2022 VFSS Recognition Award presented to Christina Ray

Jim Edmondson and Madeleine De Little presenting the award to Christina Ray, Feb. 1, 2023

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

Admission Free

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.

In-person gathering CANCELLED; Zoom-only for this evening

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.

63rd Anniversary Celebration & Other Summer Events

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!

Continue reading “63rd Anniversary Celebration & Other Summer Events”

VFSS Song Circles in June

Here’s our schedule for the month of June:

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.

Steve Deering
for the VFSS Board

VFSS Song Circles in May

Continuing with our cautious and gradual resumption of in-person gatherings, here’s our schedule for the month of May:

May 4:  In-Person Song Circle at the Friends’ Meeting House

May 18:  Online Song Circle on Zoom, featuring: Cliff Rice

All the same Covid safety measures that were in place for our last two in-person gatherings will apply to the May 4th event:

• Limit of 25 attendees, pre-registration required. To register, send an email to VFSS@shaw.ca before May 4th.

Continue reading “VFSS Song Circles in May”

VFSS Song Circles in April

The feedback from those who attended our test in-person event on March 2nd was all positive, so we’re going to do the same in April:

April 6:  In-Person Song Circle at the Friends’ Meeting House, theme: Let’s Sing Together! (again!)

April 20:  Online Song Circle on Zoom, featuring: Elizabeth Dunn

All the same Covid safety measures that were in place on March 2nd will apply to the April 6th event:

• Limit of 25 attendees, pre-registration required. To register, send an email to VFSS@shaw.ca before April 6th.

Continue reading “VFSS Song Circles in April”

In-Person Song Circle, March 2nd!

Important Announcement: We are holding an in-person song circle on March 2nd — Let’s Sing Together!

In light of the recent relaxation of some of BC’s COVID-19 public health orders, the VFSS Board of Directors has voted to proceed with a plan we have been working on for several months now.

On March 2nd, we plan to hold an in-person Folk night at the Quaker Hall (Friends’ Meeting House, 1090 W. 70th Ave., Vancouver, BC), as a one-off test before deciding on further in-person gatherings. There will be no online song circle on March 2nd. We will be back online for March 16.

Continue reading “In-Person Song Circle, March 2nd!”