Performers

Yvonne Kushe is a Ugandan-Canadian singer-songwriter and all-around creative. 

Kushe marries her quirky humour to her creative work while exploring various themes that have featured in her life. Her eclectic sound is one she prefers not to categorize by genre. In her own words, ‘’Music is amorphous and I treat it treat it as such, I follow the melodies wherever they take me’’. 

Kushe is also Miss Uganda North America 2017 and a cultural ambassador for Uganda to North America. In a bid to foster cultural exchange between Uganda and North America Kushe created PolliNATION, an initiative that provides artists in both Uganda and North America the opportunity to collaborate and tap into different music circles while promoting their music. 

Francis Arevalo is a Filipino artist-producer known for his personal storytelling, thoughtful messages, and colourful production. He creates to uplift, inspire, and energize his communities. His music has been described as if he has "found and embraced a truth deep within himself, that he sees the world not through rose-coloured glasses, but in shades of optimism, hope, and beauty" (DOMINIONATED). Whether through song or conversation, Francis is dedicated to collective growth through meaningful relationship.

Born and raised in Guantanamo, Cuba, in a family of established musicians, Julio Avila's musical journey dates back to when he was 7 years old. Listening to his parents and older siblings perform, Julio first developed a strong bond with the traditional tune, changüí, which has roots in his native Guantanamo.

Surrounded by this vibrant and rich musical heritage, Julio perfected playing his principal instrument, the bass, while taking on the lead singer, arranger, and composer roles as well.

As a member of the internationally renowned group La Sonora Universal, Julio performed throughout Europe and with El Grupo Cubano Brisas Del Palmar he has toured  Western Canada since 2005. The Julio Avila Cuban Band, which delivers passionate performances of salsa, son, bachata, boleros and cumbias.

In 1961 Helene Duguay left her rural New Brunswick home with her bass guitar and determined voice seeking fame and fortune in the bright lights of Montreal.

After gigging around Canada and the States for a year with Marcel Martel, she formed the band Les Beatlettes, an all girl band gaining notoriety with several top ten hits. Tragically, on the way to their last show in Canada before heading off to Paris for a major gig at the Olympia, a car crash claimed the lives of two of the girls in the band.

After taking some time off to recover from the loss, her love of music compelled her to continue with her career.  Helene's talent continued to soar with many bands over the years. Through the blues she delivers her powerful spirit of determination with moving, unforgettable soul. Helene continues to perform and play regularly with Murray while continuing her own career.

A-SLAM is an artist, DJ, & producer that fuses his Western & South Asian roots. He made a name for himself in the World music scene, fusing Hip-Hop beats with Bhangra & Bollywood samples.  

His sound garnered him respect in the industry, with his single ‘4 U’ winning an international Hip-Hop/R&B songwriting award. His unique blend of fusion music was noticed by several Indigenous artists who wanted to do the same with their culture. This led A-SLAM to work with Sto:lo Nation artist Inez, receiving a Juno nomination and several Western Canadian Music Awards for the project. Currently, A-SLAM is creating music for commercial release, the Film/TV industry, & DJing full-time in Vancouver, BC. His debut solo album also titled ‘4 U’, was recently signed to a New York-based sync library and released on all streaming platforms in May 2022. 

Heart-forward and three-time Juno nominated Ginalina creates a world of indie and all-ages folk music and beautiful children's books that celebrate nature, community, and the connections we share between them.  Her songs and stories are warm and winsome, fun and folky, interactive and energizing.  Together, and in English, Mandarin, and French, with loved ones, strangers, and friends, she shares wild and wonderful moments of singing, dancing, and a sort of kindness that this world needs more than ever.

Under the Direction of Harvey Paris, Salsahall Collective is a musical group that combines Dancehall and Salsa creating a new sound known as Salsahall. The group is made up of musicians from Jamaica, Venezuela, El Salvador, Guatemala and France, however, they all met in the city of Vancouver. The early beginnings of the project started with a Cuban piano montuno played over the top of a modern dancehall rhythm. From there the Collective began bringing all of their traditional as well as contemporary sounds together, Old and New, experimenting and expanding. 

"Tiger" WIll Mason is a multi-instrumentalist, award-winning singer/songwriter, actor and Native rights warrior of Mohawk and Upper Cayugar descent. He has played music as a solo artist, as a bandleader, and accompanist in cover and original bands, from Toronto, to Vancouver. His CD "Long Walk 49" enjoyed airplay in the 2000s, and was nominated for five awards at the first NEMAs in Albuquerque, NM. In 1986 he was given the Anishinabe name "Kahntahwiwim'-tchi-get", which means "Maker of Beautiful Music. He's won several awards, including Canada's Aboriginals Got Talent in 2012. His music is a variety of genres, from folk to rock and blues, even bluegrass stylings. His stories and songs are legendary in some circles, having played across Turtle Island.

