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.
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.
Due to the extreme cold (for Vancouver!), hazardous driving conditions, unreliable bus service, and parking challenges at the Friends’ Meeting House, the VFSS has decided to cancel this evening’s in-person Winter Solstice gathering, and host a full-participation Zoom session instead. We hope you can join us there!
The Zoom session opens at 7:00 pm (Pacific Time) and the evening’s program begins at 7:30. The Zoom link has been emailed to our mailing list. If you are not on our email list, you can subscribe here.
During the September 21, 2022 online song circle, we played the first minute and a half of this recording of The Banks of the Similkameen, sung by Phil Thomas and accompanied by Barry Hall on the banjo, recorded at the 10th anniversary gathering of the VFSS in July, 1969. Here’s the full recording:
Here’s our schedule of events for the next three months:
Wed., July 6: In-Person Song Circle at the Friends’ Meeting House Wed., July 20: 63rd Anniversary Celebration! Wed., Aug. 3: In-Person Song Circle at the Friends’ Meeting House Wed., Aug. 17: Online Song Circle on Zoom Wed., Sep. 7: In-Person Song Circle at the Friends’ Meeting House Wed., Sep 21: Online Song Circle on Zoom Fri., Sep. 30 — Sun. Oct. 2: Annual Retreat at Camp Alexandra
Details for the Annual Retreat can be found here; for all the other events, see below.
63rd Anniversary Celebration!
On the warm, summer evening of Wednesday, July 20, we will be celebrating the 63rd Anniversary of the VFSS by trying something new and, we hope, well suited to these not-quite-post-pandemic times: multiple, concurrent, outdoor song circles, and a Zoom session too!
June 1: In-Person Song Circle at the Friends’ Meeting House, 1090 W. 70th Ave., Vancouver, BC
June 15: Online Song Circle on Zoom, featuring The Burnaby Mountain Mamas (Pat Howard, Janie Benna & Rena Pinteric)
We hope you can join us at one or both events!
Regarding the June 1st in-person event:
• There is no need to pre-register by email this time. All three previous gatherings have had fewer than 25 people show up, so we no longer think we need the registration process to limit attendance.
• Proof of vaccination (QR code) and government-issued photo ID are required if you have not presented them at one of our previous gatherings.
• Masks must be worn at all times indoors, except when leading a song. Masks of at least N95 grade are recommended.
• Doors open at 7:00 pm and singing starts at 7:30. There will be a 15-minute break at 8:30, during which the doors will be opened wide to ventilate the hall. Tea and cookies will not be served downstairs during the break; you are welcome to bring your own drinks and snacks for consumption outside during the break. We will wrap up at about 9:45.
If you have any questions, feel free to email them to VFSS@shaw.ca.
During the March 16, 2022 online song circle, we played the first minute of this recording of Three Strong Winds (Jim Edmondson, Christina Ray, and Ellen van der Hoeven) singing The Family of Woman and Man, recorded at a VFSS Retreat in 1991. Here’s the full recording: