Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2015


We had the pleasure of covering the 38th Annual VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL this year. The Festival is a 3 day affair but due to our schedule we chose to attend Friday only. There were so many amazing artists that we would’ve absolutely loved to see perform and hopefully we will soon get the opportunity! (See a few of our previous artist picks here).

There were specific artists that we had always wanted to see and 2 of them performed Friday so that was our deciding factor. One of the bands was local Vancouver favourite, Said The Whale. The other was Ontario’s talented Hawksley Workman.


First let’s talk food! There are so many great food trucks at the Folk Fest. We always have a hard time deciding just what to get. This is what we chose at this year’s festival: 

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Karaage from MOGU – I tried the Chicken Karaage at last year’s Folk Fest for the first time and liked it so much that I chose it again this year. I know, super boring getting the exact same thing again but it really is that good! I couldn’t resist. 

Marinated deep fried chicken with house made sweet chili sauce. Mmmm! – Natasha

Sugar & Cinnamon Whales Tails Fry Bread from Whales Tails – We had to try one of these Whales Tails we’ve always heard about. It is a delicious fried bread with your choice of numerous topping such as jam, chocolate sauce, herb and garlic, pizza. We chose to go the sweet route (obvs) and had the cinnamon and sugar topping. Delicious! – Laura

Taste of Thailand  Curry Chicken

New Folk Fest Food vendor this yearEarnest Ice Cream. A favourite here in Vancity – Hand-crafted ice cream available in a variety of delicious flavours.


The first act that we had the pleasure of photographing on the Main Stage was Said The Whale.

Debuting in 2007 and winning a Juno Award in 2011 for New Group Of The Year they have continued to top charts nationally. We have seen Said The Whale perform previously and they always put on a great live show!

BEN WORCESTER (Said The Whale) – Vocals, Guitar
NATHAN SHAW (Said The Whale) – Bass
JAYCELYN BROWN (Said The Whale) – Keyboards

Juno Award Winner HAWKSLEY WORKMAN has been a pioneer in the Canadian music scene for the past 16 years. He began his career as a drummer and went on to become a multi-instrumentalist and talented creator who is known to write, record and master his albums in literally weeks. Workman is an eccentric Artist who doesn’t seem to fit into any one specific music category. Fifteen studio albums and countless hits, Hawksley’s vast roster of music ranges from rock and roll, glam rock, pop, soul and everything in between.

Hawksley has also produced albums for a number of talented Canadian artists such as Tegan & Sara, Sarah Slean, Hey Rosetta!, Serena Ryder, Jeremy Fisher & Great Big Sea.


Workman opened his set with 2001 mega-hit ‘Your Beauty Must Be Rubbing Off”, followed by a variety of newer songs (Make Up Your Mind Tonight, Don’t Take Yourself Away (Instant Nostalgia), Teenage Cats & We’re Not Broken Yet) off his latest 2015 studio release ‘Old Cheetah‘.

We’ve been wanting to see him perform live for a very long time. So we were insanely excited that he included some earlier hits like Jealous Of Your Cigarette & Oh You Delicate Heart in the set. 

They finished their show on an exhilarating high when Hawksley jumped behind the drum set and closed with the smouldering hit Smoke BabyWe. Loved. It!


This photo of me with one of my paintings may seem completely random… but trust me, there’s a method to my madness. Most of the time.

Hawksley surprised the crowd when he brought out members of his band Mounties to perform a couple of songs with him. Mounties are a Canadian Indie Rock ‘Super Group’ consisting of Hawksley Workman on drums, Steve Bays of Hot Hot Heat and Ryan Dalhe of Limblifter.
We were thrilled when they performed their hit ‘Tokyo Summer’ as it’s one of our favourites. Such an unexpected treat!

Last Summer 2014, when I was preparing for my first ever Art Exhibition I was completely inspired by music and listened to music constantly while working on my paintings. Natasha creates the best playlists (ever!) and one of the songs that was on that playlist was Tokyo Summer by Mounties. That song inspired this painting (pictured above) which I aptly named Tokyo Summer.


