What is The Big Branch?
Check out www.thebigbranchfestival.com for more details and registration! Early bird registration deadline: May 15. Save money and buy early 🙂
The Big Branch is a music and dance festival hosted by Balfolk Toronto, happening near Shelburne ON (2 hours north of Toronto, Canada) September 7-9, 2018. Modelled after European Balfolk Festivals, The Big Branch fosters folks’ connection to music through participating with dancing and jamming.
Over the course of 3 days, participants will have the chance to dance to bands from Europe and North America, attend music and dance workshops, eat delicious food, jam, jam, and jam, swim in the pond and walk in the forest!
Balfolk Toronto has been organizing events in Toronto for 5 years, and has encouraged other Balfolk Communities to develop: Balfolk Montreal, Port Hope Balfolk, Balfolk Sherbrooke, Balfolk Quebec, and Balfolk Killaloe! With this festival we hope to bring together all of these communities and keep on spreading the Balfolk love!
Big Branch Balfolk Festival Line Up
Dance Instructor, Netherlands
Louise has been dancing since she was 14 years old and has been teaching and organizing Balfolk events in Holland for 11 years. She has danced at festivals in France, where she has attended workshops in couple dances, mazurka, bourrée, and Breton dances. She has developed into an all-around dancer. In her teaching, aimed at all levels of dancers, she likes to focus on connecting with your dance partner. As Louise puts it: “For me balfolk is a dance form in which connection and fun is really important. The basics are simple, everybody can join quickly. It’s not about doing the right steps, way more important is that you enjoy it.”
Her dance workshops will focus on bringing people together beyond the basic steps, with small improvisations and communicating through dance, as well as specific regional dance workshops. More details on specific workshop themes will be announced in the coming months.
Check out the great Balfolk Festival that Louise organized in the Netherlands:
Musicians, Gascogne, France
Laüsa [lahuzo] is a musical journey between tradition, both inherited and imagined. The instruments are traditional, and the sound is current! Laüsa pushes their influences in folk, pop, rock, flirting at times with Mediterranean or African colours, always staying true to the Gascony Trad Dance cadence.
You may recognize Camille (fiddle) and Lolita (accordion) from La Forcelle, who played in Toronto October 2016.
Musicians, Italy and Canada
The transatlantic musical partnership of Filippo Gambetta and Emilyn Stam is borne out of a shared sensibility that transcends their upbringings on opposite sides of the world. Both musicians are rooted in traditional dance music styles, yet each possesses insatiable musical curiosity and prolific imagination, qualities that keep their music dynamic, exploratory, and often undefinable. A native of Genoa in northwestern Italy, Filippo plays the organetto, the diatonic button accordion. Emilyn Stam is an inventive pianist, fiddler and composer who was raised in Smithers, Canada, and currently lives in Toronto. Filippo and Emilyn have toured both Europe and Canada together, having performed at festivals such as Kaustinen International Festival (Finland), Festival TousCouleurs (Italy), Vancouver Island MusicFest (Canada). Above all, Filippo and Emilyn bring a depth, creativity, and passion to their instrumental folk music that is inspiring to experience.
More bands to be announced!