It's the middle of winter and Ben Waechter and Cait Vince are keeping their minds on warmer, summer days filled with music along the Peace River.
They're organizing the first annual Peace Valley Folk Fest set for July 17 to 19 in Hudson's Hope. Sixteen hours of music are planned, and there's no shortage of hiking, sightseeing, and camping to go along with it.
"It's a family-oriented town, there's a lot of young families here. There's a lot of cool community events that happen here, there's just not a lot of music here," said Waechter.
"For me, growing up I listened to a lot of music and went to every show. I want to give kids here the same experiences."
A vehicle mechanic by trade and a singer-songwriter by craft, Waechter moved from Ontario to B.C., and spent 12 years in Prince George before recently moving to Hudson's Hope.
Moving up to the region, Waechter said he knew he wanted to have an influence on the local music scene. It was the cancellation the Sweetwater 905 Arts & Music Festival in Rolla that was the catalyst to try to keep the folk scene alive.
So, he got a start on that last summer with A Night on the Peace in Hudson's Hope, with three bands, food vendors, and a beer garden.
He's building on that this year, with nine acts already booked, including familiar favourites Folky Strum Strum, Airik Clark, Rose Prairie Romance, Danny Bell, and the Party on High Street, as well as some new favourites like Simply Humble Folk from Grande Prairie and Samson’s Delilah from Dunster, B.C.
There are eight or nine more acts still to choose, said Waechter, who will also perform. "I want to bring some names up here that people haven't seen," he said.
Around 20 volunteers are needed to help make the festival run without a hitch. Those interested can sign up at peacevalleyfolkfest.com.
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