Some of our favourite Hawksley Workman songs to get you hooked:
(Click here to watch Hawksley’s official music videos)

Natasha’s Picks: When You Gonna Flower, Piano Blink, Stop Joking Around, September Lily, We Will Still Need A Song, Depress My Hangover Sunday

Laura’s Picks: Striptease, Smoke Baby, Make Up Your Mind Tonight, Anger As Beauty, Jealous Of Your Cigarette


Vancouver Folk Music Festival Online: Official Site, Twitter, Facebook

What do you most look forward to at the Van Folk Fest? Let us know!

Happy Festival Season!
Laura & Natasha xo

Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2015 Preview


The Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival is back for its 38th year! This weekend from July 17 to the 19th,  VFMF will host artists from around the world. There will be over 60 talented music acts from 15+ countries performing at the beautiful Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver. There are numerous Canadian artists on the roster as well as many new and unknown International artists. You get to discover brand new talent you’ve never heard of before. If you love can’t live without music like us, then that’s one of the reasons to attend this Festival. We always leave with a list of new ‘fave’ artists. We go home shocked that we’ve never heard of them before. We then become like 2 obsessed music junkies researching every single album they’ve ever released and brag to all of our friends that we’ve just discovered the next best bands! Yup… we discovered them. Keeps us amused and happy. Thank you VFMF!

Starting this Friday, Jericho Beach will transform and become a music lovers haven. Every year fans start lining up first thing in the morning to get a perfect spot in front of the main stage. Some have even been known to go the night before and camp out. Die hards!

If you’ve never attended the VFMF before we highly recommend packing up the family (yes, it’s family friendly) or grab a couple friends and check it out! We have been 3 times previously and absolutely love it. It truly is a one of a kind event and embodies the true essence of Summer here in Vancouver. It is such a great opportunity to get outside and admire the absolutely gorgeous beach front and mountain views, eat some amazing food, shop for rare artisan goodies and listen to some fab music. Oh and let’s not forget about the Beer Gardens.

Check out our picks of some of the artists not to be missed performing at this years Folk Fest : 

TPyF66ns_fOdus6GIrzCPMQGV2avhPI4ghXn8zfes7M SAID THE WHALE (BC)

Vancouver based indie rock band Said The Whale have been a Canadian favourite since forming in 2007. Relentless touring paired with a roster of catchy, upbeat, hook-filled songs has kept audiences coming back for more.

Said The Whale have won various accolades including placing second in the Peak Performance Project in 2010 and winning a Juno Award for New Group of the Year in 2011. 4 studio albums in, Said The Whale show no signs of slowing down.

Catch Said The Whale at the VFMF Main Stage on Friday, July 17th6:25 pm


We are completely stoked to see Hawksley perform this Friday! We have been wanting to see him play forever so we’re really looking forward to that. 

Catch Hawskley Workman at the VFMF Main Stage on Friday, July 17th7:40pm

aICPFdaToXeX0KUHVmn6mS5vm4TkBAb3_u4KxTf0rzsBLIND PILOT (Oregon)

Catch Blind Pilot at the VFMF Main Stage on Saturday, July 18th8:40pm


Catch Jasper Sloan Yip at the VFMF Stage 3 on Saturday, July 18th – 12:20pm

JillandMatthewBarberMATTHEW BARBER & JILL BARBER (Ontario/BC)

Catch Matthew & Jill Barber at the VFMF Stage 2 on Saturday, July 18th2:20pm


Catch Marlon Williams at the VFMF Stage 1 on Sunday, July 19th2:40pm


(more info about each artist can be found here)

