Dozens of accordion players from across British Columbia, Alberta and even Idaho have made their way to Riverside R.V. Park in Enderby for the sixth annual Accordion Get-Together.
The event is a spin-off from the Kimberley Accordion Festival, which ran for 39 years. Due to increasing costs and declining revenue, the festival was shut down in 2012.
Nyla Hirsch of the Vernon Accordion Club could not let the yearly jam sessions end. She stepped up to help organize the first Accordion Get-Together in 2013, which has become a well-loved event for accordion players as well as music lovers.
Hirsch says she loves the casual, non-competitive and close-knit atmosphere of the get-togethers.
For Hirsch, accordion music is full of joy.
“It’s happy music,” she said. “It makes you want to get up and dance. There’s just a pep to it and we say ‘We not only love our accordions but they love us back.’ There’s no other instrument that hugs you while you’re playing it.”
Deanna Bews is from Priest River, Idaho, and has been traveling to the event for years. She says the event is all about the people.
“You can really build up a comradery with accordion players,” she added.
The get-together is for accordion players of any level. Beginners are encouraged to attend and play with more seasoned participants.
Those who just want to watch and listen to some good old fashioned squeezebox tunes are also welcome to attend.
The Enderby Accordion Get-Together continues until Thursday, July 12. The event ends with a dance at the Enderby Legion.
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