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2012 Folk Festivals in BC

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia is just a hop and skip away, especially over a long weekend. Vancouver B.C. is a three-hour drive from Seattle and a six-hour drive from Portland. We’ve included information about festivals in Vancouver as well as in some places further afield. We’ll keep updating this list, but for now, here are some of the best folk festivals in British Columbia in 2012:

ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art in Wells/Barkerville, British Columbia runs from Friday August 3rd to Monday, August 6th, 2012. Performers can download an application to play at the music festival and get more information about the application process online. It takes about 10 hours to drive to Wells from Vancouver, BC and it’s a 13-hour drive to Wells from Calgary, Alta.

The Atlin Arts and Music Festival in Atlin, BC takes place July 6th through July 8th. 2012 performer registration is closed, but you can bookmark the application page for 2013. The festival accepts performer applications from August until November. Atlin is 180km south of Whitehorse, Yukon. Atlin had about 2,000 attendees to the 2011 festival per their website.

The 13th annual Discovery Coast Music Festival in Bella Coola, BC runs July 20-22, 2012. Performers can apply to the 2013 festival before January 1, 2013. The festival is held at the Fall Fair grounds located between Bella Coola and Hagensborg. It takes about 13 hours to drive to Bella Coola from Vancouver, BC and the route includes tolls and a ferry.

Make the Edge of the World Music Festival at the Tlell Fall Fairgrounds on Haida Gwaii, BC a destination this year. The festival runs August 10th through August 12th, 2012. Performers can apply and get more details about performing online. The drive from Vancouver, BC to Haida Gwaii takes more than one day (1700km) and includes a ferry.

The Harrison Festival of the Arts takes place in Harrison Hot Springs, BC from July 7 through July 15, 2012. Performers can apply for the 2013 festival online before January 15th. It takes about two hours to get to Harrison Hot Springs from Vancouver. You can follow the Harrison Festival of the Arts on Facebook.

Add the 28th annual Islands Folk Fest outside Duncan on Vancouver Island, BC to your vacation itinerary. This year’s festival runs from July 20-July 22, 2012. The festival organizers accepted applications from performers through February. Follow the Islands Folk Fest on Facebook.

The Mission Folk Music Festival takes place July 19-22, 2012 at the Frasier River Heritage Park in Mission, BC. Mission is just over an hour outside of Vancouver, BC. Follow the Mission Folk Music Festival on Facebook and on twitter.

The fifth annual Princeton Traditional Music Festival runs from August 17-19, 2012.

The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival is held August 17-19, 2012. This year marks 20 years for the festival. It takes about five hours to drive to Salmon Arm from Vancouver, BC. The music festival is held at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds. Follow the Roots and Blues Festival on Facebook, myspace, on twitter @roots&blues, and check out concert videos on YouTube. Performers include Cuff the Duke, James ‘Super Chikan’ Johnson and the Fighting Cocks, Jayme Stone, Shred Kelly, Taj Weekes & Adowa, and Raleigh.

The Smithers Midsummer Music Festival in Smithers, BC will be held June 29-July 1, 2012. Performers can apply to play at the 2013 folk music festival before May 1. Smithers is about a 15-hour drive from Vancouver, BC. Follow the Smithers Midsummer Music Festival on Facebook and on twitter, @MidsummerFest.

The 13th annual Starbelly Jam will be held July 20-22, 2012 in Crawford Bay, BC. Follow the Starbelly Jam on Facebook. It takes about 10 1/2 hours to drive from Vancouver, BC to Crawford Bay (700 km). Performers who wish to apply for the 2013 folk music festival can apply before the end of September, 2012.

The 35th annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival will run July 13-15, 2012. The festival is held in Jericho Beach Park. Get updates by following them on Facebook, myspace, and twitter @VanFolkFest. 2011 artists included Rosanne Cash, Kathryn Calder, Justin Townes Earle, New Country Rehab, Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band, Tim Robbins & The Rogues Gallery Band, Solas, David Wax Museum, Gillian Welch with David Rawlings, Joel Plaskett and the Emergency, and Emily Wells, to name a few.

Visit the Vancouver Island MusicFest from July 6-8, 2012. The festival is held at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. You can reach the island by ferry. Follow the folk music festival on Facebook and on twitter @vimusicfest.

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