100 Mile House (Alberta) ˒ Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson (Ireland / Scotland) ˒ Annie Lou (BC/Ontario) Matthew Barber and Jill Barber (Ontario/BC) ˒ Beans on Toast (UK) ˒ Lurrie Bell (Illinois) ˒ Blind Pilot (Oregon) ˒ Breabach(Scotland) ˒ Basia Bulat (Ontario) ˒ Bustamento (Australia) ˒ Sousou & Maher Cissoko (Senegal/Sweden) ˒ Adam Cohen(Québec) ˒ Diyet (Yukon) ˒ Cecile Doo-Kingue (Québec) ˒ The Down Hill Strugglers (New York) ˒ Frazey Ford (BC) ˒Fortunate Ones (Newfoundland) ˒ La Gallera Social Club (Venezuela) ˒ Mary Gauthier (Tennessee) ˒ Jenn Grant (Nova Scotia) ˒ Ash Grunwald (Australia) ˒ I’m With HerSara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan (USA) ˒ The Jerry Cans(Nunavut) ˒ Angélique Kidjo (Benin/NY) ˒ Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba (Mali) Pokey LaFarge (Missouri) ˒ ˒Sam Lee & Friends (UK)  ˒ The Lowest Pair (Washington State) ˒Lucius (New York) ˒ Rory McLeod (UK) Bongeziwe Mabandla (South Africa) ˒ Mama Kin (Australia) ˒ Matuto (New York) ˒ Melbourne Ska Orchestra (Australia) ˒ Old Man Leudecke (Nova Scotia) ˒ The Once (Newfoundland) ˒ Lindi Ortega (Ontario) ˒ Parsonsfield (Connecticut) ˒ Perch Creek (Australia) Grace Petrie (UK) ˒ Phosphorescent (Georgia/New York) ˒ Les Poules à Colin (Québec) ˒ Rising Appalachia (North Carolina) ˒ The Sadies (Ontario) ˒ Said the Whale (BC) ˒ Scarlett Jane (Ontario) ˒ Shtreiml & Ismail Fencioglu (Québec) ˒ Son Little (Pennsylvania) ˒ Söndörgő (Hungary) ˒ The Strumbellas (Ontario) ˒ Tanga (BC) ˒ Richard Thompson (UK) ˒ Trampled by Turtles (Minnesota) ˒ Ivan Tucakov & Tambura Rasa (BC) ˒ The Wilderness of Manitoba (Ontario) ˒ Marlon Williams (New Zealand) ˒ Hawksley Workman (Ontario) ˒ Jasper Sloan Yip (BC)

Tickets are available online, at various VFMF outlets (Zulu Records, Red Cat Records, Highlife Records, Ticketzone Box Office) and will also be available at the gate. For full ticket prices/discounted rates, see here.

Adult Weekend Passes – $155 before July 16th or $170 at the gate July 17 – 19th.
One day passes – $55 on Friday, $85 Saturday and Sunday at the gate.

Happy Festival Season!
Natasha & Laura xo

(we did not take or own these photosall images in this post were provided to media by VIFF)

Love At A Pub


Let’s go back in time. Not necessarily a better time, just another time of days gone by in my dating journey. Let’s talk about ‘Wayne’. Not his real name. Obviously.

Wayne, Wayne, Wayne. Sigh. Where shall I begin? At the beginning? Yes. Alrighty then. Let’s do that shall we?

I’ve made mention of him on a previous post which you can see here. He was the first guy I actually had a relationship with after my marriage. I had plenty of meet and greets and dates with other men before him. But Wayne was the first guy that I ended up being in an exclusive long term relationship with. Not just once but twice. Yes, two different times during 6 years. First time we dated for a couple of years (on and off-should’ve been off) and the second time for a year. Apparently I never learnt any lessons the first time. Our relationship the first time around consisted of excessive partying, too much alcohol (way too often) and the eventual admittance of cocaine use on his part. No, I’m not perfect either. Looking back I was just a tad bit, shall we say, desperate?  Let’s not forget needy and clingy. Sounds like a perfect match doesn’t it? A real dream team.

