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Valdy headlines entertainment portion of Fire and Ice Festival this Saturday in Qualicum Beach

Valdy will be headlining the Fire and Ice Festival in Qualicum Beach May 3. - NEWS FILE PHOTO
Valdy will be headlining the Fire and Ice Festival in Qualicum Beach May 3.
— image credit: NEWS FILE PHOTO

In his early years Valdy was a bit of a gunslinger.

That was, when it came to showing off his technical ability onstage, he said.

"I'd like to think I am paying more attention now than I did to making sure my time on stage is maximized as opposed to doing any throw-away material," said the Canadian Folk Legend while making his way back to Salt Spring Island from an Earth Day show in Ontario last week. "I play things I enjoy and therefore it gives the audience a chance to enjoy rather than trying things that are technically challenging for me but maybe a big yawn for everyone else."

Valdy, whose full name is Paul Valdemar Horsdal, has sold almost half a million copies of his 14 albums, he has four Gold albums to his credit, he's got two Juno Awards (and has been nominated seven times) and the 68-year-old continues to write music, perform and tour regularly.

Valdy will be playing at Qualicum Beach's Fire and Ice Festival on May 3. He'll be playing on the main stage from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Recently Valdy has been rehearsing for a tour with Victoria jazz pianist Karel Roessingh, who will be joining him at Fire and Ice this year.

"He is a brilliant musician, quite well respected, and in fact he helped me produce my last record," he said.

The two will travel to Ontario in mid-May to perform with Valdy's friend and bassoonist, Nadina Mackie Jackson.

The young talented musician is the daughter of renowned log builder Allan Mackie and Valdy met her while playing at the North American Log House Builders Convention about 10 years ago. Valdy said he played on her bassoon quartet's Christmas Album years ago (the group is called The Caliban Quartet) and they have been wanting to do collaborate for years.

"I'm not a classical musician myself, I do read but not well, and she reads like a hawk but doesn't play by ear well, so we figure if we team up we're going to have some mutual benefits," he said.

Valdy, best known for his song Play Me a Rock and Roll Song, continues to write music today, and he will perform a tribute he recently wrote for Stompin' Tom Connors at the Fire and Ice Festival.

The self-proclaimed "aging hippy" has been known to connect and engage with his audiences over the years.

"By presenting something that people can get involved in or at least relate to, rather than just laying something on them, it fulfills a mandate that music has," he said.

Valdy said he stops into Qualicum Beach from time to time and that the Shady Rest Pub is one of his favourite pubs.

The Fire and Ice Street Festival was cancelled last year after 21 years but the popular event (which brings over 5,000 people to downtown Qualicum Beach) will be back full throttle.

Fire and Ice combines the cool talents of ice sculptors and the hot fiery goodness of chilli, which this year will be expanded to other hot food options from local restaurants. Ice carvers from around the world will line the downtown streets of Qualicum Beach creating their masterpieces. People can amble along checking out the creations while enjoying the hot treats that will located at stations throughout the town.

The NEWS, a sponsor of the event, has partnered with Thalassa Restaurant to enter a chili team.

Live music will set the mood around the village, and besides Valdy, there will be Brodie Dawson, who took Vocalist of the Year at the 2014 Vancouver Island Music Awards, the Big Twang Theory, Tracey Riley, Lazy Mike and the Rockin' Recliners, River Side Blue Grass Band, Island Blue Rose, The Mount Arrowsmith Pipe Band and many more. (Visit www.fireandicestreetfestival.com/about/entertainers for details and a schedule).

The theme for Fire and Ice this year will be Pirates of Qualicum Beach and people are encouraged to dress up.

For more information on the event visit www.fireandicestreetfestival.com.

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