Epic Canadian Winter Music Festival Forcasted for Rossland
Prepare for a sonic tempest to sweep through Rossland, BC, as Blizzard Music Festival returns to the alpine city. The quintessential Canadian music extravaganza will span four days, from Jan. 25 to 28, 2024, and align with the Rossland Winter Carnival, promising a thrilling lineup of diverse artists.
The annual winter music throwdown has carved out its place in the Canadian festival scene, continuing to gain momentum in its 13th year, with tickets moving quickly.
“The idea is to be eclectic every year; Rossland has a lot of different types of humans that exist within its
borders, and the visitors are gravitating to that vibe, too,” says Coordinator Daniel D’Amour. “The mandate is to
provide a variety of all music stylings, with an emphasis on Canadian content, so there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy.”
The event’s intimate size allows festival goers to experience front-row-like access to incredible up-and-coming artists and established, veteran performers alike, at venues ranging from the iconic outdoor Olaus Ice Palace to cozy settings like the Lily May Room. Larger venues – such as the historic Miners’ Hall, The Legion, and The Flying Steamshovel – are clustered primarily downtown, making it easy for weekend pass holders to hop between sets. The Josie’s Monashee Ballroom is back this year, supported by a shuttle service running between downtown and the Red Mountain venue for festival goers to see Shaela Miller & Her Band.
This year’s line up boasts an incredible range of musical genres, from folk and country to rock, hip-hop, funk, Americana, and punk. Performers like Miller bring dreamy pop-infused outlaw country, while Down the Lees deliver grungy, heavy post-rock sounds. The seamless blending of genres by these artists is truly exciting, resulting in dynamic fusions that resonate with diverse tastes. Vancouver’s Lazy Syrup Orchestra, for instance, combines a live horn section with a DJ, resulting in an avant-garde jazz/hip-hop/funk sound. Meanwhile, Seattle’s All Star Opera brings funky hip-hop, led by an MC and backed by a drummer, percussionist, bass player, guitarist, and a keyboardist.
“We’re really excited to bring some live hip-hop to Blizzard Fest. It’s something that we haven’t really done in the past,” says D’Amour. “All Star Opera will get everyone moving before Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Alex Cuba hits the stage.”
In collaboration with the Trail & District Arts Council, country/alt-folk singer-songwriter Mariel Buckley opens the Festival on Thursday night with a sit-down performance in the main room of the Miners’ Hall.
Electronic music fans are in for a treat with mid-tempo bass from DUNKS of the Funk Hunters and up-and-coming talents Mark Woodyard and BirdHaus playing the Ice Palace Saturday night.
Hailing from the punk strongholds of Toronto, PKEW PKEW PKEW is set to blaze the stage with their high- octane skate-punk sound at the Steamshovel Friday night. Known for their anthems, including the iconic “Mid- 20s Skateboarder” from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2, their sound transports fans back to the raw energy of the 90s scene. The Slocan Valley’s Thee Disastronauts, featuring Mike Hodsall from D.O.A., is also set to kick up some post/rock noise Friday night at the Legion.
Preserving their commitment to also feature local talent, this year’s lineup is brimming with West Kootenay sound, including Rossland’s ever-enigmatic Stubbs & The, spontaneously blending theatre into their five-piece masterpiece, and four-piece garage punk band Bitter//Washed.
“If there’s one weekend of the year you want to come to Rossland, it’s Winter Carnival and Blizzard Fest weekend,” says D’Amour. “There are so many things happening and, in terms of the visitor experience, you’re coming to see what Rossland is all about.”
The non-profit festival wouldn’t be possible without support from Creative BC, the City of Rossland, Tourism Rossland, Trail & District Arts Council, Tailout Brewing, Phillips Brewing and Malting Co., and the Rossland Winter Carnival.
Organizers are calling on all music lovers to rally and support live music in Rossland by purchasing tickets. Weekend passes and the main stage events are sold out, but there are still plenty of side stage shows to check out.
As in past years, weekend passes do not apply to smaller venue events with limited capacity (Lily May Room), and weekend passholders are encouraged to pick up their wristbands a week in advance at the Flying Steamshovel to eliminate waits. The Festival is paperless, with digital tickets, ticket transfers, and resale options available at https://www.blizzardmusicfest.ca/tickets. For more information, visit https://www.blizzardmusicfest.ca.