I was out with my only single girlfriend at the time. She took me to a pub she had previously been to and she thought I’d like it and feel comfortable there. I did really enjoy it. We had been out numerous times before and I immediately noticed a problem. We found it rather tricky finding an establishment for our age group. At that time we were both in our late 30’s. I might as well of been in my late 90’s because that’s how old I felt. Completely out of place being single after spending 20 years being part of a duo.  I was so inexperienced, so green. I’m sure it was mostly in my head but it didn’t help matters when some places had patrons that were maybe a whole 21 years old or others had the complete opposite, 60+ year olds.

On this night I wasn’t particularly in the mood to go out. But, unlike what my fore mentioned friend likes to do all too often, I did not bail on her. We got to the pub a little late so it was already pretty packed and barely any seats available. We managed to find a couple stools at the end of the bar (not my preference) but close to the dance floor. However, this location was perfect because there’s nothing better then watching drunk people dance. This specific night I was grateful I had the dance crowd to keep myself entertained. My friend had gone MIA. Was off on her merry way dancing with some guy who finally got up enough liquid courage to saunter over and ask her to dance. Yea, don’t think I didn’t notice. I’m kinda like a hawk when it comes to people watching. I can usually figure out who’s fighting with who, who’s eyeing someone, who shouldn’t be eyeing someone and who gets caught by their significant other eyeing someone. Oh yea. I rock at that shit. I can read relationship dynamics just by peoples body language, mannerisms and actions. Don’t even have to be in ear’s distance to hear what they’re saying and I know what’s going on. That alone could’ve kept me quite content all night long. Well that and the various hopeful suitors who would come and ask me to dance, to which I politely declined. I know, I know!  What a big party pooper. Whatever. I just wasn’t feeling it that particular night. Trust me, this girl has no problem shaking her boot-ay when the mood strikes my fancy. Yea, I still got it.

I just wasn’t into it. That is until Wayne made his way over to me. ‘You know what they say about sitting at the edge of the bar?’ he says to me out of the blue. Hmmmm? I glance over and decide, okay, he’s attractive and his aura isn’t that of being a dick so, alright, I’ll bite. ‘I don’t know. What do they say?’ I coyly respond. He smiles and extends his hand and introduces himself. ‘What? You don’t know what it means when someone sits at the edge of the bar?’ Ahhh, no I don’t. I’ve been hibrinating for the past 20 years I silently think to myself. Any new dating rules that have occurred during the past 20 years, well, I’m totally not up to date to say the least. He proceeds to tell me it’s code for letting others know you are available. Oh, well then, I’ve picked the right spot haven’t I? I still don’t even know if that’s true. I’m so gullible at times. Anyone know if that’s true or not? Please share!

So right off the bat I got a good feeling about him. No alter ego at play, no cheesy stories, no feelings that this guy was a big time player. So, I allowed him to continue conversation with me. When I’m not interested I tend to be short with conversation. Maybe even a little rude I’ve been told, but I don’t see the point in making small talk when there is zero interest. Wayne was very witty and humorous. I like that alot. The live band that was playing went on their 2nd intermission and the DJ started his show with a dance mix of the biggest hit song of that summer, Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back. Well the crowd piled onto the dance floor and everyone was totally into the party mode by this point.  Wayne takes my hand and leads me onto the dance floor. It’s weird that I even remember the exact song, because I barely even remember the band that night. Isn’t it strange when our brain just remembers certain details and specific facts? Now even after 5 years, every single time I hear that song, I think about Wayne, and that night. Music is like the sound track to our lives. A specific song can bring you right back in time instantly. Music and fragrance do the same for me. I can remember every single perfume I used to wear at different times in life. Who I was with, what was going on, specific feelings. Good and bad. Some songs I can’t even bare to listen to and some perfumes I refuse to wear. Some really great songs and fragrances have completely been ruined for me. Damn them jerks!

