Apple Festival Entertainers

A variety of talented entertainers keep the family amused, including family-friendly shows on both the Great Lawn Main Stage and the West Entrance Small Stage.

Download our 2019 Entertainment Schedule.

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Bios for Applefest Performers – 2019

Anthony Blackman

Anthony Blackman is a steel drummer loved by many who have attended Applefest for the last seven years. The beautiful sounds of his expertly played steel drum will soothe or energize you depending on the tune. You will find him in various areas of the garden but mostly in the Children’s area during Applefest 2019. Contact: 778.227.1578


Blackthorn features four talented musicians, three of whom share lead vocals, bringing a refreshing diversity of character to the group’s polished sound and all four contribute a mastery of a colourful variety of instruments. Blackthorn’s extensive repertoire is rooted in the musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada. From lively jigs and reels, to songs with rousing choruses and heart-wrenching airs and ballads, they bring the music to life with their luscious harmonies and complex instrumentation.

Brian Robertson Band

Brian Robertson Band – Brian has been called a “West Coast treasure” for his original and well crafted songs of our region.  His band includes champion fiddler Michael Burnyeat and talented multi-instrumentalist Victor Smith, and along with musical explorations of BC history and work, love and the blues, they leaven their performances with some super-charged toe-tapping fiddle tunes.

Tom and Ellen

Ellen van der Hoeven and Tom Rawson – Join Tom and Ellen for some humorous stories, user-friendly songs, and acoustic folk philosophy that’s guaranteed to leave you smiling. Armed with banjos, penny whistles, and other weapons of mass delight, Tom and Ellen will have you singing along in no time. Tune up your vocal chords; you’ll need ’em!

Early Spirit

Early Spirit is Will Chernoff (bass), Gabriel Dubreuil (violin), Ben Kelly (drums), and Jay Knutson (guitar). Their music draws from folk styles, rock and jazz, but the sound is unmistakably that of Early Spirit. At almost every performance, fans ask “Are you a family band?” But these four sons of Vancouver, BC are related only by music, and they’re proud to release their first album, Unrelated in Nov 2018.

Fraser Union

Fraser Union – For over 35 years, Fraser Union has been singing and playing for audiences at festivals (Vancouver Folk Festival, Arts Wells, Island MusicFest, Northwest Folklife—to name a few), folk clubs (Vancouver, Jericho, Victoria, Nanaimo, etc.), benefit concerts, classrooms, picket lines, living rooms—you name it. Their progressive repertoire, four popular cds, and their love of singing together has kept them going. Longstanding members of Fraser Union are Henk Picket, Barry Truter and Roger Holdstock. Now with the addition of another fine singer and guitarist, Kathy Griffin, Fraser Union continues to prove the truth in Faith Petric’s comment: “Listening to and singing along with Fraser Union is sheer delight” (Folknik Journal, San Francisco).


JES is Jane Slemon, Ellen van der Hoeven, and Susan Larkin. A tight braid of voices backed by a tapestry of instruments, the members of this musical friendship often can’t help but get themselves mixed up with one another. JES brings a diverse repertoire that includes celtic, folk roots, and original songs.

Judy Henry

Judy Henry – Vancouver area Celtic harpist and flutist Judy Henry began her musical studies at the age of ten on the flute.  Steeped in the classical realm of flute and piano, Judy immersed herself in the study of Celtic harp as an adult. Judy performs on both harp and flute in White Rock, Surrey, Delta, Langley, Richmond and Vancouver.  Experienced as both a solo and chamber musician, her breadth of experience encompasses concert halls to hospices, special needs benefits to dinner music for the King and Queen of Sweden. Judy creates magical musical atmospheres to enhance your special occasions.

Just Duets

Just Duets – Just Duets is Andrea Smith and Dave Lidstone in a musical collaboration of wonderful sibling-like vocal harmonies with solid guitar accompaniment. Their repertoire consists of songs of life and love that come from a variety of musical genres and reflect a commitment to social justice, to Canadian roots, and to poetry in song.

Leah and Mark

Leah and Mark – Singer-songwriter Leah Williams has been playing music for most of her life, and writing songs for many years. Wind specialist Mark Dowding has been performing professionally for over 40 years. His current projects include The Wheat in the Barley and The Hot Club of Mars. Leah Williams and Mark Dowding have been performing together as a duo for over 15 years, creating the magic in the storytelling through thoughtful and expressive lyrics framed by instrumental counterpoint on guitar, flute, whistle, recorder, quena and harmonica. They also have a repertoire of Celtic music featuring songs of the Scots bard, Robbie Burns.

Maria Ho

Maria Ho – With a smile in her voice, Maria’s impeccable articulation and precise diction captivate audiences in a musical breeze of swinging standards, romantic ballads and Brazilian rhythms. As a vocalist and recording artist, Maria has performed internationally. Last year, she performed in Italy, and this year in Las Vegas, Denver and North Carolina. Maria was invited by Dennis Bono to appear on his television show in Vegas after he discovered her music. Maria’s latest album can be heard regularly in New York, Denver, Canada and Italy. Maria will be accompanied by Bob York on keyboard and bass. They look forward to spreading good music at Applefest again.

