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Maillardville festival continues 35-year tradition of celebrating Francophone culture

Everyone is invited to the 35th Festival du Bois for great music, dance and culinary delights in Mackin Park in Coquitlam
This year’s Festival du Bois comprises a diverse lineup of Francophone music, including Acadian step-dance and Quebecois chanson.

Festival du Bois returns to Mackin Park from March 8 to 10, 2024, marking its 35th year of celebrating French Canadian culture in one of British Columbia's most storied Francophone communities. 

The Maillardville festival, known for its vibrant mix of music, dance, and culinary experiences, is set to offer an engaging weekend for attendees of all ages, highlighting the rich traditions and evolving nature of Francophone artistry.

Honouring Francophone musical heritage and innovation

At the core of Festival du Bois is an eclectic lineup of music that bridges traditional sounds with contemporary influences. From lively Acadian step-dance and Quebecois chanson to Celtic reels, and engaging sing-alongs for kids, the festival showcases a wide array of Francophone music - and so much more!

 "We always book bands that we know will make people dance and move," says Joanne Dumas, the festival's artistic director. 

This year, the festival is putting a special emphasis on Acadian musicians in recognition of the 2024 Acadian Congress and its influence on the broader tapestry of Francophone culture.

Family-focused programming

Taking place at Mackin Park in Coquitlam, the festival will feature several performers, including La Famille LeBlanc, a musical family for at least six generations. Photo via: Festival du Bois.

Festival du Bois is committed to creating a family-friendly environment, with a range of activities and performances tailored for young attendees.

 "We try and give as much opportunity for kids to explore music and culture from elsewhere in the world," Dumas says. 

The festival's children's programming includes storytelling and interactive performances, all designed to spark curiosity and a love for cultural exploration among the festival's youngest visitors.

Affordability and accessibility

A key aspect of Festival du Bois is its commitment to keeping the event accessible and affordable for the community. In an era where event prices can be prohibitive, the festival stands out for its reasonable pricing structure.

"The focus isn’t put on making large profits but making sure we serve the community," Dumas says. 

This approach ensures that a wider audience can participate in the festivities, fostering a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere.

Culinary delights

Amongst the performances and family-friendly activities in Coquitlam, be sure to sample traditional French Canadian cuisine, including maple taffy on snow. Photo via: Festival du Bois.

No celebration of French Canadian culture would be complete without a nod to its distinctive cuisine. Festival du Bois offers a culinary journey through traditional dishes like tourtière, poutine, and sugar pie, as well as the much-loved maple taffy on snow. 

These gastronomic offerings provide a taste of the rich culinary heritage of French Canada and serve as a delicious complement to the musical and artistic experiences at the festival.

Creating collaborative spaces for artists

An innovative feature of the festival is the provision of spaces for impromptu musical collaborations and jam sessions. 

"Some musicians that we hire will go in the jamming space just to have fun," Dumas describes. 

This initiative encourages a sense of community among performers and attendees alike, allowing for spontaneous expressions of creativity and the sharing of musical traditions.

Supported by the City of Coquitlam and embraced by the community, Festival du Bois is poised to once again highlight the vibrant and diverse culture of French Canada, inviting attendees to immerse themselves in a celebration of music, dance, and shared heritage.

To learn more and buy tickets today, visit