The Folk Connection is an acoustic folk music event which takes place at 7:30 pm on the third Friday of each month. It is run by an informal committee of Nanaimo residents who love live acoustic music.
Musicians who play at the Nanaimo Folk Connection often tell me how much they enjoy our event. Often they have "paid their dues" playing in situations where folks aren't really listening. At the Folk Connection, the audience is completely focused on the musicians, and there is often a friendly exchange between performers and audience members during and after the show.
The Folk Connection has a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere where most would feel comfortable coming even on their own. Friendships and musical ensembles have formed here in our supportive atmosphere.
Our definition of folk music is broad, including music that comes out of the folk tradition of other cultures, the blues - very much a folk tradition, and also modern singer/songwriters whose writing honours the folk tradition. The result is a wonderful variety of amazing performances. The West Coast is home to many talented performers and we draw from Vancouver Island, the lower mainland, and Washington State, as well as occasionally booking touring performers from places like England, or Australia.
We open each show with a 80 minute Open Stage segment. During this time, anyone who wants to perform can sign up for a 10 minute set (usually long enough for three songs). Sometimes our open stage slots are booked up quickly, and we have to turn people away. About once a year we run a Folk Connection that is Open Stage for the whole evening. Follow this link for more information about performing on our Open Stage.
After the Open Stage we have a feature performer for the evening. We book these performers ahead of time and pay them for their performances. Over the years we have had an amazing lineup of talented performers for our feature acts. Check our page listing our past features here. Anyone who wishes to be considered for a feature should contact Sue Irwin by email. We have a page of information on how we select performers for our feature segment. You can check our next month, or upcoming acts page if you are curious about performers who are coming up over the next few months. We also have listings of other acoustic music events around Nanaimo.
The Folk Connection is a wheelchair accessible, nonalcoholic event. During the evening we have a selection of refreshments available, baked goodies, organic free trade coffee (high test and decaf), several kinds of tea, soft drinks, juice and water. Often in the cooler part of the year, we serve up Hot Spiced Apple Juice to warm you up. Admission is $5 at the door, $3 for children 12 and under.
We welcome children at our event as long as they are interested in being there. We suggest parents bring quiet toys, perhaps a blanket so children can sit on the floor if they like. We have had a number of young people attend whose preference was to sit on the floor, at the very front, so that they could relate directly to the musicians.
There is a vibrant folk music scene on Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo Folk Connection is only one of the regular folk music events which take place up and down Vancouver Island. There are similar events in the Cowichan Valley (Duncan), Victoria, Sooke, Saanich, Mill Bay, and on the Gulf Islands, as well as a series of outdoor summer festivals where you can enjoy the beauty of the British Columbia coast and your favourite music all at the same time. See our Links page for more information.
We wish to thank Anita Roy for providing a home for our website on the World Wide Web at a very reasonable rate.