Song after song, we continued on the dance floor dancing, having the best time. As the night was coming to an end my girlfriend, aka lame-o wing woman, finally made her way over to me. Ahhh, how very sweet of you to remember me, I’m thinking. We make introductions to each others uh, new…’guys’ and make some small talk. ‘Do you guys want to come over for a few drinks? Some friends are all coming back to my place.’ Wayne says. Extending the invitation to my girlfriend and her new friend…guy…friend. I was actually into the invitation, especially being in a group setting, why not? Continue the laughs and good times. Until my girlfriend excuses us and grabs my arm, basically pulls me aside and says we shouldn’t go. Ah, what? Why the hell not? I haven’t been to a party, well, other then my kids birthday parties in literally aeons. And we all know that’s the truth. That night I was feeling flirty and 21 29 again! Up for some fun. My girlfriend continued telling me all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go. We don’t know them, never been to his house, what if they’re psychos? All very valid, but really? That’s why women have instinct, and mine was saying Wayne was totally fine. Her’s must’ve been telling her something different because she just wasn’t into his invite at all.  So of course, being the good friend I am, I obliged and told Wayne I unfortunately had to decline tonight but he had my number and could use it.

Turns out my girlfriend really wasn’t into her ‘friend/guy/one night only dance partner’ hence why the desperate attempt to keep us from further hanging out with them. Interesting how she vanishes to appease herself and dance the night away when it’s to her benefit. Ironic there’s no reciprocation for me when the situation arises? Pffft. Isn’t there some girlfriend being a good wing woman code of ethics thing? I’m pretty sure there was one when I used to go out way, long ago…back in the day. Oh, what do I know. I’m 38 now, ancient.

In any event, Wayne and I went our separate ways that night. I was barely home when I received a text from him. He said how great it was meeting me and if he could call me this week so we could set up a date. Why yes, I am completely into that. In fact, I am looking forward to it.

Sounds pretty promising doesn’t it? Funny how things start so great and then as time carries on shit happens. Before you know it you’ve found yourself in love (or was it love? Jury’s still out on that one) and messed up with a man who’s life includes parties, excessive drinking, an eventual admittance to a cocaine problem, head games, jealousy, co-dependancy, and just plain effed up-ness. But I knew he loved me like crazy, and me being just out of a 20 year relationship, well, I had my own issues. I just added to that craziness. Yeah, it only got worse as we went along.

Hopefully as I write through these experiences with the jumbled up mess that’s crammed in my head, I will make some sort of sense of it all. It’s all about the journey and hopefully taking lessons away from them.

This chapter (the story of Wayne) has just begun.

Laura xo

What Is Your Soul’s Purpose?

Do you know what your true purpose is? I mean, really truly know. How many of you get up everyday and are totally thrilled with what you’re doing with your life? You can’t wait to wake up, sleeping is basically keeping you from doing what you love to do. The reason I ask is because I’ve never felt that way… completely. Which is a big reason why I absolutely love, love, love hearing peoples stories. I mean, love it. Could listen to them all day long. Literally. It’s also another reason why I soooo love reading all of your blogs! image

It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed doing certain things in my life. I’ve just never had that true feeling of pure contentment of loving what I’m doing with my life. I’m speaking from a career standpoint of fulfillment. I have always been envious of peers and friends who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their life essentially since they were a child growing up. They seemed to have their life map all worked out at such a young age and then continued on the required path to get there. I remember friends saying they were going to be a fireman, accountant or a nurse and that’s exactly what they ended up being. How the hell? I was fascinated and would try desperately to be a part of that group. The group who always just knew what they were meant to do. I never wanted to be a nurse or an accountant. Boring. No offence to all of the nurses and accountants out there! You guys rock! It just wasn’t for me. image

I grew up wanting to be a singer. Yep, a singer. I know, right. Odd ball. I always alternated between wanting to be a singer/entertainer, author (like Daniel Steele) or an actress on a soap opera (at 12 I decided I’d be on All My Children) It was the only one we were able to watch on the one channel we had. Small town girl here.

Like who wants to be a damn singer/entertainer for real? Okay, wait a second… let me answer that. In this reality fame generation EVERYONE and their dog wants to be a singer or entertainer. Hence why millions and millions of people audition for American Idol type tv shows. But let me just remind you, when I was growing up no one I knew ever said ‘I want to be singer, screw college!’ Not one person. I grew up in a small town in Ontario. No traffic lights small town, so to dream that big was unheard of and frankly was laughed off as being a silly unattainable idea. Small town mentality?

