As most of you would know, we have just returned from a very successful tour in parts of North America. Canada in particular was gorgeous, and we are flattered and chuffed to have been invited back to the Kamloops Ukulele Festival in June 2018. Does that sound nice?
In early August 2017 we spoke with Colleen Nielsen, Director of the Kamloops Ukulele Festival and she was very interested in the idea of a bunch of Aussies coming to the festival and performing as Ukestralia. We are wondering whether this might form a core for a 2018 Ukestralia trip? Would you be interested? Here’s the idea in dot points.
- Kamloops Ukulele Festival is actually in Sorrento, British Columbia, in an Anglican Church Camp overlooking Shuswap Lake surrounded by snow capped mountains.
- The 4 hour-ish drive from Vancouver to the festival is spectacular, over the coastal range through the Coquihalla Pass.
- The festival is much more a tuition-based festival, with opportunities for jams and two feature concerts (Friday and Saturday nights).
Instructors for 2018 are looking very exciting.
- Us (yawn….you know us and don’t even need to do our workshops!).
- Jim D’Ville (www.playukulelebyear.com).
- Aaron and Nicole Keim (very lovely old timey sorta stuff – www.quietamericanmusic.com).
- They have yet to confirm two other possible instructors – one of whom is a global leader in uke tuition, the other a blues expert. Needless to say, this is an exciting prospect!
You would definitely not be restricted to being taught by Mark and Jane, although this of course might be an attractive option for those of you who are not from the Newcastle area.
Whoever you get, you would learn heaps and meet some damn nice Canucks (and quite a few Yanks too).
- Cost for 3 days of festival tuition at the Kamloops Ukulele Festival is about CA$215. Accommodation is not included. You could stay in rooms or camp on site.
- Two feature performance concerts from the instructors, and (most likely) yourselves as part of Ukestralia.
- The spectacular mountains of the Canadian Rockies start less than 2 hours from the festival site.
- We can HIGHLY recommend driving the Icefields Parkway (Jasper to Banff).
We would hope to line up additional performance opportunities in nearby locations in BC and Alberta for that period as well (probably after the festival). In fact Calgary is looking VERY interesting at the moment.
Hawai’i Ukulele Festival?
Our plan at the moment would be to end that tour as we did in 2017 – Ukestralia at the Hawai’i Ukulele Festival on 15 July. Get some idea of what we experience there from this photo page, and this video.
Committing to both festivals would make for a 4-5 week travel period. Your potential performance obligations are completely determined by your own travel plans – whatever you decide them to be.
Let us know if this interests you by filling in the form down below (unless you know you are already on our radar). If you are dead keen on Kamloops you will need to act now to get your name on their email list. When tickets went on sale 5 months before the 2017 festival, it sold out in a fortnight. Email Colleen at email@example.com to get on her notification list for when 2018 tickets go on sale.
If we have sufficient interest, I will pursue the idea of Ukestralia in Canada in June/July next year more vigorously.