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Just when we thought we had reached the zenith of Ladner Bandfest performances, along came the 10th annual production to top the lot.


Record crowds poured into Memorial Park, Ladner, for the two-day event, June 7 and 8, sat back and relaxed as 22 amateur, adult bands performed brilliantly, leading up to a spectacular finale showcasing the Naden Band* of the Royal Canadian Navy, under the musical direction of Lieutenant (N) Matthew Clarke, CD.


Once again, Delta Parks, Recreation and Culture, set up a mobile stage opposite the permanent gazebo, enabling the audience to sit in the centre and face whichever band was performing.  Each band was allotted 40-minutes playing time while the next one was setting up.  Maintaining a strict timetable ensured that each group was able to perform at their own pace without affecting the following band’s time allotment.  This important time-keeping role was undertaken by MC’s Curt Jantzen, Margaret Behenna, Sherry Lowes, Elvira Gee, Lucy Williams and Brian Ellis.


Fine weather prevailed throughout the weekend, adding to the ambience of this memorable event.  Bands travelling from the island of Maui, Washington State and the Lower Mainland, made an invaluable contribution and were obviously well prepared to “strut their stuff”. 


It has been said before, and it is bound to be repeated countless times, that without the extraordinary help of the organizing committee and a large contingent of volunteers, Ladner Bandfest would not run as smoothly as it does.  These people are absolutely dedicated and very much appreciated.  In addition, the organizers are grateful for the support of local businesses through their program advertising and in some cases, the loan of equipment and large tents.


Ladner Bandfest founder, Curt Jantzen, introduced Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington and renowned bandleader, Dal Richards, who praised the participants and organizers.  Celebrated Canadian composer Bob Buckley, visiting from Montreal, was then introduced.  He had the opportunity to hear some of his compositions performed by several of the bands.  Greetings were sent by Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, a keen supporter of Bandfest, who was unable to attend this year’s festival.


Each of the participating bands received an envelope containing a $100 gift card from Long & McQuade, a $50 gift certificate from Matterhorn Music, a Certificate of Participation from the Bandfest Committee and the attractive, multi-coloured program, with a covering letter.



This year’s printed program, once again designed and compiled by Royal City flutist Pat Hull, proclaimed the 10th anniversary of Bandfest.  Inside was a short history of TOOB (Tsawwassen Order of Old Bastards) and the excellent charity work they do in the surrounding communities.   Playing times and contact information for each of the participating bands were also featured.  A synopsis of the Naden Band appeared toward the back of the program.


A special $300 award from the Delta Music Makers was presented to Delta Secondary School student, Griffin MacLeod.


Ladner Bandfest owes a debt of gratitude to the Organizing Committee: Curt Jantzen, Patricia Hull, Margaret Behenna, Lucy Williams, Gary Bateman, Hilary Otten, Alan Dodds, Janet Drew, Jhandie Jantzen, Elvira Gee, Sherry Lowes and Lillian and Brian Ellis.


Generous support was received from the following sponsors: Archetype Print Ltd; B.C. Fire Sprinklers (fire extinguishers); Delta Parks, Recreation & Culture; Envision Financial; Long & McQuade; Matterhorn Music; Prussin Music and Save-On.  Special thanks for the use of band equipment, stands and chairs to Tracy Neff, Delta Secondary School, and Jill Sparrow-Ng, Seaquam Secondary School.


On-site refreshments were available through Delta Music Makers personnel and TOOB’s, featuring their ever-famous “curly fries”.


Band leaders are already planning for next year’s Ladner Bandfest.  Such is the enthusiasm for this remarkable event, the only one of its kind in Western Canada.


Report by Brian A. Ellis

Bass Clarinet, Delta Music Makers


* Naden Band made its maiden appearance at Bandfest through the kind permission of Rear Admiral William S. Truelove, OMM, Commander, Maritime Command Pacific,

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