Vancouver Okinawa Taiko has been performing in numerous festivals, charity functions and anniversary events for just about two decades. The group's aim is to promote and preserve Okinawan-style drum-dancing Eisa, and to share Okinawan cultural heritage. The membership consists of mixed generations to reflect the presentation of grassroots folk art. We hope to deliver the Okinawan spirit through the beat of our drums and the harmonies of our dance. 

The Spindle Whorl Dancers have been together since 1974. Presentations of both our Stó:lō and Prairie Style of dancing and singing have been shared at venues around the World. Today there are three generations of the family represented with the eldest at 69 and the youngest is 2 years old. Over the years they have participated at Expo ’86, The Calgary Stampede, they’ve represented Canada at the International Folk Festival in Switzerland, were featured at the 2010 Olympics, The Annual Chilliwack Fair, and many more community events.

We Are Stars Of The North Drum Group of The Tlowitsis Nation located in Alert Bay, Vancouver Island. We started our drum group in August 2009 by writing our own music based on stories shared to us from our Elders. Songs are written in English implementing our Native Kwakwala language with the assistance in translation from my Grandmother Wata. Having been children raised without our cultural teaching, language, and not raised with our people, we began our learning journey through music of our own written songs using our handmade hand drums, and rattles. We perform in our own hand made, stitched, and designed Button Blankets and Aprons. The Button Blankets Represent where we are from. Our Native people celebrate, in the Big House with potlatch, and ceremonies in which our button blankets are designed to represent Our Big House.

The Korean Traditional Arts Society (KTAS) is dedicated to promoting the various art forms and expressions of Korean traditional culture and art in Vancouver, Canada. Samulnori, meaning farmer's drum music, has traditionally been performed during the periods of planting and harvesting of crops. The purpose of this Samulnori is to drive out all misfortunes and bad lucks to call in good lucks and happiness beginning of the year.

KTAS aims to raise community awareness of Korean culture. KTAS also aims to encourage and promote cultural exchanges and cooperation between Canada and Korea. We support families with children with disabilities, and multi-ethnic artists gather together to revitalize art and actively promote anti-racism.

Based out of Surrey, British Columbia, Islanders is a Sri Lankan Fusion band dedicated to performing top quality covers and instrumental music from their motherland, while adding a touch of every other genre when they can. The Band was founded in 2010, and since then have put one several concerts, performed for weddings, backed Sri Lankan artists coming from abroad. Islanders is excited to be back at Surrey's Fusion Festival for the 4th time! Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes!

Marlin Ramazzini, Juno Award Nomenee, recipient of the Vancouver Inspirational Latin Awards, Guatemalan Cultural Association Award and Spanglish Magazine Women’s Award; is one of the most versatile and accomplished Latin singers on the West Coast, with a warm and sensuous voice that can tease out the essence of any song.

Growing up in Guatemala, she was inspired to start singing by listening to Cuban son, cha cha cha, mambo, and other hot rhythms on the radio. After winning a major talent competition at the age of 12, Marlin realized that her destiny was to make music.

Known for their heart pounding energy, Cookin’ With Brass is an adrenaline-charged band that features an innovative blend of traditional New Orleans brass sounds, R&B, Blues, Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop beats, Rock and Pop. Their genre-bending performances unleash brassy Funk and Street Beat rhythms that move people.

Cookin' With Brass has a repertoire that spans from early Motown songs like I Want You Back by The Jackson 5 to Love Again by Dua Lipa and other Top 40 hits plus New Orleans Brass Band favourites.  This fun band supercharges popular songs with a universal party groove, making Cookin’ With Brass the ideal band for any event

Edgar is a Vancouver-based, flute player and songwriter who makes heartfelt harmonious music and new age fusion.  Edgar Muenala was born in 1968 in Cotacachi-Ecuador. He is a pan flute extraordinaire who combines ancient tunes with new age sensibility. Edgar relates to music much in the way of an ongoing journey. In February of 2010, he was featured at the stage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Edgar was inspired by his original music and culture to create a musical fusion of sounds from around the world. His focus was to bring together different instruments along with culturally diverse rhythms and electronic digital effects to form his own style.