French-Canadian band Hey Wow are among those performing at Nanaimo’s 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable, or Maple Sugar Festival. (Photo courtesy Joël Ducharme)

French-Canadian band Hey Wow are among those performing at Nanaimo’s 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable, or Maple Sugar Festival. (Photo courtesy Joël Ducharme)

Nanaimo’s 20th annual Maple Sugar Festival to be held online due to COVID-19

Three-day event celebrates French-Canadian art, music, food and culture

The Association des francophones de Nanaimo is bringing back some familiar faces as it marks its 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable, or Maple Sugar Festival.

This year’s festival takes place from March 26 to 28 and for the first time, due to COVID-19, the festivities will be happening online.

“Honestly it was a little bit of a challenge. So much to learn,” executive director Catharine Williams said of the pivot to cyberspace. “However, I believe that we’ve got a really great show in store for everyone. I think people will truly appreciate what we are doing.”

Williams said the festival will include not only French-Canadian music, but will delve into history, culture, cuisine and art as well. She said reaching the 20-year mark speaks to the group’s “commitment to the community” and presence of francophone culture in Nanaimo. The association is recognizing that milestone by inviting headliners from previous years to perform.

Joining from Ontario are fiddle group Les Rats D’Swompe and the accordion-powered Hey Wow. Folk singers David Jalbert and André Thériault perform from Quebec. Hailing from Manitoba are comedian Micheline and twin Métis fiddlers Double Trouble.

There are also performances and activities for children, local ice sculptor Aaron Grant will create a new piece and French-Canadian food will be available for pick-up to enjoy while taking in this year’s events from home.

“[It’s been a] challenging year but I think that the hard work is going to pay off,” Williams said. “I do truly believe people are going to enjoy themselves.”

WHAT’S ON … 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable takes place online on March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m, March 27 from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. (or 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.) and 7 to 9 p.m. and March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. A link will be available at Admission free but donations accepted here.

RELATED: French Canadian culture and sweet treats at festival in Nanaimo

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
PHOTOS: Vehicle driven into Saanich Walmart removed after two trapped workers rescued

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

Jim Hogan is Ladysmith’s famed ‘Moon Boot Man’. (Submitted photo)
Ladysmith’s ‘Moon Boot Man’ over the moon with community support

Jim Hogan has been jogging Ladysmith’s streets with his signature Kangoo-Jump boots since 2002

Imogene Lim, a Vancouver Island University anthropology professor, has received a Province of B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship. (Black Press file)
VIU anthropology professor receives B.C. Good Citizenship medal

Imogene Lim’s work includes advocacy for establishing Chinese heritage sites

Berwick by the Sea resident Hilda Shilliday, 91, is ready to participate in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers’ Stride to turn the Tide fundraising event that runs April 11-25. Register on the event website for a fee of $20 which goes to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s work in Africa, then do any kind of exercise, log the time, distance or whatever and be eligible for a prize package. Photo contributed
91-year-old Vancouver Islander ready to Stride to Turn the Tide

Campbell River’s Hilda Shilliday encourages everyone to support African grandmothers

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards South Island film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Librarian Katie Burns with the Fraser Valley Regional Libraries poses for a photo in Chilliwack on June 18, 2019. Monday, April 12, 2021 is Library Workers’ Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 11 to 17

Library Workers Day, That Sucks! Day, and Wear Your Pyjamas to Work Day are all coming up this week

Most Read