by Jim D’Ville // Photos by Vic Hamm
In a mere three years, the Kamloops Ukulele Festival has emerged as a premiere ukulele retreat north of the U.S. border. The event’s third annual incarnation happened at the Sorrento Retreat Center on beautiful Shuswap Lake in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada, June 14–17, 2018.
Festival tickets sold out within just a few hours of going on sale, as the event has become a popular summer destination for Canadians and Americans alike. Nearly 200 happy ukulele players spent a sunny summer weekend attending a wide variety of workshops and two instructor concerts.
The faculty was expanded this year and included notable ukulele players James Hill, along with his musical life partner, Anne Janelle; Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart from Australia; Aaron and Nicole Keim; Del Rey; Tina Hebner; and myself. In addition to the ukulele workshops, instructor Debbie Korn offered a harmonica track.
The ambiance of the Kamloops Ukulele Festival is that of a delightful summer music camp for adults set in an awe-inspiring location. And, according to festival organizer Colleen Nielsen, “Our 2018 festival was a fabulous event with a magical mix of terrific instructors and enthusiastic participants. We all had an amazing time! Our 2019 Festival is shaping up to be an exciting mix of loved and familiar faces and some new surprises; an eclectic blend of east and west!” For more information on the Kamloops Ukulele Festival, visit ukuleleorchestraofkamloops.com.
Jim D’Ville is the author of the Play Ukulele By Ear DVD series and hosts the Play Ukulele By Ear website PlayUkuleleByEar.com.