Michael and Micki

Michael and Micki – The UBC Fiddle Club was founded by UBC students Michael Burnyeat and Micki-Lee Smith in 2016, and hosts jam sessions, concerts, and other events around the UBC campus, as well as playing outreach gigs for various organizations. It is one of the only university fiddle clubs out there! The club is open for any UBC student to
join, all instruments are welcome!

Rebecca Blair

Rebecca Blair’s career as a harpist and teacher has been both rich and varied. She is active in the Vancouver folk music scene, performing with groups such as the Maenads and Triskellion.  Rebecca works as a freelance musician and her audiences have included the International Bar Association, and the President of Ireland.  She sometimes works as a studio musician playing on CD’s such as the Maenads, and Orra Chan by Teresa Doyle.  Rebecca regularly gives harp workshops at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. Rebecca keeps a busy schedule of teaching and performing, as well as studying Irish dance.


Route9 is an acoustic trio based in Vancouver, Canada. Formed in 2017, they feature fiddle (Joellen), guitar (Jeff) and upright bass (Randy) with all singing lead and harmony vocals. A fresh perspective on country, folk, swing and pop classics, their music is interspersed with quirky originals for good measure. All items infused with sweet three-part harmonies.

Sangre Morena

Sangre Morena – Romance, passion and lively rhythms. Sangre Morena is a musical duo with Elsa Rojas Marquez and Jose Gimenez who perform music from Mexico, Latin America and Spain. They bring the most beloved Spanish-language songs to life with beautiful, passionate singing and the fiery sounds of the Flamenco Guitar.

Spandy Andy

Spandy Andy – will leave you bewildered with his zany dance moves, quirky personality and vibrant outfits. Whether carrying around a stereo blasting dance music or dancing with the Hot Teas here at Applefest, Spandy Andy is sure to get any party started. With over 300 million video views online, Spandy’s ultimate goal is to spread happiness across the globe. Spandy Andy’s high-energy performances are guaranteed to have you grinning ear to ear. WARNING: this boy’s smile is infectious!

Lawless Firm

The Lawless Firm – is a relatively new Gypsy Jazz Band from Vancouver. For Applefest we are a quartet but at full strength we are a quintet with the addition of Don Ogilvie on guitar. Michael Dunn has played Gypsy Jazz guitar for over 40 years and has founded several groups over the years. Our music consists of some American standards played in the Gypsy Jazz style, some country, a little blues and music from exotic places. Our chanteuse is Eleanore Dunn, Edgar Bridwell on jazz violin and Joe Bourchier on bass for this performance.

The Hot Teas

The Hot Teas – is an a cappella group based in beautiful Vancouver, BC. Upon graduation from UBC (for some, with two degrees), they collectively realized that the only way to fill the a cappella-shaped hole in their hearts was to start a group of their own. While they may be young professionals by day, each singer has a musical history that includes 8 – 12 years of a cappella experience. The group rehearses over cups of hot tea and laughter, blending friendship and a love of harmony into a signature style. They sing everything from pop to indie rock, and bring talent and a vast range of experience to the stage.

Little Mountain Trio

The Little Mountain Trio – Start with some bluegrass; stir in country, rhythm & blues, and swing, then add a pinch of Latin and simmer for about 30 years – that’s the recipe for an evening of music with the Little Mountain Trio. Kitty King, Dave Lidstone and Rob McGregor put their varied musical talents together on acoustic bass, guitar, mandolin, and 3-part harmonies. Delicious!

The Vancouver Morris Men

The Vancouver Morris Men – Fine purveyors of Traditional English Folk Dance, Theatre, & Song since 1982. The Morris is a form of English folk dance based on rhythmic stepping and the execution of choreographed figures by a group of dancers. Today, there are hundreds of morris dance sides (or teams) all over the world. Associated with the Morris are other folk customs including theatre (mumming plays) and song which the Vancouver Morris Men include in their repertoire.

The Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers

The Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers is a women’s Morris dance and music group that has been active in the Vancouver area for over thirty years. Originally from England, these dances are part of a worldwide family of ritual ceremonial dances sharing the common features of colour, vitality, disguise and choreography based on circles and processions. Morris traces its roots back to medieval times, although we like to say that its origins are lost in the mists of time, and was traditionally done to mark both seasonal and agricultural highlights such as first ploughing, harvests and summer solstice. It later became an important part of most village and town community celebrations. Our costumes and music reflect the lively, celebratory nature of this ancient English tradition.

The Wheat in the Barley – This is Canadian roots music with a major make-over. Crack songwriting, brilliant and warped arrangements and stunning instrumental solos unite under the banner of a savvy eclecticism that’s always been the band’s guiding light. The Wheat in the Barley pulls together a lot of great influences into one package: Celtic, Slavic, French Canadian, Yiddish, Cajun and more. With an impressive array of instruments at their command, the band puts on a show that’s as danceable as it is listenable. The musicians are: Steve Gidora: guitar, mandolin, vocals, Mark Dowding: flute, sax, harmonica, vocals, Victor Smith: accordion, percussion, whistles, vocals, Micki-Lee Smith: violin