Spending the day (or the weekend) at Folkfest is a summertime must-do for many music lovers. [Lexi Bainas/Citizen file]

Spending the day (or the weekend) at Folkfest is a summertime must-do for many music lovers. [Lexi Bainas/Citizen file]

Islands Folk Festival’s lineup is filling: a great festival is on the way

Islands Folk Festival’s lineup is filling: a great festival is on the way

The Valley’s festival season is underway.

With Laketown Rock under our belts, Cowichan Lake Days coming right up, The 39 Days of July are only weeks away.

Then, from July 21-23, it will be time for the 33rd annual Islands Folk Fesitval to hit the various stages at Providence Farm.

Kelly Nakatsuka, the IFF’s new artistic director, recently announced the first wave of acts for IFF 2017, which, as usual, is presented by the Cowichan Folk Guild.

Leading the pack in this first group is the award-winning Victoria band, The Bills. Long one of the finest roots and folk bands in Canada, The Bills are celebrating 20 years of making music together this summer.

Another award-winning band, Big Little Lions, will also be at the festival. Helen Austin from Royston, BC and Paul Otten from Cincinnati, Ohio have been racking up awards and accolades, virtually since they began playing together about five years ago.

Guitar virtuosity will not be in short supply this year, according to Nakatsuka.

Look for young phenom Quinn Bachand and his band, Brishen, California-based Incendio, the duo of Kent Fiddy and David Sinclair, and Valley fave Marc Atkinson will be front and centre.

And who can forget the festival’s amazing songwriters?

Linda McCrae, formerly of Spirit of the West, Craig Cardiff from Ontario, and the Cowichan Valley’s very own Genevieve Charbonneau with her band, Genevieve and the Wild Sundays will be on hand with plenty of music from the heart.

You can also look for Bowen Island-raised and Toronto-based roots and country artist Sarah Jane Scouten, and with a brand new album in tow.

“Folk pop artists Lydia Hol of Vancouver and Hanne Kah of Germany shared a tour recently in Kah’s homeland, and will both be joining us at the festival this year,” Nakatsuka said.

Wrapping up the party on Friday night of the festival will be the amazing Vancouver band Locarno, who make their return to the festival, and on Saturday night the legendary Roots Roundup will be burning up the dance floor.

Watch this space for more names to come.

Find all the details and ticket information online at www.islandsfolkfestival.ca