Music & Performances

The AFC Festival features an eclectic range of musical and cultural performances that beautifully compliments the nature theme including First Nations songs, spoken words and performances, acoustic guitar, viola, drumming, Japanese Shakuhachi flute and others. Unless otherwise indicated, performances will be located at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens. 

Check the daily program schedule for days/times. 

Thomas Beckman | Violist | Festival Theme Composer

Canadian-born violist, composer and producer, Thomas Beckman performs in a wide range of diverse musical groups, from principal violist of the Postmodern Camerata, to lead violist of Sons of Granville.



Edgar Muenala | Panflute

Edgar is a unique artist among his own generation, a composer, songwriter and a pan flute extraordinaire who combines ancient tunes with new age sensibility. Edgar relates to music much in the way of an ongoing journey. He is an independent artist based in British Columbia who has traveled across the world for the past 25 years sharing his music with all types of crowds.


William Nahanee | Cultural Performance 

Kwel-a-anexw is a member of the Squamish Nation and founder of the Sna7em Traditional Dancers. He has been actively involved with culture for his whole lifetime. Mt. Nahanee is well known in the Aboriginal and general public, as a strong promoter of cultural harmony through sharing drumming, singing, dancing and artwork and feasting in traditional and multicultural venues. William has been part of the AFC Festival since 2011 and we're delighted to have William back again to perform with song, spoken words and dance during special events, festival and as part of our youth education program. 


Russell Shumsky | Participatory Drumming  

Russell is a Vancouver based percussionist / performer / teacher who travels to West Africa regularly to study with master drummers Famoudou Konaté and Mamady Keita. Besides touring internationally with some great contra dance bands, Russell runs a hand drumming school here in Vancouver. He has toured and performed with Sarah McLachlan. For more information about Russell and his music.  Russell entertained and provided instruction at our 2012 Festival and is back again. 




Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos | Shakuhachi Japanese Bamboo Flute

Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos lives a life guided by shakuhachi. With over 20 years of experience of shakuhachi and meditation practice, he is dedicated to the ultimate goal of spreading the history, culture, and art of playing the shakuhachi, Japan's most well-known vertical bamboo flute. His mandate is to educate the public about Japanese musical and spiritual arts focussing on shakuhachi and to share its beauty for the enrichment of the entire community. Will be joining us on various days during the fesitival. 

John Gilliat  Solo Guitarist  ​

Canadian-born guitarist captures audiences with his acoustic flamenco rhythms. He is a past winner of Vancouver’s Unplugged Competition and Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prize at the BOSS Loop Station.


Xwa-lack-tun & Friends | Performance & Carving Demo

Xwa-lack-tun (aka Rick Harry) gained his skills and education from Emily Carr College of Art and Capilano College.  In September, 2012, Xwa-lack-tun received the Order of British Columbia in recognition of his work as an artist. Xwa-lack-tun and friends have been part of the AFC Festival since 2012.


Vi An | Musical Guest 

Vi An is an independent artist and improvisor virtuoso on Asian long zithers (horizontal string instruments) such as Gu Zheng, Koto and Dan tranh. Vi Ann has many years performing experience in both solo and collaborative musical projects.



AVIA Trio | Musical Group 

AVIA Trio is a group composed of three musicians of Asian ancestry who incorporate a variety of Asian instruments such as shakuhachi, shamisen, zheng and sitar and draw inspiration from many styles of contemporary, improvisation, ambient and non-western traditions of playing. 


We acknowledge that the Artists for Conservation Festival takes place on the traditional unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia.

2023 Program