Northword’s music festival round-up:

🕔Jun 04, 2009

Friends of mine from Terrace are getting married on the Queen Charlotte Islands this summer, on the second Saturday in August. Not coincidentally, the Edge of the World Music Festival, an annual summer celebration in Tlell, is happening that very same weekend.
The couple has attended the festival together four times and didn’t want to miss it so they took its dates into consideration when planning their wedding, one of the most important events of their lives.

“I plan my summers around music festivals,” says Meredith Brown, the lovely wife-to-be. She herself has attended the Edge of the World festival so often she isn’t even sure of the exact number.
So my boyfriend and I, with many of our friends, will be attending both the wedding and the festival. For one, of course, we want to witness the union of our friends and share in their happiness. But also, our northern BC music festivals rock, and we don’t want to miss the Edge of the World’s incredible concerts, food and atmosphere.

Here’s a list of various festivals taking place around the region this summer. I’ve made it a goal to attend as many as possible over the years and am thrilled to add another one to my list. How about you?

June 25-28
Stikine Valley Gospel Music Festival, Dease Lake
This non-profit Christian music and worship event is held annually by the owners of Stikine Canyon Ranch at Kilometre 435 on Highway 37. Play and listen to music, check out vendor booths and share what the Lord has done for you. Admission is by donation. For more information call 250.771.4301

June 26-28
Midsummer Music Festival, Smithers
Held at the Bulkley Valley Fall Fair grounds in Smithers, the Midsummer Music Festival is a family- and community-oriented event that has been put on by the volunteer-driven Bulkley Valley Folk Music Society for more than 25 years. The pet- and glass-free event hosts various food and merchandise vendors, a kids’ zone and an energetic and talented line-up of northern and out-of-town artists. Saturday is the big dance night. For more information visit

July 3-4
Crabfest, Kincolith (Gingolx)
Kincolith is a First Nation village in the Nass Valley, right on the ocean at the end of the Nisga’a Highway. The community’s annual population of 500 bursts during the community’s annual Crabfest, and with good reason. The event usually hosts a remarkable selection of local and non-resident performers such as rock, folk and Aboriginal musicians and dancers. Camping during the event is popular as local facilities are limited. Some food can be purchased, but selection is limited so it’s wise to bring some from home. For more information, contact Michele Stevens at 250.326.2322 or

July 10-12
Kispiox Gospel Mountain Music Festival, Kispiox
The Kispiox Gospel Mountain Music Festival is a yearly event that takes place at the Gospel Chapel Grounds in New Hazelton. This faith-based Christian event includes musical performances, prayer sessions, children’s activities, a silent auction, campfire songs, and free breakfasts on both Saturday and Sunday. Stay in nearby lodges, motels and campsites. Admission is by donation. For more information call 250.842.6718 or 250.842.6524, or go to

July 10-12
Atlin Arts & Music Festival, Atlin
Atlin, BC’s most northwestern town, is isolated and gorgeous. The small community, with a population of less than 500, is especially worth visiting during the Atlin Arts & Music Festival, during which a mix of gifted Canadian musicians, filmmakers, performance artists, comedians, storytellers, visuals artists and poets pack the area to share their passions. Other attractions include kids’ activities, tasty food, arts and crafts vendors, and workshops. Free camping is available next to the festival grounds. For more information visit

July 16-19
Billy Barker Days, Quesnel
Billy Barker Days, named after one of the first prospectors to find large amounts of gold the area, is a four-day extravaganza. The festival is full of non-stop, live outdoor entertainment and tons of family events, including parades, fairs, pie-eating contests, barn dances, beauty pageants, mud bogs and more. Most activities are free. Stay at local hotels and campgrounds. For more information go to

