Spirit of 150 Victoria News

June 21 Recap

What an incredibly beautiful day it was yesterday, June 21! Such an amazing way to kick off our 11 days of live performances down at Ship Point. Special thanks to all of our talented Aboriginal artists and speakers who came down to share their culture and knowledge during our National Aboriginal Day celebrations. It was a moving and educational day. During the evening, we featured a variety of female fronted bands on the Harbour Stage, and wow, were they amazing! Thank you to everyone who came out, we look forward to celebrating Youth Day with you all today!


The Legislature Lawns Main Stage is your destination for great music in the evening on Canada Day! Head to the Lawns to see performances from great Canadian artists such as Arkells, The Funk Hunters, En Karma, De Temps Antan, Dirty Mountain and Stella Swanson & the Rosie Joyfuls!

Emerging at a time when the internet had thoroughly disrupted the way we make, consume, and think about music, the Arkells’ 2008 debut, Jackson Square, inherited the dying-embered torch for a certain old-school, rock ‘n’ roll ethic and poured a fresh gallon of gasoline on the flame. They came from a notoriously tough industrial outpost Hamilton, Ontario armed with songs about punching clocks and punching faces. And though they were spurred into action by the mid-2000s Canadian indie-rock renaissance back when bands like the Weakerthans, the Constantines and Wolf Parade were channeling punk-fueled passion into anthems for the overeducated and underemployed the Arkells were also keen students of the classics. They named songs after John Lennon and pinched lines from Elton John, and if you got them drunk enough, they could play you an hour of spot-on Motown covers.

Borrowing inspiration from classic funk and hip hop, The Funk Hunters are putting the soul back into electronic dance music. Having honed their craft at over 450 performances in 16 countries, the DJ duo’s show is a brilliant technical display of creative collaboration between 4 turntables. But words can’t do justice to two friends whose passion is dance floor mastery – breathless audiences at global festivals including Wakarusa, Burning Man, Rhythm & Vines, Shambhala, Ottawa Bluesfest, and Envision are the ultimate testament.

En Karma is North America’s pre-eminent Bhangra band and their combined musical pedigree traverse’s experiences with the top bands of the 80’s Bhangra movement in the UK, the oldest folk Bhangra institutions in Canada, and a little bit of indie-rock sensibility thrown in for good measure. En Karma is a distinct and unmatched commodity in the Bhangra industry. The only Punjabi band in North America, En Karma’s members deliver musicianship and performance abilities without compare.

It takes a special blend of musical flair to create memorable songs of yesteryear! Songs with a hint of contemporary—dosed with uncontrolled laughter, deep-rooted couplets and sudden, impromptu shifts—that speak to familiar rhythms of the past. Welcome to the original musical stylings of De Temps Antan! Since 2003, Éric Beaudry, André Brunet and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have been exploring and performing time-honoured melodies from the stomping grounds of Quebec’s musical past. Using fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and a number of other instruments, our three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the unmistakable joie de vivre found only in traditional Quebec music. In fact, the only thing missing from this magnificent musical blend is you! So come enjoy an evening unlike any other with De Temps Antan.

Hailing from Victoria BC, Dirty Mountain’s sound is heavily infused with harmony-driven melodies and timeless storytelling. Dirty Mountain is a roots-rock band with an underlying blend of country and blues to support the sassy and often gritty messages portrayed in the lyrics. Elli Hart is the relentless force behind Dirty Mountain, commanding the stage with her powerful voice and holding her own while ripping out the leads on her trademark SG. Keeping her in line and providing the strong prowess that runs through the music are Gord Light on bass, and Tom Salter on drums.

Stella is a ten-year-old singer/songwriter who launched her debut album, “I’m Not a Bunny,” in December of 2014.  The album exceeded everyone’s expectations, selling more than 900 copies, and garnering nominations from Breakout West and The Canadian Folk Music Awards.  Stella was also a finalist in the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition for, ‘I’m Not a Bunny.’ Stella’s second album, ‘Pants on Backwards,’ is set to drop on December 11th, 2016, and includes the band: ‘The Rosie Joyfuls,’ to reflect the increased musical contributions of Stella’s sister, (Sophie Swanson,) and mom, (Karen Pantuso-Swanson).


Our Main Stage at The Legislature Lawns will be lit up with amazing performances from some of Canada’s greatest talent! On June 30th we welcome Tegan and SaraDelhi 2 DublinCarmanah and Rococode to the stage.

Twin sisters born in Calgary, Alberta and now residing in Vancouver, BC, Tegan and Sara’s career numbers are impressive – over 1 million albums sold, 7 Gold certifications, 1 Double Platinum certification, 3 Juno Awards, 2 Polaris Prize nominations, and a Grammy nomination. But even more impressive is the conviction that has driven Tegan and Sara’s relentless evolution as artists. Transitioning from acoustic roots to indie rock royalty in the mid 2000s, with widely-acclaimed albums So Jealous (2004) and The Con (2007), they began the path of reinvention that continues to inform their creative identity today.

Delhi 2 Dublin was a happy accident born out of Vancouver’s Celtic Fest in 2006. Their sound started as an electronic fusion between bhangra beats and Celtic fiddle and has since grown into anything from dub reggae to breakbeats to just straight up happy dance music. File under… best. Founded by Tarun Nayar (of Beats Without Borders cred), Sanjay Seran (at the time hailing from live bhangra act Signia), and Ravi Binning (a professionally trained bhangra dancer and dhol player), it was obvious D2D had something people wanted. Word spread about their ridiculously energetic live show, and these road-warriors have been touring constantly since: mesmerizing crowds at many of the top festivals across Canada and the US, blowing people away in the UK, Australia, Germany and Malaysia as well as performing to awe-filled audiences in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Dubai.

Rococode’s strength lies in the contrast between dark and light. Andrew Braun and Laura Smith infuse hook-filled songs with lush synths and duet vocals, resulting in an infectious sound that mirrors their contrasting personalities. The new EP Young Ones highlights this chemistry by fusing exploratory tendencies with razor-sharp pop sensibilities.

Carmanah embraces the energy of Canada’s beautiful west coast and chose its name to honour the ancient rainforest on Vancouver Island, the Carmanah Valley.  Known for connecting with audiences of all ages and musical preferences, the band delivers an eclectic sound that incorporates elements of folk, funk, rock and reggae.  Four-part harmonies, supported by a grooving rhythm second, fiddle playing, guitars and a lap-slide, all give Carmanah its unique and captivating sound. According to Jonathan Williams, radio host on The Zone 91.3, Carmanah band members “curate music from the heart and perform it with such zest and passion each and every time. . . Put them in a small intimate venue and they’ll have the hairs on the back of your neck stand. Put them on a Victoria Celebrates Canada Day main stage, with a fair few thousand looking on, and they’ll still have the hair on the back of your neck stand.”

Spirit of 150 Victoria Spotify Playlist

Check out this Spotify playlist to hear some of the amazing artists playing Spirit of 150 Victoria this June 21 – July 1!

There are tons of artists we are excited to see perform!