Photo: the auditorium at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre during intermission at Music by the Sea
The voice of soprano Christina Daletska soared to the high ceilings of the Bamfield Marine Science Centre auditorium. For a minute, I took my eyes off her elegant dress, long tresses and expressive face to look out the floor to ceiling window behind her to Barkley Sound and the sky above. I caught a flash of a wing. A crow? No, it had a white head: an eagle. I watched it dip and glide as it was joined by a second, then a third. It was as if the birds heard the music and soared to it as well as to the westerlies whipping down Trevor Channel in Barkley Sound.
That morning we had sailed those westerlies from Ucluelet to Bamfield, scooting before the wind under a sunny sky across Loudon Channel on a classic Barkley Sound day. We slipped through narrow Coaster Channel and through the craggy islands of the Broken Group to cross Imperial Eagle Channel and finally through Satellite Passage to Trevor Channel before turning into Bamfield Inlet and anchoring off the East Bamfield Public dock.
We had wanted to attend the Music by the Sea Festival for a number of years but always arrived in Bamfield too early or too late. This year we scheduled our departure from Seattle just to attend it, sailing out the Strait of Juan de Fuca and up the coast of Vancouver Island to Barkley Sound. We weren't disappointed. The music, an eclectic combination of classical, blues and jazz performed by some of Canada's top performers, was excellent, the setting inspirational and the people friendly. By the time we attended our second concert, we'd made several new friends.
My favorite piece was Seascapes by modern composer Eduardo Garrido, played by guitarist Jacob Cordover. When Cordover introduced it, he noted it depicted the many moods of the sea - peaceful, rambunctious and sometimes just scary.
Most people travel to Bamfield by car over an unpaved logging road from Port Alberni, some come on the steamer Francis Barkley and some by seaplane. The few, like us, who come by boat, all get a festival burgee, awarded in public after intermission. Boaters who come multiple times get a new burgee every year with the number of stars for the number of times they've been. We're already plotting how to come back for our two-star burgee.
Music by the Sea runs nine days in July. Concerts can be purchased separately or as a festival package. We bought our two concerts at the door with no problems getting good seats. General seating was $40 per ticket. For boaters already in Barkley Sound it's a bargain and a great opportunity.
For more information about the Bamfield Music by the Sea festival visit www.musicbythesea.ca