French-Canadian band Hey Wow are among those performing at Nanaimo’s 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable, or Maple Sugar Festival. (Photo courtesy Joël Ducharme)

French-Canadian band Hey Wow are among those performing at Nanaimo’s 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable, or Maple Sugar Festival. (Photo courtesy Joël Ducharme)

Nanaimo’s 20th annual Maple Sugar Festival to be held online due to COVID-19

Three-day event celebrates French-Canadian art, music, food and culture

The Association des francophones de Nanaimo is bringing back some familiar faces as it marks its 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable, or Maple Sugar Festival.

This year’s festival takes place from March 26 to 28 and for the first time, due to COVID-19, the festivities will be happening online.

“Honestly it was a little bit of a challenge. So much to learn,” executive director Catharine Williams said of the pivot to cyberspace. “However, I believe that we’ve got a really great show in store for everyone. I think people will truly appreciate what we are doing.”

Williams said the festival will include not only French-Canadian music, but will delve into history, culture, cuisine and art as well. She said reaching the 20-year mark speaks to the group’s “commitment to the community” and presence of francophone culture in Nanaimo. The association is recognizing that milestone by inviting headliners from previous years to perform.

Joining from Ontario are fiddle group Les Rats D’Swompe and the accordion-powered Hey Wow. Folk singers David Jalbert and André Thériault perform from Quebec. Hailing from Manitoba are comedian Micheline and twin Métis fiddlers Double Trouble.

There are also performances and activities for children, local ice sculptor Aaron Grant will create a new piece and French-Canadian food will be available for pick-up to enjoy while taking in this year’s events from home.

“[It’s been a] challenging year but I think that the hard work is going to pay off,” Williams said. “I do truly believe people are going to enjoy themselves.”

WHAT’S ON … 20th annual Festival du Sucre d’Érable takes place online on March 26 from 6 to 8 p.m, March 27 from 10 a.m. to noon, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. and March 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. A link will be available at Admission free but donations accepted here.

RELATED: French Canadian culture and sweet treats at festival in Nanaimo

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo playwright Anne Nesbitt is presenting a staged reading of her play about Indigenous conservationist Gertrude Bernard, also known as Anahareo (from left). (Photo courtesy Andrew Nesbitt/Riding Mountain National Park)
Nanaimo playwright tells the story of Indigenous woman who ‘saved the beaver’

Anne Nesbitt presents ‘Anahareo’ as part of TheatreOne staged reading series

The City of Nanaimo is looking at spending another $400,000 on security throughout downtown in 2021, with a focus on overnight security. (Stock photo)
City of Nanaimo looks at increasing downtown security

Council members will consider $400,000 increase in 2021, $1.45 million in 2022

‘Nanaimo’ will be spelled out in five-foot-tall letters upon a slab of concrete overlooking Swy-a-Lana Lagoon at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Greg Sakaki/The News Bulletin)
Five-foot-tall letters spelling out ‘Nanaimo’ coming to Maffeo Sutton Park

$50,000-project expected to be installed by the end of April

Nanaimo RCMP hope the public can help find a 37-year-old man who was last seen early Tuesday, April 13. (Photo submitted)
RCMP searching for missing Nanaimo man

Friends, family of Robert William Sport, 37, extremely concerned for his safety and well-being

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

A Nanaimo man will serve nine months in jail for the sexual assault of a young girl he admitted to having committed more than 40 years ago. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo man sentenced for sexually abusing girl more than 40 years ago

Man, now 71, gets nine-month sentence for abuse of friend’s daughter

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo teen arrested a day after allegedly assaulting and bullying victim

Teen taken into custody after wielding weapon and threatening driver at scene of car crash

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photo courtesy Ella Smiley)
Orcas near the beach thrill whale watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

Most Read