Goldstream Gazette

Free B.C. Day music festival
coming to Langford

Char and Xanthic Blue are two of about 10 performers scheduled to play at City Centre Park stadium
(turf field No. 2) for a free concert on B.C. Day.
Edward Hill/News staff

This B.C. Day, Langford is hosting what might be the biggest party this city has ever seen.

Juno award-winning musicians David Gogo and Greg Sczebel are among a lineup of high-energy artists scheduled to play at a free, day-long music festival at City Center Park on Aug. 2.

Sponsored by Westhills, the Capital Festival Productions event is part B.C. Day celebration, part official opening of Langford’s second stadium and turf field. The first performer is set to hit the stage around 11 a.m. followed by at least 10 more acts until dusk.

“This year if we get 500 or 5,000 people, it will still be fantastic. We’ve got B.C. talent that is free for the community,” said John Selkirk, artistic director for Capital Festival. “The artists are thrilled. It’s a quality stage with quality musicians that highlight B.C. emerging artists.”

With Gogo, Sczebel, Acres of Lions, Char, Xanthic Blue, Ed Peekeekoot, Alan Molberg and Momentum, among others, the roster offers a mix of rock, country, folk and rhythm and blues.

The venue, west of Bear Mountain stadium and with views of Langford Lake, is planned with the stage on the field, angled slightly to the bleachers, with food vendors and a beer garden. “It’s a beer garden but not a beer fest,” Selkirk noted. “It’s a family festival for all ages.”

Selkirk, a long-time music event organizer who brought together the first Capital Festival concert last year in downtown Victoria, said artists were quick to sign onto the Langford venue.

“From the musician's side, they want the opportunity to perform. They say this is fantastic, they want the exposure,” he said. “What better way to tell their story by bringing in up-and-coming talent, giving a free festival and great exposure for the artists?”

The event fell together less than a month ago on the prompting of Langford, eager to host cultural and artistic events. Westhills came on board as the prime sponsor soon after. Turf field No. 2 land, the concert venue, was donated to Langford by Westhills and holds the development’s geothermal equipment below ground.

“We are very proud to be building a community and being part of Langford,” said Rohan Rupf, with Keycorp Consulting, the lead consultant for Westhills. “We are very excited about this. When this (concert) came around we were happy to be involved and proud to be involved.”

Up-and-coming musician Char, a.k.a. Charlene Birkbeck, performed in Selkirk’s inaugural B.C. Day celebration concert and is happy to be back. The West Shore-based singer and songwriter and her band plan to roll out a few new songs and some older material with a new twist.

“I started out in Langford and its nice to come back. I’ve got a lot of great support here,” Char said. “I’ve played all the venues in Victoria. It’s nice to have a change of scenery.”

Eclectic, some might say eccentric rock and roll musician Xanthic Blue, a.k.a. Chad Demyen, said Selkirk has assembled an uplifting, inspiring lineup of musicians.

“I love people, I love this planet. It’s why I perform, not for glamour or money,” Blue said. “It’s about showing as much soul as I can.”

The Westhills B.C. Day Celebration music festival is Aug. 2, 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. at City Centre Park stadium (west of Bear Mountain stadium). Admission is free. For more information, see www.capitalfestival.com.

Scheduled performers: David Gogo, Greg Sczebel, Acres of Lions, Xanthic Blue, Char, Alan Molberg, Ed Peekeekoot, Momentum, Alma de Espana, Caroline Spence and Latin/salsa/celetic performances.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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