I used to perform for family gatherings and neighbours. I could belt out a mean Loretta Lynn song or pretend I was a female Johnny Cash. My parents were big influences as they always listened to country music and still do. Gotta love some Conway Twitty. When I got way older (like 10) and seen Blondie perform on American Bandstand I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I wanted to be her. I was obsessed. Never seen anything like her. A beautiful girl being a kick ass rock star!  Fricking amazing. Then it was Pat Benetar. Years later, Madonna. I know, dream big if you’re gonna dream.


My parents never completely discouraged me, in fact when we eventually moved to a larger town (one with a traffic light) they bought me a guitar and hired a vocal coach but that’s about it as far as the resources being available at that time. There was no social media then, no information to guide us, dead ends.  That and the fact I was constantly conflicted by what I truly felt I wanted to do and what I felt I was expected to do with my life.  Could’ve been all in my own mind. Who knows? I’m like a walking mix of contradiction, worried about what people think of me one minute then not give a damn the next.  Hate raisins, but like them in bran muffins. Things like that. Messed up.  Plus I’m one of those type A Virgo types.  I completely annoy myself at times. Always searching and needing answers to things, creating more questions for myself, never ends. Where the hell is the off button? Spent most of my life being a big time people pleaser. Trust me, I’m a work in progress. Getting better now and learning to just say ‘Hell No!’ when the situation requires. God I love Oprah and her advice…     image

Good book btw.

It’s just a matter of life circumstances and things happening the way they’re supposed to. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  I guess if I had truly wanted to attain that dream of being a singer/entertainer I would’ve packed up and moved to Nashville or Hollywood. Instead, at 18 years old I met my now ex husband and got married at 20 and had kids. (very small town mentality) Choices. It’s all about choices. I always knew I wanted kids so that was never a hesitation or a hard choice for me to make. That was probably the one and only thing in my life I knew I wanted. Oddly enough I never even liked kids (other peoples kids) but always knew I wanted my own. Again, major contradiction.  However, having children so young (kids having kids) does make it more challenging to accomplish certain things. Not impossible, just more of a challenge. I love the comic Louis C.K. he’s brilliantly funny and he jokes that having kids ruins your life and crushes your dreams. Now I tell my kids that. He has a point. Maybe I should just blame my kids? image

Even after I was married, had our son at 22 and was going to college at night, I still had that desire to be close/involved in music. By then we had moved out here to the west coast (Vancouver). I found a vocal coach and worked with her for a couple of years. I still had some hope in the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe one day I will do something with it.  Don’t ask me what? It just made me feel better. See, always a contradiction mixed in with the that damn people pleaser disease… another fine example: Going to college for Marketing & Business = what people expected of me vs. vocal lessons = what I wanted. Life has a way of moving along, things change, situations arise and you are left to hang on and make the best of it. Excuses, excuses, excuses. I sometimes think I’ve done too much making excuses in the past. I’m also working on that. It’s on my list. Long damn list.


I’m over the could’ve, should’ve, would’ve been a singer/entertainer days but I’m still searching for that fulfillment. I have at least figured out through out the years that I need creativity in some form or another. And even though blogging is new, I feel a great sense of satisfaction already. There is so much more to come for our blog! Finding complete fulfillment is a work in progress, but isn’t that true of everyone at least to some degree?  Isn’t that what this journey is all about? Discovering?  Growing? Finding our true purpose? Seeking what truly fulfills us?  I can’t be the only one who feels this way. Can I? So many questions Laura!


I believe once you get on the right track, listen to your instincts, you will eventually get to your personal destination. Whatever form that may be for you. For some (uh, yes, myself) that road has a little more hills, twists and turns. Thing is to keep going, learn a lesson or million two and keep following that road to your own personal version of destiny. What are your dreams? Your desires? Are you living your soul’s purpose?

Laura xo