Since its inception in 1982, the Hornby Festival Society has earned a national reputation for artistic excellence and adventurous programming. In its early years, the Festival focused primarily on the classical genre, and has evolved to include jazz, world & traditional music, modern dance, and spoken word. Many of Canada's foremost artists have performed here including Gratien Gelinas, Jane Coop, Loreena McKennitt, Maureen Forrester, Peggy Baker, Richard Margison, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, André Laplante, Michael Kaeshammer, The Puentes Brothers, Gary Comeau, Rick Mercer, the Canadian Opera Children's Chorus, Peggy Baker, Swamperella, Angela Hewitt, Pied Pumkin, Alpha Ya Ya Diallo, Andrea Nann, Jasper Wood, Jim Byrnes, Zubot & Dawson, the Sharon Minemoto Quintet, The Bills, Sara Marreiros, Caravan, Miles Black, Scott White, the Jacques Thibaud Trio, Heather Schmidt, and Andrea Nann & Sarah Chase.
Festival 2010 brought the highest attendance ever, showcasing acclaimed Canadian performers Jets Overhead, Le Vent du Nord, Mr. Something Something, Headwater, Adrian Dolan, Jelena Milojevic, Ian Parker, and Joan Blackman, as well as Australians Joe Chindamo Quartet and Rita Reichman. Hornby Artists are also featured in the Festival, whether it is as a supporting performer on the mainstage, at the Hornby Hall Art Show, or as part of a Lantern Walk.
This annual nine-day Festival presents twelve to sixteen concerts in late July/early August. The primary venues are the charming Community Hall and, for our outdoor performances, Olsen Farm, with its fabulous ocean and mountain backdrop. Beginning in 2006, the Hornby Festival began its widely successful "Art in Unusual Places", with the mainstage artists performing short sets at unusual outdoor locations such as Sandpiper Bluffs, the Recycling Depot, or the beach at Big Tribune Bay.
Hornby Island is located two islands east of Vancouver Island, north of Nanaimo. If ferry connections are made, the trip from Vancouver takes approximately five hours. The Festival is sustained by Festival Society memberships, donations, program advertisers, government and foundation funders, ticket sales, and fundraising events.
Photo by jennifer armstrong