Boxwood Festival Returns to Lunenburg for its 25th Year

You may notice an unusual number of flutists and fiddlers roaming the streets of Lunenburg in the coming weeks. At the end of this month, Boxwood Festival will return to Lunenburg for its 25th year in our town. Boxwood Festival is a week of concerts, workshops, and classes focused on global and local traditional music.

Director and co-founder Chris Norman was inspired to start the organization in 1996 in Wyoming. 

“I had studied some music through an academic structure and there was really no representation of traditional folk music in academic institutions,” he says. 

Norman’s parents, from West LaHave and the Valley, were huge lovers of traditional Nova Scotian music. This, along with the lack of representation of folk music in his academic studies of music, inspired him and co-founder Rod Garnett to create Boxwood. 

Norman wanted to create a festival focused on global folk music, as well as Acadian, French-Canadian, and maritime folk music.

Boxwood Festival has taken place in multiple countries, but its Canadian home has been Lunenburg since 1998. 

“It’s a melting pot here in Lunenburg,” says Norman. “It’s got that wide angle lens to it in terms of its own culture.”

Although the festival typically has been in-person, in recent years it’s begun to offer online classes and workshops as well. 

“We’re trying to create more of an immersive experience for the entire community,” Norman says. 

The festival includes offerings for both children and adults. The classes and workshops are open to musicians of all skill levels.

For those who would rather listen than play, there are four public events throughout the week-long festival. All details can be found on The Barnacle’s events calendar.

The waterfront ceilidh, in particular, is not to be missed. This free ceilidh will take place on the Lunenburg waterfront. World-class traditional folk musicians will be playing tunes as a crowd of tourists and locals dance on the wharf. There’s nothing more Lunenburg-esque than that! 


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