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Tiller's Folly extends St. Patrick's Day with Port Moody show

Traditional Celtic music, as well as original compositions about the Pacific Northwest, will be performed in the Inlet Theatre in Port Moody on Saturday, March 23, 2024.

It may be St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, March 17, but Tiller’s Folly is going to be stretching the Irish celebrations another week for Port Moody.

The band, which includes Coquitlam-raised Bruce Coughlan, Laurence Knight and Nolan Murray, will be whipping up the crowd with Celtic standards and original tunes on Saturday, March 23, as part of the Inlet Theatre Music Series.

Created by veteran musicians and Port Moody residents Bill Sample and Darlene Cooper, the series has seen a number of professional acts hit the city hall stage since the musical program launched in 2022.

Sample told the Tri-City News that he’s known some Tiller’s Folly members for more than 40 years “and, believe me, they are brilliant musicians.”

“Tiller’s Folly is distinctly Canadian, but rooted in the Celtic tradition. This will be a toe-tappin’ way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”

Coughlan, who now calls Maple Ridge home, told the Tri-City News on Friday, March 15 — while returning from a pre-St. Patrick’s Day gig in Heppner, Ore., where there is a large concentration of residents with Irish heritage — that the band looks forward to performing in the Tri-Cities.

In the past, it’s played at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam, as well as at Golden Spike Days and Canada Day at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody.

Each show is different, Coughlan said, with traditional Celtic tunes, and stories and songs about the Pacific Northwest.

Sam Robertson tales

Two years ago, the BC Farm Museum in Fort Langley commissioned Coughlan to pen a song to mark the birth of agriculture in the province.

And, after a bit of digging, he composed a work around B.C.’s first independent agriculturalist: Samuel Robertson.

Robertson, who has a Maple Ridge school named after him, was the first European settler to farm Maple Ridge, owning 700 acres in Albion.

Coughlan’s song, “A Simply Extraordinary Life,” which Tiller’s Folly will perform in Port Moody, is featured in Coughlan’s “songumentary” about Robertson — a boat builder and Hudson’s Bay Company servant, among other things — and forms part of Tiller’s Folly’s educational campaign called Stirring Up Ghosts, setting western Canadian history to music.

For tickets to see Tiller’s Folly at the Inlet Theatre (inside Port Moody City Hall, 100 Newport Dr.), visit the series website. The last show of the season is Roy Forbes on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. Visit