic director and creator of Vancouver Puppet Theatre, which was organised here in Vancouver in 2012. They present unique Puppet Shows for schools or venues in Greater Vancouver.




Vasa Youth Group Dancers (Main Stage  — Saturday 12:00 & 2:30) is a children’s Swedish folk dance and culture group, sponsored by Harmoni and Nobel Vasa Order Lodges in Portland, Oregon. The group has been performing for more than 60 years at local Scandinavian events and other cultural events, including midsummer festivals, lodge celebrations and parties, parades, school cultural fairs, and other festivals. Our dancers may range in age from 2 to 18, and several of them are second generation Vasa dancers. The youth dancers are planning a trip to Hälsingland, Sweden, in 2019 to perform in the midsummer celebration in Edsbyn.


The West Vancouver Concert Band (Main Stage — Saturday 11:00 is a community wind ensemble of close to fifty strong.  We range in age from nineteen to ninety-eight.   Our mission is to provide an opportunity for adult amateur musicians to play, practice and perform in a friendly and supportive environment. We are led by musician and conductor extraordinaire, Tak Maeda. The Midsummer Festival is a highlight and one of our favorite concerts.




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