It’s summertime and the music – all sorts of it – is fine in Chemainus.
Chemainus could easily set a world record for a community of its size this summer with the number of professional music performances within a two-month period. July and August will be a busy time at Waterwheel Park, with more than 40 performances scheduled.
The Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society’s summer music season starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 when Kept Company kicks off the 2019 Music in the Park concert series. The band performs folk, jazz, swing and pop music with a great deal of pizzazz.
The Tuesday evening concert series continues for nine consecutive weeks of performances until August 27, and will feature some amazing guests, including the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy on July 23.
The weekend music festivals commence with two days of the Chemainus Valley Blues Festival July 6 and 7, starting at 2 p.m. both days. The annual Blues Festival will feature no fewer than eight bands, including plenty of well-known names in the genre such as David Gogo, Mark Crissinger and Auntie Kate & the Uncles of Funk on the Waterwheel Park stage.
The following weekend, Saturday, July 13, the ninth annual Chemainus Bluegrass Extravaganza takes place in the park. Five bluegrass band will provide sweet harmonies for a full afternoon of fiddles, banjos, guitars and mandolins. Bands include: Scout Mountain, Genevieve and the Wild Sundays, and Bluegrass Fever.
Two weeks after that, Chemainus hosts the Vancouver Island Rockabilly Bash. The old-time, rock music of the ’50s will be performed by five outstanding bands, including: Hank Angel and his Island Devils, Chevy Ray and the Fins, and Slim Sandy and the Hillbilly Boppers.
The longest-running of the Chemainus music festivals will be back Aug. 10. The Chemainus Accordion Festival is returning, and fans of the instrument can enjoy a full afternoon of accordion music from some outstanding performers.
Waterwheel Park welcomes a new festival Aug. 17, with the Chemainus Country Music Jamboree. Four of the Island’s top country bands will be featured, with a country dance in the Chemainus Legion Hall that evening.
The festival season wraps up Aug. 24 with the Chemainus Talent Saturday show, featuring a cast of homegrown talent.
Admission to all shows in Waterwheel Park is by donation.
The CVCAS recommends a donation of $20 per person for the main weekend festivals, but it’s up to audience members to decide what the various shows are worth.