For the love of music




The story of the Awakeneers starts more than 30 years ago on an off-grid homestead in the mountains of BC where future band members grew up, homeschooled alongside mountain streams and ancient trees. Hearing and making music was part of life from the beginning and, as the children grew, instruments and music teachers were imported at strategic times.

Celtic music in the living room led to contra dances in the community hall. Occasional concerts became tours of Canada, the US, and Europe, playing at street festivals, state capitals, homeless shelters, folk festivals, and congregations of all faiths. Along the way, several albums were recorded under different band names.

Fast-forward tens of thousands of kilometres to the lockdown of 2020.

Here, the musicians spent days in meetings, voted on 799 band-name nominations, and emerged as “Awakeneers.” The official mission statement of the band was to “embody truth, light, and love for the benefit of all beings everywhere.” This name brought new focus, but many things remained unchanged.

The Awakeneers’ core values and grassroots approach

Sustainability has long been a core value of the band. They eat organic food, wear organic fibres, use ethical open-source software, offer their music on co-op streaming platforms, and—even when living in short-term rentals slated for demolition—grow as much food as they can in tiny, yet vibrant gardens.

Another constant among band members is their do-it-yourself, grassroots approach. They have never had or sought a manager or record label. Everything is done in-house: from recording, mixing and mastering to merchandise, bookings, and promotion. From the beginning, many concert admissions were free or by donation. And most studio recordings are available for free. It has always been about music for its own sake—the magical way it connects, heals, and inspires people.

The move to Campbell River—the sweet spot

In 2021, the band moved to Campbell River from Cortes Island. Campbell River has turned out to be the sweet spot between rural and urban extremes. For all of its charm, Cortes makes it difficult for a working folk band to get to venues when it takes two ferries and hours in the van just to get to the nearest town. Campbell River is big enough that there’s an audience for acoustic folk music, but small enough that people smile and nod when they pass each other on the street.

The day after moving to town, one band member spotted the charming headquarters of the Campbell River Arts Council in Willow Point’s Sybil Andrews Cottage. Before long, the Awakeneers Acoustic Matinée weekly concert series was launched. The band challenged themselves to rehearse and present a fresh two-hour set of music for each event. By the finale of the eighth show, they had played 150 original songs.

After their move to Campbell River, the Awakeneers have appeared on TV—two one-hour specials on Shaw Spotlight—and performed at Vancouver Island MusicFest (an annual pilgrimage for 20 years and a huge source of experience and inspiration). Another milestone was the release of their debut album. It was recorded on Cortes Island, mixed and mastered in Willow Point, and released with support from the Campbell River Arts Council and Patrons of the Arts (POTA). They look forward to continuing to share the joy of performance found in their music across the Salish Sea, starting with their tour in the spring/summer of 2024.

The Awakeneers are hard at work on their next album, and their debut album can be downloaded or free at