After one year of online concerts, and another year with a hybrid festival (above), the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is back to full in-person shows in late July. (Langley Advance Times files)

After one year of online concerts, and another year with a hybrid festival (above), the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is back to full in-person shows in late July. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley festivals kickin’ into high gear

With COVID restrictions decreasing, more entertainment is back

More pandemic safeguards being lifted as summer approaches, and that has local event organizers rolling out plans for the return of numerous local festivals.

Arts Alive, for instance, is back on tap for Saturday, Aug. 20. The one-day event will see more than 200 visual and performing artists spread out along the Langley City main drag and side streets.

Cancelled for the past two years, due to COVID, this free family-oriented event will be back with live musical performances, artists and artisans showcasing their works, live demonstrations, and a children’s venue, said organizer Teri James, executive director for the Downtown Langley Business Association.

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“Being able to bring back Arts Alive after two years is extremely exciting,” she said.

“We will have a full house of artists/artisans and businesses lining the one-way and Salt Lane, and our line-up of performers, roving entertainment and children’s performers in the children’s venue is outstanding… Everyone should come prepared for an amazing day full of sights, sounds and great food,” she added.

The DLBA is fielding inquiries almost daily from vendors and spectators about the festival.

Also on tap downtown this summer is the return of entertainment to McBurney Plaza.

The summer music series will showase a variety of performers Saturday afternoons in July and August.

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Jazz hands going

Similarly, organizers of the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival shared news that their festivities, which was held in a curtailed fashion in 2021, will be back to full strength this summer.

It’s set to run July 21 to 24 with numerous ticketed shows, as well as free community events on stages throughout the village of Fort Langley on the Saturday and Sunday, July 23 and 24.

Following online and hybrid festivals the past two years due to COVID-19, the jazz fest is gearing up for the biggest lineup in its history, trumpeted co-founder and artistic director Dave Quinn.

“This year we are proud to have the most expansive and inclusive programming ever, and we are excited to welcome music and art fans with an air of festivity and celebration open to all,” he said.

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“Bringing a festival experience, with exceptional artists and the joys and rewards of extraordinary musical performances with as many people as possible in a very special setting is at the heart of the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival,” noted Quinn, excited to be back and in-person for all aspects of the festival.

The lineup is expected to be announced later this month, on International Jazz Day, which falls on April 30. Subsequently, tickets for headliner shows will go on sale in early May.

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Playwrights on stage

Details were also unveiled recently about an indoor festival returning to Langley this year.

Shane Rochon, a Cloverdale high school teacher and avid thespian, announced the return of the Siloam Theatre Festival to Langley.

“As you are well aware, things have had to be postponed for the past two years, but I am pleased to be able to share with you that the third annual Siloam Festival is about to take place,” Rochon said.

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This year’s event, which will run June 2 to 11, highlights new and original works written by local playwrights – three from Langley, one from Mission, and one from Port Coquitlam.

Shows are on nightly at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. at the Langley Little Theatre in Brookswood.

“The majority of the proceeds from ticket sales go directly back to the playwrights who have written these plays, some new; others tweaked,” Rochon explained.

“There is a comedy, two dramas and two musicals so there is something for everyone,” he said.

Tickets are on sale now on the festival website at: siloamtheatrefestival.com.

While more Langley festivals are expected to be back this year, the list of confirmed events is still relatively short and details are starting to come in.

• Stay tuned to the Langley Advance Times for more updates in the weeks to come.

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