Recording artist Roger Helfrick is one of several artists who will be performing this Saturday at the Islands Celtic Music Festival at the Black Creek Community Centre.

Travel to the Emerald Isle through song

The Islands Celtic Music Festival has, for over 30 years, been presenting Celtic music concerts during its weekend-long Celtic musicians festival.

This year, the festival and the concert are presented at Black Creek Community Centre this Saturday.

While the festival is mostly for Celtic musicians, the concert is open to the public. This year’s concert features performances by Roger Helfrick (from Courtenay), The RabbleBerries (from Victoria), Gareth Hurwood (from Victoria), Band of Joy (from Merville), and dance exhibitions by Tara School of Irish Dancing (Campbell River) and The TrebleMakers (Vancouver).

The RabbleBerries are a quartet of musicians whose wide-ranging repertoire includes music for political gatherings and social causes (for which they have been much in demand), songs of the sea, songs of workers of all kinds, original songs, traditional songs, and generally whatever tickles their musical fancy. The RabbleBerries sound is full of tasty vocal harmonies and flavourful guitar licks spiced up with autoharp, flute, keyboard, banjo, mandola, thumb piano, harmonica, percussion, and electric bass.

The Band of Joy expands from time to time with various collaborations, but the core consists of duo Summer Joy and her daughter Jenni Joy. Summer runs the local Gardeners Green Folk Club with help from her husband Jim Webb, and they also promote the traditional music they love by hosting house concerts for touring musicians as well. They both sing, Jenni plays fiddle and whistle as well as podorythmie, and Summer plays plucked psaltery, dulcimer, guitar and keyboards. They’ll be joined for the Islands Celtic Music Festival concert by Jim on concertina and bodhran, Bryce Scully on double bass, Sheila Scully on backup vocals, and Matthew Nicoll on recorder.

Gareth Hurwood is a singer-songwriter, self-styled instrumentalist, rambling story-teller from Sidney by the Sea. He was a founding member of such West Coast Celtic groups as Kitangus, A Song For Ireland, Myriad, and currently BlackAngus, music and song rooted in the Irish tradition, but with the freedom to play whatever they want.

Roger Helfrick’s foremost instrument is his beautiful baritone voice which he showcases either a cappella or accompanying himself on Celtic harp, medieval harp, guitar, or psaltery. He crafts evocative new works reflecting his spiritual connection with the seasons and the natural world, as well as performing traditional and early music drawn from the last 800 years of northern and western Europe.

For tickets and reservations to the concert, call the Black Creek Community Centre at 250-337-5190. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door with additional Senior/Student rates.


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