Deep Cove Folk bring big names to Saanich Peninsula

James Keelaghan will perform at the Mary Winspear Centre Saturday, April 7

James Keelaghan will perform

Amid the vibrant folk music scene of Calgary decades ago, Bob de Wolff discovered the next big gig for the Saanich Peninsula.

“He was a Calgary boy with a very fine singing voice, we’ve been following his career since he was 18,” de Wolff said. “We were one of several people on the Calgary scene that invested in his first record, and have remained a fan of his through his 11 records.”

Decades later, James Keelaghan will perform at the Mary Winspear Centre.

“Bob was one of the first guys who ever hired me back when I was 18 years old,” Keelaghan said. “It’s a real pleasure to be coming out and doing a concert with him. And he insisted we bring his favourite bass player David Woodhead.

“We call him Oaken noggen,” he chuckled. “He’s worth the price of admission alone.”

People can look forward to being entertained with some great tunes and tales.

“I tend to write a lot of story songs, storytelling is a main part of what I do. They’re songs that are relevant to today,” Keelaghan said. “It’s going to be a great evening of music. The combination of me and David is a powerful duo.”

“You can see him as a storyteller, a storyteller about Canada. His songs are heartfelt, they bring strong emotions and also he has rabid fans,” de Wolff added.

De Wolff is a director of the Deep Cove Folk Music Society that meets at St. John’s United Church once a month. They wanted to bring larger names in folk music to the Peninsula, and started last year with a well-attended Lennie Gallant concert.

“There are people too expensive for the 100 seat venue [at St. John’s]. “We really like the idea of having folks of this nature in our own theatre in Sidney” de Wolff said. “We’re hoping – given success with this concert – we expect to do a concert series, perhaps three or four a year in places like the Mary Winspear, of people of stature in the roots community in Canada.”

He expects success from award-winning singer and songwriter Keelaghan.

“He has a special talent, he’s a storyteller, Canadian, a person who we think the world of as a person who is not only a fine singer and songwriter, but he’s also really intelligent in the way that he approaches the audience,” de Wolff said. “His concerts are both fun as well as, I hate to say, educational.”

Keelaghan performs Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m. in the Mary Winspear Centre. Tickets are $25 available at 250-656-0630 or online at

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