Canadian Boxwood Music Festival!

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia is the place to be over the next seven days to discover music, ballad & dance traditions amid one of North America's most exquisite 18th century seaside towns. Boxwood presents a full range of classes with world renowned experts in the realms of traditional folk, early music & dance. Chris Norman, director of the Canadian Boxwood Music Festival, tells us why.

What is the festival's core mandate?
Boxwood is a non-profit educational organization that has established a worldwide presence celebrating and sharing musical traditions. We exist to create a richer and stronger community through our programming and to promote artistic excellence through workshops, concerts, events and media.

How has it grown over the years?
This is the festival's 18th year. We run a full week-long program for Children age 5-12 in music, song, dance, and crafts as well as a week-long workshops for adults, as well as three concerts and a ceili dance.

Who attends the event?
Kids age 5-12 for the kids program and musicians, singers & dancers age 13 on up into their 80's regularly attend. We have a mix of attendees from the local area, and many from across Canada, the USA, Europe & Australia & Asia that travel to Lunenburg for the event.

What can they expect to experience this year?
Boxwood presents a full range of classes with world renowned experts in the realms of traditional folk, early music & dance. The flute is center stage along with many other instruments, voice, and the rhythm of dance in concerts, dances, sessions, classes, lectures with gourmet cuisine in the heart of Nova Scotia's beautiful South Shore inspiring the creative spirit of every participant. The Boxwood experience brings together kindred spirits from all over the world creating lasting friendships, nourishing music, and soulful fun in a unique festival and workshop program that is completely non-competetive. Boxwood has received worldwide recognition for 17 years of producing extraordinary and unique gatherings whose aim is the exploration and sharing of the oral traditions of music making. Boxwood’s invited guest artists change from year to year to include leading players, teachers, makers, historians and scholars from among many musical traditions - artists who seek a broad context and canvas for their work. Students attend classes daily and are encouraged to visit with each teacher during the course of the week with the aim of discovering connections between oral traditions, expanding musical vocabulary, learning new techniques, broadening their sense of the instrument, and enabling them to find their own musical voice. The evenings are filled with social gatherings that include excellent meals, concerts, social dancing, informal gatherings and sessions of music-making with students and teachers alike. While the week in Lunenburg emphasizes the flutes, whistles, pipes, recorders and their musical traditions, the festival encourages a multidisciplinary approach, inviting a variety of artists, students and players of all instruments at all levels – novice and experienced.

Why is it an important event for the arts here?
Boxwood is distinct from many of the other festivals in Nova Scotia in the it's aim is primarily educational, and it's scope is multi-disciplinary seeking cross-fertilization between folk & Early Music as well as dance, song and instrument making.

What are the plans for the festival in the years ahead?
We'd like to grow the Children's Program

Is enough being done to preserve and promote the arts in Atlantic Canada?
It's crucial that folks turn out and support  these initiatives, because funding is increasingly sparse. We wish to thank the many volunteers, hosts, sponsors and supporters whose generosity and vision have made Boxwood 2012 possible. Please join us for our concerts and dance - which will be amazing!

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