The Sooke River Bluegrass Music Festival Society are back in gear and are holding workshops on old-time music and dance for young people to help re-engage to public.
“We’re letting people know we’re still around,” said Sooke Bluegrass River Music Festival Society president, Phil Shaver.
On May 25, a series of workshops will be held at Edward Milne Community school and Saseenos elementary school during physical education blocks to introduce kids to the rustic fun of old-time music and dance.
But the terms bluegrass and old-time don’t necessarily jive with a younger audience, so the society have solicited help from Yomada, a Victoria-based string band consisting of young old-time musicians.
“They’re going to be relaying the workshop ,to the highschool and elementary students as a younger image, and that’s the concept for that,” Shaver said. To further engage younger generations, an old-time dance with live music called the Old-time Barn Dance will be held at Edward Milne Community school on May 26 at 7 p.m.
The event will be open to all Sooke students free of charge.
The organization has had 10 successful Sooke River Bluegrass Music Festivals throughout the years, held at the Sooke Flats campground, where people have gathered to enjoy good old-time music and jam.
Shaver would not disclose the details, but due to complications over the past two years, the festival was unable to take place.
But there are plans underway to bring the festival back for June 2013, and Shaver hopes local residents will come out to join in the festivities.
“In the past we’ve had little attendance from the community of Sooke and the youth, and we want to make sure they know they’re welcome,” he said.
The dance is not-for-profit, but Shaver said there are expenses so donations to the cause would be appreciated.