July 17-18
Morfee Mountain Music Fest, Mackenzie
This family-oriented festival, in its fourth year, hosts more than 2,000 attendees, a dozen or so regional performers and several imported headliners. Expect a broad range of musical styles, plus crafts and food vendors, workshops and kids’ activities. Highlights include the wilderness setting, the network of trails that leads from the festival site to nearby lakes and streams, and the Sunday morning pancake breakfast. Camp on-site for $10 or stay in local accommodations in Mackenzie. Purchase tickets in Mackenzie or Prince George, or at the gate. For more information go to

July 17-19
Cottonwood Music Festival, 
Fort St. James
This festival takes place in Cottonwood Park, on the edge of Stuart Lake. It attracts lovers of bluegrass, old-time country, classic rock, Celtic, Métis and folk music. Come a day early to participate in workshops and listen to music on an open stage. Food vendors and paid camping are available on-site; tickets are available at the gate. For more information visit

July 24-26
Kispiox Valley Music Festival
Set along the banks of the stunning Kispiox River, this festival attracts attendees from all over…and the talented on-stage entertainment and energetic crowd never disappoints. The event features non-stop live music on several stages, including country, folk, bluegrass, rock, blues, jazz, roots, reggae and soul. It also has great food, arts-and-crafts vendors, workshops, and a lavish, free salmon feast on Sunday afternoon. Pay for tickets and on-site camping at the gate. No pets allowed. For more information visit

August 1-2
Grizfest, Tumbler Ridge
Rain or shine, Grizfest is always held on the Saturday and Sunday of the August long weekend. It’s a not-to-be-missed family-oriented party that hosts a number of worldly musicians and includes food and craft vendors. Come early to check out the Friday night Battle of the Bands. Join in the parade, horseshoe tournament, face-painting and children’s games. For more information go to

July 31-Aug 3
ArtsWells Festival, Wells/Barkerville
Wells is a small, artsy community, isolated amidst mountains. The ArtsWells festival features a range of musical acts such as folk, jazz, country, funk, hip-hop, electronic, and roots. Other elements of the festival include a self-guided art walk, a unique one-minute-play contest, and numerous workshops (including laughter yoga, African dance, and creative writing). New this year, the purchase of an adult weekend pass includes a free voucher for a performer CD. For more information visit

August 7-9
Edge of the World Music Festival, Tlell
The Queen Charlotte Islands’ Edge of the World Music Festival is as enjoyable for its majestic surroundings as it is for its musical entertainment and warm crowd. (Remember to say hi to newlyweds Mark and Meredith Skimson!) Performances include world beat, roots, rock, country, gospel, hip-hop, blues and a blend of other genres of music. The festival takes place at the Tlell Fairgrounds with food, clothing and craft vendors on-site. Camping isn’t allowed at the fairgrounds but two public campgrounds are conveniently located nearby, one across the road and another only 10 minutes away by vehicle. Book your ferry passage now if you plan to take your vehicle. For more information go to

August 7-9
Terrace Riverside Music Festival, Terrace
For the second year in a row, the Métis host the Terrace Riverside Music Festival at Har-Lee’s Place, just 14 kilometres north of Terrace. This year’s headliner is Ronney Prophet of Nashville, though the event also includes a range of regional country music artists. This year will also feature more food vendors than last year. Free camping is available on-site and fireside jamming is encouraged. Day or weekend tickets are sold at various Terrace shops. For more information, call Rene Lucier at 250.635.2357 or email

Come to Terrace a few days early, between July 31 and Aug 9, so you can take in Riverboat Days, the city’s largest annual celebration. Enjoy live music in the park, an exciting parade, pancake breakfast, ducky race and much more. For more information, visit

August 21-23
Robson Valley Music Festival, Dunster
This home-grown festival is hosted by Mamaguroove, the popular Robson Valley band that frequents many of the festivals on this list both as performers and attendees. A variety of soulful musicians, usually with worldly flair, perform next to a kids’ zone and food and craft vendors. Paid camping is available on-site. No pets allowed, and bring your own drinking water. Beware: attendance at this festival is limited and tickets usually sell out. For more information, go to