There are some things you just don’t expect to find in a small, rural, northern town.
But Smithers can be surprising in that way. This year marks the return of Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival, a world-class event in the heart of Northwest B.C.
“The last two and a half years have reminded us in many ways how incredible it is to share live music,” said festival artistic director Roxi Dykstra in a message on the festival webpage.
“The festival this year has been thoughtfully curated to offer a wide array of concert experiences, and I think that many audience members will delight in attending them all.”
Dykstra herself is a world-class violist (and down-to-earth fiddle player as the occasion requires) having studied abroad before returning to the Bulkley Valley because it is home. on returning, she did a stint as principal violist with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and remains a member of that orchestra.
“The festival, now in its 7th season, runs in Smithers from Aug. 10 - 13 with a satellite concert in Prince George on Aug. 14. There will be online previews Aug. 5 and 8.
Venues include Bethel Reformed Church, Central Park Building, Bulkley Valley Brewery, Mountain Eagle Books, Trinity United Church and, taking a page from the pandemic, there will also be live-streaming components.
The festival will feature live music with internationally trained and experienced classical musicians, but also a variety of other types of concerts.
“This year’s festival features gorgeous classical chamber music concerts, traditional music from around the world, pairings with local artists, and even fiddling from right here in Smithers,” Dykstra explained in an email to The Interior News. “Following, a string quartet of musicians will perform a highlights festival in Prince George BC, on Sunday August 14.”
The festival, along with its companion program, Orchestra North, a summer program for musicians of all levels, is designed to appeal to a wide audience and foster participation and appreciation of classical music.
Full details are available at festivalnorth.com. Festival passes are available in advance and at the door. Tickets for individual concerts are available at the door.