Cha Wa was one of the highlights onstage at last year’s MusicFest. On July 10, organizers are holding an online Facebook celebration to mark the weekend that was supposed to be this year’s festival. Record file photo

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

The upcoming weekend was to be the time when Lucinda Williams, Corb Lund and others brought their musical talents to the Vancouver Island Music Festival in the Comox Valley.

Like so many other events, this year’s festival, set for July 10 through 12, was cancelled in response to health restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

The festival organizers, though, do not want the weekend to pass without some sort of celebration, so they have organized an online broadcast to celebrate MusicFest on their Facebook page starting Friday, July 10 starting at 7 p.m. MusicFest artistic director Doug Cox isn’t sure, but they might do a second evening on Saturday, July 11, depending on how many contributions he gets.

“Right now, it’s Friday night for sure,” he said. “It might end up being longer.”

RELATED STORY: COVID-19 forces cancellation of Vancouver Island MusicFest

When the Record spoke to him, he was in the midst of editing the many submissions that have come in already.

“There’s going to be all kinds of archival stuff. There’s clips that performers have been sending me,” he said. “There’s all kinds of clips from our volunteers and our staff.”

For this online event, they have asked people to contribute a video greeting or memory to the celebration. They’ve also asked performers to contribute a song, though they remind people if they’re using cell phones to shoot sideways – in other words, to orient the image horizontally or “landscape.” The sound quality also needs to be clear. The deadline is Monday.

“The stuff has been coming in like mad,” Cox said. “It’s really been heartening. It’s been a really fun thing to be working on…. I really want it to be about the spirit of the festival.”

They are planning some surprises and special guests as part of the event. Cox does not want to give details, but he’s said he has had contributions from as far away as England and Los Angeles, along with people closer to home.

“They’re from all over the place,” he said.

As important as the artists’ contributions have been, Cox is just as impressed by some of what festival volunteers have had to say in their submissions about what the event means. He says he has watched a lot of other similar Internet broadcasts recently, and he thinks this one will stand out.

“This is, sort of, one of the most heartfelt, cool ones I think anybody’s going to see,” he said.

People can watch for themselves via the Vancouver Island MusicFest Facebook page on Friday – and maybe Saturday.

Cox also took part in a livestream “concert in the round” event for the fest in late June, performing with The Harpoonist, Carolyn Mark and Corwin Fox. He admits it was a little strange playing without an audience but was still fun.

“We had a good time,” he added. “It was really nice for all of us because none of us had played music with anybody for two months.”

Vancouver Island MusicFest has also set dates on the calendar for the next festival. It will take place July 9 to 11, 2021.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Comox Valleymusic festivals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Retiring local politicians Carole James and Andrew Weaver will receive annual payouts estimated at $87,000 and $34,000, respectively, under the pension plan for outgoing MLAs in B.C., according to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. (Black Press Media file photos)
Taxpayer watchdog howling over outgoing MLAs’ pension payouts

Carole James, Andrew Weaver among Island MLAs whose pensions are calculated by taxpayers federation

Sooke’s Paul Larouche gold snipes along Sooke River, a process in which he uses a mask and snorkel to find pieces of gold. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Hitting the jackpot: Sooke man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

BC Ferries vessel Skeena Queen pulls into the dock at Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island. (Black Press File Photo).
BC Ferries faces calls for improved reliability on Swartz Bay-Fulford Harbour route

Recent mechanical breakdown resulted in sailing cancellations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Allentown, Pa. on Oct. 26. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
POLL: How closely are you following the U.S. presidential election?

It may feel like it’s been going on forever but the U.S.… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

Most Read