BARKERVILLE prepares for another exciting ArtsWells Festival

The weather’s great, the sun is shining… it must be ArtsWells time! As the BC Day long-weekend fast approaches, the 7th Annual ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art is getting ready to ride surging heat waves towards the historic communities of Barkerville and Wells, BC.

Named one of the “Top 10 Festivals in Canada” according to a recent nationwide survey by CBC Radio 3, ArtsWells is a 4-day extravaganza packed with various forms of music, visual arts, performance, and entertainment. There is something for everyone at ArtsWells time.

Whether you’re a diehard party-goer, an indie music fan, an arts enthusiast, or a curious newcomer to this marathon event, good time management skills and robust energy are recommended to best enjoy the ArtsWells Festival. During four jam-packed days between July 30 and August 2, over 150 different acts of music, spoken-word, theatre, juggling, dancing, and poetry will combine with visual art tours, a mini-mural project, and “vendors’ village” throughout nine designated ArtsWells stages in Barkerville and nearby Wells. This year’s ArtsWells Festival will also feature the 11th annual International One Minute Play Festival… and if that’s not busy enough for you, ArtsWells attendees are invited to take part in a variety of workshops offered by inspiring artists to acquire some valuable insights and hands-on experience.

“As an added bonus this year, Barkerville Historic Town is giving an awesome admission deal to ArtsWells Festival ticket holders,” announced ArtsWells Festival Coordinator Patrick Kearns.

“Anyone wearing their ArtsWells wrist-band can enjoy the sights and sounds of Barkerville for only five dollars their first day, and for only two dollars any day thereafter between July 30th and August 2nd.”

Barkerville Historic Town has been involved in supporting local community initiatives like the ArtsWells Festival since its Provincial Heritage Site designation in 1958, and often seeks out creative opportunities to bring British Columbia’s culture and heritage to life.  As provider of one of the main ArtsWells stages, Barkerville is proud to once again contribute to a successful ArtsWells event.

For more information about the ArtsWells Festival of All Things Art, including show and workshop times and locations, or volunteer opportunities, please call Patrick Kearns at 250-994-3466, or visit

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2010 ArtsWells Performances at Barkerville’s Methodist Church

Friday, July 30

12pm – 12:45pm – Yael Wand, Wells, B.C.

From the enchanted suburbs of Wells, Yael just released her third album, Good Stitch Gone. With Christina Zaenker and Juli Steemson, they aim to shiver your spine and nudge your feet with hill-billy jazz songs and swinging roots ditties.

1pm – 1:45pm – Lady Bug the Rambler, Winnipeg, Manitoba

smoke rings & days spent behind rainy window panes the image of chewed fingernails and half-drunk cups of coffee comes to mind like jazz beatbox rainy day banjo blues only not so lame gypsified folk with jazz vocals banjo jazz warm, bittersweet, and a little bit gnarly.

2pm – 2:45pm – Trevor Caswell, Kamloops, B.C.

Folk and Blues singer Trevor Caswell doesn’t much like writing bios but he does like to sing and play guitar and is excited to be back at ArtsWells to do so!

3pm – 3:45pm – Leslie Alexander, Ashcroft, B.C.

“From the first urgent notes, a dark vein snakes through Leslie Alexander’s open-sounding roots music like fork lightning snakes across the prairie sky . . . pure, simple, complex and jaded all at the same time.” (Mary Lynn MacEwan, FFWD Magazine)

Saturday, July 31

12pm – 12:45pm – Ross Douglas, Point Roberts, WA

Award-winning songwriter, great singer, wonderful performer, iffy dresser. His music is praised for its humour, emotional power and grand variety of influences.

1pm – 1:45pm – Low Flying Planes, Edmonton, AB

You will not soon forget the sweet licks and sometimes haunting songs these women have to offer. The gypsy styled instrumentation lays out a smooth foundation for the vocal harmonies to float above – and they do just that. They bring a lively show with a listenable diversity that keeps your ears guessing and your toes tapping.

2pm – 2:45pm – Lake of Stew, Montreal, QC

Lake Of Stew is a six-piece acoustic string band that sing all kinds of original tunes in all kinds of styles, and all kinds of mutations of traditional-ish song forms. They all like to have fun with tunes, grub, dancing, and singing, and are currently happy about everything!

3pm – 3:45pm –  Fish & Bird, Victoria, B.C.

BC’s Fish & Bird use various folk traditions as the context with which to express something modern and relevant, whether performing as a duo, or more recently filling out with a full band.”

Sunday, August 1

12pm – 12:45pm – Bob Campbell, Wells, BC

started out as a drummer and since moving to the Cariboo in 1975, has played hundreds of dusty halls, legions and smoky pubs. His guitar was always close at hand and so the last fifteen years have found him songwriting, performing solo, and releasing his first CD “Ditchflowers” (2004). His themes and subtle humour continue to make him friends along the way.

1pm – 1:45pm – The Crooked Brothers, Winnipeg/Falcon Lake, MN

These Manitoban boys are hard to pin down musically – Stomping scrapyard funk, back porch blues, or honest country waltzes… they’re worth checking out.

2pm – 2:45pm – Melisa Devost, Hornby Island, BC

Melisa has toured extensively throughout western and northern Canada, the UK and continental Europe, carving her niche as a compelling vocalist with the guitar chops and songwriting skills to match. She has shared the stage with many folk/roots veterans such as, Ruthie Foster, Colin Linden and David Francey and has graced many festivals with her unique take on gospel singing, often teaching workshops on the subject.

3pm – 3:45pm – Ken Whiteley, Toronto, ON

Ken Whiteley is one of Canada’s most respected roots musicians, songwriters and recording producers. His musical journey has taken him from jug band, folk and swing to blues, gospel and children’s music. Recognized as a gifted guitarist and mandolinist, Ken’s musical cohorts affectionately refer to him as a “playing encyclopedia” for his vast repertoire, depth and range of playing styles, and his prodigious ability on over 20 instruments.

Monday, August 2

12pm – 12:45pm – Karyn Ellis, Toronto, ON

Playful and passionate, this modern folk darling has “a magical waywith song… Leonard Cohen has no copyright on the word hallelujah.”(Globe and Mail)

1pm – 1:45pm – Carolyn Mark, Victoria, BC

Carolyn will sing and play the guitar and hopefully the piano. She might tell some jokes. Diona Davies will play the violin tastefully and harmonize.

2pm – 2:45pm – Namgar, Buryatia

From the spot where Russia, China and Mongolia meet comes Namgar. The history of Buryats includes Genghis Khan, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Russian education system. Namgar’s music could be called Buryat/Mongolian as Buryats retained traditions that Mongolia lost when the Qing Empire ruled China. Interestingly, it is more archaic than Mongolian, and yet newer due to the presence of Russian culture, especially musical education styles.