Beacon Hill Park Summer Concerts
by Robert Hawkes
No matter your taste in music, from classical to indie rock and everything else, there is something for you this summer as the popular series of free summer concerts return to the Cameron Stage in Beacon Hill Park.
Afternoon concerts take place from 1:30-3:20 pm on Friday through Monday each week. The series kicks off with the Celtic group Cookeilidh on July 7, and closes on Sept. 11 with Decades After Paris, a duo who use music to promote environmental awareness and action. The classical Emily Carr String Quartet on July 21 is sure to be a highlight.
The complete afternoon concert list is given below, with the genre of music in brackets, although some of these creative and versatile artists defy narrow musical definitions.
7 Cookeilidh (Celtic)
8 Kristina Helene (Jazz/Pop)
9 Ceilidh in the Park with Knacker’s Yard & Ivonne Hernandez (Celtic/English Folk)
10 Elder Sister Plum (Alt. Folk)
14 Vivaldi Strings (Chambers)
15 The Choir (Indie Pop)
16 Accordion Festival(Accordian)
17 Cold Cut Combo (Jazz)
21 Emily Carr String Quartet (Classical)
22 Deadbeat/Segue (Ambient Dub)
23 David Vest (Blues/Jazz)
24 Big Machine (Folk/Jazz)
28 Flamenco Festival (Flamenco)
29 Little Crow (Folk Rock)
30 Boogaloo en Orbit (Latin Bookaloo)
31 Elli Hart (Americana)
4 Scotty Hills (Folk/Soul)
5 Adam Bay (Instrumental)
6 Lust Life Jazz Band (Jazz/Latin/Funk)
7 Black Angus (Americana Folk)
11 Stomp Club (Dixie Jazz)
12 Albert Head Cadet Band (Concert Band)
13 CanUS Jazz Band(Swing Jazz)
14 Capital City Syncopators (Prohibition-era Jazz)
18 Blue Moon Marquee (Blues/Jazz)
19 Westshore Community Concert Band Classical (Classical)
20 Sarah Tradewell Band (West Coast Celtic)
21 Fall Fair Car (Indie Rock)
25 Fox Glove (Folk Pop)
26 Daniel Cook & the Radiators (West Coast Roots)
27 Caleb Hart (Reggae/Soul/R&B)
1 Joal Kamps (Folk-Pop)
2 Mufaro Marimba (World/African)
3 Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra (Klezmer/Swing)
4 Dug Nugget (Folk/Bluegrass/Rock)
8 Sam Cave (Acoustic Soul)
9 Luke Wallace (Environmental Folk)
10 Bayside Big Band (Big Band Swing)
11 Decades After Paris (Jazz-Pop/Folk-Rock)
But the afternoon concert series is just part of the music this summer at Beacon Hill Park. Tuesday evenings feature the Folk Music Evening Series, starting at 6 pm each night with two hour long performances by different groups each evening. The series starts On July 11 with the group Wired to the Sky, who just released the CD Steady Sparrow, Steady Flight last month. Also performing on July 11, The Unfaithful Servants, are lead by founding member Dylan Stone, a well known Victoria guitarist and songwriter. Details of the Tuesday evening folk series are given below.
6 pm Wired to the Sky
7 pm Unfaithful Servants
6 pm Genevieve and the Wild Sundays
7 pm Ben Sures
6 pm Stel
7 pm Big Little Lions
6 pm Moonfruits
7 pm Les Soeurs Boulay
6 pm Coffee Eyes
7 pm Sweet Alibi
6 pm Hush Hush Noise
7 pm Carolyn Mark and the New Best Friends
6 pm Fallbrigade
7 pm Jenny Ritter Band
Children's programs are among the most popular events on the stage in Beacon Hill Park each summer. In 2017 these take place on Wednesdays from 11 am to noon. Here are the details for the children's series.
July 12 Peter and the Wolf
July 19 Enchanted Fables
July 26 Jon Flash
Aug 2 Ann Glover’s String Stories
Aug 9 Oliver’s Old Time Banjo Hour
Aug 16 The Purple Pirate
Summers are for learning something new, so what about the Argentine Tango? There will be a beginner lesson for first hour followed by a social dance. This takes place Saturdays from 6 pm to 7 pm on the following dates: July 28, Aug 26 and Sept 9.
Listening to music is great, but what if you really want to perform? Sing with the Garden City Harmony in simple two, three or four part harmony. There will be a selection of songs from the pop, indie, folk, and rock genres. No experience or auditions are required. Come on the following Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm: Jul 5, 19 Aug 2, 16, 30.
The park stage is not just for music! Victoria's Poet Laurate, Yvonne Blomer, will lead two evenings of poetry and writing this summer. The evening will include readings by published poets, followed by a short writing activity and an opportunity to share your own work at the open microphone.
For those unfamiliar with the venue, bench seating is provided, and also there are nearby grassy areas. All concerts in the park are listed as rain or shine. The series details are subject to change. You can check the events online at http://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/residents/culture/outdoor-venues/cameron-bandshell/summer-programming.html.
The organizers have done an outstanding job making sure that all musical interests are represented. The summer represents a chance to enjoy music you know you love, and try out something new too.