Acoustic guitar festival returns to Kwantlen Polytechnic University

17th annual event willl offer range of styles for music lovers of all stripes

A French gypsy jazz group, a Canadian unsung guitar guru and a veteran fingerstyle guitarist will serenade Langley at the 17th annual Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival, hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Headlining the festival on Feb. 15 is Van Django, a four-man acoustic string ensemble, featuring some of Canada’s most talented and eclectic musicians. Ari Lahdekorpi – a ‘journeyman guitarist’ who has worked with numerous blues legends and pop crooners – and Kent Hillman, who plays jazz, classical and South American music, will also perform at the KPU Langley event.

“Most people are surprised that these internationally acclaimed artists would travel to the Fraser Valley to play a show, but these same artists love to introduce their music to new audiences.

“It is such a thrill for them and to those who attend. And it is all happening right in our backyard,” says Don Hlus, event organizer. Hlus has been an instructor at KPU since the university’s music department first opened in 1993. He founded the event to entertain and inspire the Fraser Valley music community, and to give high school and post-secondary music students the opportunity to work with, and learn from, internationally and locally distinguished artists.

“The idea behind the guitar festival came in conversations with several high school guitar instructors over 17 years ago. Collectively, we wanted to create an opportunity for young musicians to see the artistic and creative potential within themselves. We also wanted the opportunity to support that creative development in others,” said Hlus.

“In the fifth year, my phone started ringing off the hook because people in the community were hearing about these world-class guitarists coming to the valley and wanted an opportunity to hear them in their own backyard. And that is how the evening concert came into being.”

Tickets to the event —titled ‘From The Gut’ — are now on sale online. For more information, visit:

In Brief:

From The Gut: the 17th annual Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival

When: Saturday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.

Where: KPU Langley auditorium, 20901 Langley Bypass

Admission: Adult tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door; student and senior tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

Tickets: purchase online via Brown Paper Tickets (

Info: For more information, contact Don Hlus at 604-599-3316, email or visit: ar.

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