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

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 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 before April 6th.

Continue reading “VFSS Song Circles in April”

From the Archives: The Family of Woman and Man

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:

Here are the lyrics:

Continue reading “From the Archives: The Family of Woman and Man”

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!”

The 2021 Al Cox Awards

At the February 2, 2022 online song circle, VFSS Secretary Jim Edmondson made the following announcement:

I’m excited to introduce a new tradition into the Folk tonight.

For 2021, the Folk Board is presenting three VFSS members with a well deserved recognition award. We decided to call it the Al Cox Award for outstanding service and contribution to the Vancouver Folk Song Society. We decided on this name because Al was a founding member of the Folk in 1959 and he made it to the grand old age of 99 before he passed away last year in September. The other founding members of the VFSS were: Phil and Hilda Thomas, Jeannie Moss and Rolf Ingelsrud. Jeannie is still with us.

The Board was holding out for an in-person gathering to make this 2021 presentation, but we couldn’t wait!

Ready and eager to make these presentations tonight are the VFSS President, Steve Deering, and two other current Board members, Helen Shilladay and Ian Edwards.

Continue reading “The 2021 Al Cox Awards”

From the Archives: Children, Go Where I Send Thee

During the 2021 Winter Solstice online song circle, we played the first two minutes of this recording of Al Cox leading Children, Go Where I Send Thee, from 48 years ago at the Christmas Folk Song Circle on December 19, 1973. Here’s the full recording (which still doesn’t capture the whole song, but that’s all we’ve got!):

O Come All Ye Folkful: a Winter Solstice song circle

You are all most welcome to attend our annual Winter Solstice event, which is online once again this year.  We can only hope next year will be brighter for us all.

On Tuesday, December 14, if you are on our Zoom email list, you will get the usual email with the Zoom link, and an invitation to sign up ahead of time for one of 15 Main Stage spots. There will also be extended breakout rooms where you’ll get the chance to share one or two songs.

The schedule for our Winter Solstice evening: Wednesday, December 15.
Theme: Seasonal songs we love.
With special guest hosts, Mary Armitage and Steve Deering.

7:00 – 7:30  (30 min.)  – greetings and social/music lounges
7:30 – 8:15  (45 min.)  – Main Stage
8:15 – 9:00  (45 min.)  – breakout rooms
9:00 – 9:10  (10 min.)  – refreshment break
9:10 – 10:00 (50 min.)  – Main Stage
10:00 – ??:?? (?? min.)  – informal after-session

If you are not already on our email list to receive the Zoom link, you can subscribe here.

Al Cox

We are sad to share the news that Al Cox, one of the founding members of the VFSS, passed away peacefully on September 22. Al’s beautiful voice can be heard on many of the VFSS archival recordings, both as frequent MC of events and as a performer. Eli, his daughter, wanted the VFSS members to know how grateful she is that her dad was able, in his last days, to enjoy our tape that Steve put together of the 62nd Anniversary. She has told us how much it meant to Al that he was able to listen to the many songs that were familiar to him and especially to be able to hear himself, in the Highriggers, sing The P.G.E. Song. She also said that the extended family, who knew very little about Al’s musical activities, were thrilled to have his voice on record. The family will be planning a memorial soon. We will share those details when available. Our condolences go out to the family.

From 1961,
hear Al Cox lead the Highriggers singing The P.G.E. Song
From the 12th Anniversary of the VFSS on July 7, 1971,
hear Al Cox sing How Can I Keep from Singing?