FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The 2nd CanolaFest music festival was a rousing success this past weekend, as country music fans flocked to Peace Island Park for the day-long event.
Over 1,800 attendees braved a bit of wild weather day at the event. After the winds died down late in the morning, the sun burned bright and hot over the festival grounds in Peace Island Park. Mardi Cornet Cooper kicked things off shortly after 2:30, followed by The Social Bulls, Joel Primeau, The Boreal, and Lorissa Scriven. However, the excessively muggy afternoon ended up providing the perfect ingredients for the development of late afternoon thunderstorms across the Peace, one of which dropped a short-lived downpour on the festival grounds, and lightning in the sky led to performances being postponed.
None of this managed to dampen the spirits of the festival-goers, as Last Horse Standing took to the stage after a storm delay of only 20 minutes. After performances from Mike Stranberg, Scarlet Sway, Tom Cole, Rose Prairie Romance, Montney Coulees, and the Roadside Distraction, the Chris Buck Band took to the stage for the penultimate performance of the day. The band from Vancouver managed to get the crowd fired up before headliner Tim Hicks took to the stage at 9:30. Hicks’ performance electrified the crowd, particularly during a cover of The Tragically Hip’s “Little Bones” in the wake of that band’s lead singer’s brain cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
Overall the atmosphere at the festival was overwhelmingly positive, and festivalgoers were already looking forward to next year’s lineup before the night had ended.