Welcome to the official site of the Vancouver Folk Song Society, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The VFSS is for singers, musicians, and people who like to sing with others. We welcome performers and listeners of all ages and abilities and from all cultures.
Note: The VFSS takes the risks of Covid-19 seriously. We cannot eliminate all risk of exposure, but we do try to limit the risk by caring for each other through our Covid safety measures. We ask that everyone screen themselves for Covid symptoms before each VFSS in-person event, and attend only if you are symptom-free. Each event has additional safety measures in place, such as masking, ventilation, and distancing.
The VFSS Song Circle — first and third Wednesday of every month
Either in-person at the Friends’ Meeting House or online via Zoom.
See Calendar for details.
Annual General Meeting of the VFSS — Wed., March 22, 7:30 pm on Zoom
Hear reports from the Board President, Treasurer, and working committees, and participate in the election of Board members and officers for 2023. All paid-up members are invited to attend and will receive the agenda and Zoom link in advance by email.
2022 VFSS Recognition Award presented to Christina Ray
Christina Ray has received the 2022 Vancouver Folk Song Society’s Recognition Award for many reasons. Her contributions to the VFSS and service to the VFSS for over 30 years have been rich and varied. She was a Board member for several years in the 1990s. Since then, she has pioneered Harmony Jam which has brought our famous square harmonies to the start of our in-person gatherings, pre-COVID. She started up the Family Friendly Folk. She worked on the Programs Committee which, among many other things, planned and executed some new formats for our Wednesday evenings. Looking towards the future, she spearheaded the VISION 2030 committee. She started and completed the work of the Interim Values group which captures the essence of the Folk. She initiated and chaired the committee that oversaw the online operations of the VFSS’s gatherings during COVID. In all of this, Christina has been working to find the fine balance between encouraging really good musicianship and maximizing participation at every level of expertise.
Amongst the many comments made from the floor on February 1st, 2023 when Christina graciously accepted this Recognition Award were the following: she’s the Goddess of Volunteers; she’s warm-hearted and kind as well as visionary; Christina is always there to figure out comprehensive and thorough solutions when our volunteers are faced with challenges.
She has also contributed wonderful singing at our Wednesday and Retreat venues. And she has given us a couple of Three Strong Winds records featuring songs that capture what the VFSS is about and highlighting her strong, warm, and confident voice.
—Jim Edmondson, on behalf of the VFSS
Successful first live-stream event — Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023
Our master tech and President, Steve Deering, deserves accolades for delivering our first successful live-stream-to-Zoom event. It was attended by 30 people live at the Friends’ Meeting House and 22 people watched on Zoom. We hope to have more of these events in the future. If you are tech savvy and can give Steve a hand, I’m sure he’d like to hear from you.
Madeleine de Little and Jim Edmondson were in fine form as our guest MCs for the evening, and Marian Buechert hosted the Zoom session. Also in attendance and performing 15 and 30 minute sets respectively were Janie Benna & Elizabeth Dunn and The Lazy Jacks shanty crew.
Some comments from the Zoom audience: “….it’s a keeper,” “the sound worked really well,” “streaming is working well,” “This is wonderful!”
You can view a few recorded clips: Jim & Madeleine with Peter Brunning leading the opening and closing songs, Elizabeth & Janie’s set, and The Lazy Jacks set.
Let’s do this again!
— Leona Axbey
Rika Ruebsaat Sing-Along and Book Launch
Monday, 27 February 7 pm
Mel Lehan Hall – St James Community Square
3214 W. 10 Ave. (at Trutch) Vancouver
Rika Ruebsaat’s new book, My Paddle’s Keen and Bright: Summer Camp Stories, has just been published. In honour of the occasion Rika will be leading a camp songs sing-along together with reading stories from the book.
Summer camp has been a rite of passage for millions of Canadians. It is a formative experience on the path from childhood to maturity. Rika Ruebsaat has interviewed scores of campers who attended summer camp beginning in the 1940s up to the 21st century. The result is her book, My Paddle’s Keen and Bright, a collection of stories containing campers’ lived experiences. During the performance Rika will sharing stories from the book – stories about outhouses, bad food, oddball counsellors, etc. – but most importantly, she will be leading everyone in singing songs such as “The Quartermaster’s Store,” “Green Grow the Rushes-O,” and “Found a Peanut.” Bring your vocal cords and be prepared to sing along on these and other good old campfire songs.
Copies of the book will be on sale at the event.
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