Okanagan’s only world music festival expanding in 2016 after three successful years

Okanagan’s only world music festival expanding in 2016 after three successful years


Seven sets of culturally diverse music will be presented at this year’s West Kelowna World Music Festival over two days.

Featuring returning headlining act En Karma, who played the event in 2014, with bhangra fusion dhol and drum music on Friday and afro-fusion group Zimbamoto on Saturday.


En Karma

Westbank First Nation artist Cori Derickson opens the festival with a traditional welcome and performance.

Local middle eastern duo Altrab will play with special guest Ferhad Jafo, a professional musician originally from Aleppo, Syria. Ferhad plays the buzuk, a long neck fretted stringed instrument.  “Ferhad brings to the Okanagan valley a unique instrument of the Middle East and a rare opportunity to enrich the culture of our region,” said Altrab leader Trevor Salloum. 

Filling out the line-up is local favourites, salsa band Major Mambo and modern folk/funk rockers Wild Son, as well as the hard working Vancouver based gypsy jazz group Deana Knight and the Hot Club of Mars!

The West Kelowna World Music Festival is free and family friendly, taking place Aug.26 and 27. This year is the fourth year of the event. New this year, the event will take place over two days, on Friday August 26 from 6 – 9 p.m. and on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 4 –  9 p.m. The Interior Savings KidZone features interactive art, music and culture activities on Saturday, August 27 from 4 – 7 pm from Barefoot Caravan, Kinshira and more.

Spearheading the event this year is the producing organization Creative Okanagan’s new Executive and Creative Director Karma Lacoff, who is hoping to build on the already successful event.

Zimba Group

Zimba Group

 “With a different person leading the way, there are bound to be a few changes, which are seen in the selection of artists, to expanding the event to be two days, to the fresh new look of our promotional materials and changes to the KidZone,” said Lacoff. “The event enhancements have been possible because of additional sponsorship and the connections I have to the community.”

This City of West Kelowna contracts the Creative Okanagan Artist and Event Development Society to produce this event. The event is enhanced significantly by the financial support of sponsors, this year Gorman Brothers Mill’s contribution allowed us to bring in more diverse acts from out of the area, the Rotary Club of Westbank along with Suk’ʷtəmsqilxʷ West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC) and the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan contributed to the temporary art installation to enhance the physical environment of the festival, and Interior Savings provided funding allowing us to enhance the interactive KidZone focused on art, music and culture. The Holiday Inn West Kelowna is our official hotel sponsor, helping us present artists from outside the Okanagan. Helping us promote over the airwaves is 99.9 SunFM.  

For full event details including artists, set times, KidZone participants, and food vendors visit our website at www.creativeokanagan.com.


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