What the Folk Means to Me

Stories from VFSS members


Lyn van Lidth de Jeude 

The Folk has given me an opportunity to share and learn traditional music. It has always had some element of truly traditional music and I think that is the reason that it attracts interested and vibrant people. 

The Folk is a unique community of musical people who are interested in the stories of the music. Growing a species plant provides an understanding of the hybrid. It allows us to think about the inherent needs of the plant and builds appreciation for what it has become. All forms of music pay homage to their traditional roots in their form and content. The Folk allows us to experience a hint of that fundamental grounding and an understanding of the past in the present.

We are very fortunate to live in a multicultural community which can enrich our lives with cultural variation of traditional music. Over the past few years I have seen this seeping into the Folk repertoire and I am thrilled.  


De Whalen, Member of The Re:Sisters

I always know I can try out a new song and will receive a friendly and welcome reception. Whether I ‘get it right’, or bomb or forget the words, the VFSS audience is always on my side. 

I must add, too, it is wonderful that everyone is received with such generous hearts. Knowing that this group accepts differently-abled people in the same way, emphasizes that singing is the universal expression of our emotions.


Vaughan Evans             

There is a special type of love

Where people get together and make their own fun.

And that is what the Folk is all about. 

I am glad that at one time, many children went to the Wednesday sessions and yearly retreats. By observing adults, they would learn what can be accomplished when people work cooperatively. 


Patti Palm

The VFSS is such a warm, caring, dedicated and educated bunch. It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you do, if you love Folk Songs you fit in and are welcomed. You are also educated. I love that FOLK SONGS go back centuries! I love the richness of it all, and I love that some of my childhood favourites were not lost…because you helped me find them again.  


Anna Bjarnason 

Meeting people that have become life-long friends, meeting my future husband, Paul. Singing together, learning about our BC culture, singing (!), learning songs from the singing of others. Learning skills that I have used in many other parts of my life: Roberts Rules of Order, conducting meetings, organizing events, doing publicity, taking minutes, being an MC, being on the Board for many years and was President for at least one of them (1980?). The ‘Folk’ had such a profound effect on my life that I can’t say that one thing is the most important. 


M. Mitchell 

The Retreats: A time to bring all types of people together to build community under a music umbrella, and share talents and pass on information in the old tradition.

I don’t get a chance to attend the bi-monthly events very often, but I think they are important to let the community gather and share regularly.

For me it is all about building a common community, and passing down the traditions of the past!


Gwenda Ellwood

The one thing that stands out for me is the inclusiveness and the respect with which we listen to each other’s musical offerings. 


Mary Sherlock

I joined the Folk about 30 years ago. I’ve always loved singing, but as a single mother at the time, it was wonderful to be able to do so with a 4 year old. There were so many kids in the Folk at that time – racing around Camp Alexandra and even singing their heads off at times (remember The Old Fogies?!). I wish there were still kids at the Folk – but I guess we need more young parents for that. How can we entice them?


Although I was born in England and didn’t emigrate until I was 21 years old, I learned far more about English folk singing here than I ever did in England, not to mention the strong tradition of Canadian folk singing. The learning has been wonderful! The Folk has provided me with many good friends and a warm community, which I’m very grateful for.


Frau Hollerd

I love the supportive and kind environment at the meets: I, who suffer from crippling anxiety in front of strangers, yet I felt supported enough to let fly my rendition of German sea shanties!

How I long for Covid to be under control again so we can meet in person.


Helen Shilladay 

Singing with and for others is a joy that unites singers and listeners with an emotional bond. I feel close to people when we sing!

When I stand to sing, and as the song flows out of me, I feel the span of centuries – past and future – all distilled into one shared moment. I feel our present company swelled by the spirits of those who have sung together down the ages, approving and celebrating the Folk tradition as it continues living and breathing through us all.

Even though I suffer badly with nerves, the reward of these feelings keeps me singing!