This weekend, Chemainus will celebrate the music of the accordion and honour an accordion-loving woman who dedicated her time and energy to culture in Chemainus during Accordion Days.
Hosted by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society (CVCAS), Accordion Days this Friday and Saturday is dedicated to musical organizer and multi-instrumentalist Hilary Everitt, who passed away last November and whose birthday would have been Sat., Aug. 11.
Wes Everitt, past chair of the CVCAS, says his late wife, who was the emcee and organizer of past accordion festivals for nine years and one of the festival’s founders, will be honoured in the Accordion Days program.
Chemainus hosted an accordion festival for many years, but they ran out of volunteers, and the festival eventually moved to Victoria. That festival has evolved into Accordion Days, explained Everitt.
“Everybody who came here liked Chemainus so much that they came back for Accordion Days,” he said.
Accordion Days starts Friday with performances by the Gypsy Belles from Victoria. The Gypsy Belles will be playing in Old Town from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., sharing their music at the Book Nook, the Twisted Sisters Tea Room and at Top Hat Antiques.
On Saturday, performers will take the stage at the Waterwheel Park bandshell from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation.
Featured bands and performers include the Acchords, an acoustic quartet from the mainland that lines up the performers for Accordion Days; button accordion player Eric Oscar from Crofton; Mary Ross from the Victoria Accordion Club; Bruce Bakker and Friends from the mainland and Casey Van Velzen from Nanaimo.
The action will move to the Legion Hall Saturday at 5 p.m. for a steak or chicken barbecue dinner and entertainment by the popular Flashback Freddy, who will play hits from the 1950s and 1960s. Tickets for Saturday’s dinner show are $15, and they can be reserved by dropping by the Chemainus Legion in person or calling 250-246-3133 or by calling Wes Everitt at 250-246-9898.
“It should be a fun couple of days,” said Everitt. “We have a huge following.”