The ‘biggest jazz and arts festival ever’ is taking place in Langley this weekend

The Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is expected to feature more than 60 concerts and 300 performers across eight indoor and outdoor stages, making it the organizers’ largest music festival to date.

The annual four-day jazz and arts festival kicked off July 21 with a free community concert and a ticketed gala on the event’s opening day.

The free concert will take place at Fort Langley Community Hall with a performance by the Rugcutter Dance Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble specializing in original arrangements in the style of the great dance bands of the 20s, 30s and 40s.

Taking place at Fort Langley Community Hall, the “Great Gatsby Gala” will begin with an outdoor reception featuring live music, food stalls and wine passed. The outdoor atmosphere will be grand and 1930s glamorous with Great-Gatsby/art deco themed decor and a New Orleans-inspired band. Attendees will then proceed to the indoor ballroom, reminiscent of a 1930s prohibition-style speakeasy club, again featuring the Rugcutter Dance Orchestra and catering services.

Tickets for the gala are available at fortlangleyjazzfest.com/gala-event.

The event includes the festival marquee, the All-Star Blues Show on Friday, July 22, and a four-night jazz concert series at the Chief Sepass Theater Thursday through Sunday July 21-24, with two ticketed shows each night.

“The event will feature the most extensive free stage lineup in the event’s history, making it as inclusive and diverse as possible,” said Karen Zukas, co-founder and executive director of the festival.

“The free events and performances presented on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival will include a wide range of artists who will offer something for everyone, whatever their musical taste or age,” she added.

In addition to great titles from national and international artists and other fun festivities, the festival will feature an exhibition of Kwantlen art and culture. The public can stroll through the free exhibit area to learn about Indigenous art, culture and history while enjoying Indigenous music and food.

Two Kwantlen First Nation siblings, Elinor and Noah Atkins, will present a collaborative ‘paint-by-number’ wall art to mark Canada’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s also a wonderful opportunity for us to practice traditional intergenerational transfer of knowledge and it’s a way for us as Kwantlen youth to engage with the surrounding community and share a bit about ourselves as as people of Kwantlen,” Elinor said.

Zukas shared that TransLink shuttle services will be available for visitors to hop on the six outdoor stages and two parking lots located throughout the village – allowing visitors to experience all the fun and festivities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. and the Sunday of the festival (July 23 and 24).

Additional parking will be available at Lions Club Hall, located at 88th Avenue and Glover Road, and in the orchard adjacent to the Fort Langley Historic Site.

Other fun family activities include children’s entertainment, a children’s zone, a parade and an outdoor painting challenge.

The Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is a nonprofit cultural organization that provides jazz music and arts programming to a wide range of audiences through the presentation of year-round concerts and events and an annual festival of music and the arts.

For tickets, full lineup and other details, people can visit www.fortlangleyjazzfest.com.

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The festival will present an artistic and cultural exhibition of Kwantlen. (Special for Langley Advance Times)

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