Greetings, squeezy friends! The world is still consumed by pandemic and climate change, yet just as Nero fiddled while Rome burned, we are doing our level best to ensure that when the Titanic finally goes down, it will be accordion music that the band on the slanted deck serenades the departing lifeboats with. Through the complementary one-two punch of technology and wide open spaces, we have managed to continue our mission through a year and a half of heck, because the show must go on!

(Since accordion gigs are so thin on the ground even at the best of times!)

Which brings us to the announcement of the 14th annual Accordion Noir Festival! Last year we played it very safe, producing no live, in-person performances and only recording and rebroadcasting outdoor performances that had been sent in or set up through the Maclean Park Music series, following the lead of the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Surely next year we can go back to normal, we thought, but when the public health numbers begged to differ, we adopted a compromise: booking a date in Maclean Park ourselves so we could have a shot at presenting live accordion music to our receptive audiences in the safest, most socially-distanced, well-ventilated way possible.

Which brings us to the present! From 2-5 pm, on Saturday, September 11th, some of East Vancouver’s greatest alt-squeezebox talent will be taking the stage (that is, the lawn) at Strathcona’s Maclean Park. The set will be kicked off by the unique bluesy gospel of Ana Bon-Bon, one of Vancouver’s longtime alt-squeezebox luminaries, and it gives us great pleasure to present what just might be the Vancouver debut to the ensemble now known as the Hot Water Quintette, featuring members of Montreal’s Clinker, dishing up “dreamy traditional jazz vibes like Duke Ellington & Jellyroll Morton, bent in genre through being played on instruments with suspended time and acoustic ambiance.” All that plus… well, there is time for special guests on the schedule, but that’s all we can say about that for now.

Presented by Rowan “Stupid Accordion Tricks” Lipkovits of Accordion Noir Radio and the Creaking Planks, this performance will then go out and hunt down fans in the comfort and safety of their own homes, when the program — and the entire season of accordion performances from this summer’s Maclean Park Music series — will be rebroadcast online for free on Saturday, November 13th, including sets by Sospiro Misterioso, Sudanda, the Vancouver Folk Orchestra, Alison Jenkins and the Gram Partisans! (Stay tuned for further details.) There is no escape — accordion music is relentless!

The Sept 11th live performance is by donation, and in the event of inclement weather will be postponed to Sunday Sept 26th.

We’d like to thank our media sponsors at the Columbia Journal, our friends at Car-Free Vancouver and we’re thrilled to acknowledge that this event is presented with support from SoundON, Creative BC, and the Province of British Columbia.

13th annual ACCORDION NOIR FESTIVAL — emoji program!

By popular acclaim, here’s the complete program for this year’s installment of our festival — enhanced in emoji form, to celebrate our triumphant application for the addition of the accordion emoji to all UNICODE-compliant devices worldwide!

Wed Nov 4, 10 pm:
on 𝘼𝙘𝙘𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙉𝙤𝙞𝙧 𝙍𝙖𝙙𝙞𝙤 10-11 pm PST

Thurs Nov 5, 7 pm:
𝙈𝙖𝙘𝙇𝙚𝙖𝙣 𝙋𝙖𝙧𝙠 𝙈𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙘 concert series VIDEOSTREAM

Fri Nov 6, 7 pm:
representing TEAM CLARINET
representing TEAM THEREMIN 🤏
representing TEAM MUSICAL SAW 🪚
representing TEAM ACCORDION 🪗
followed by AFTERPARTY with

Sat Nov 7, 5 pm:
of THAT Damned Band (TEXAS)
& the 𝙎𝙬𝙖𝙢𝙥 𝙍𝙖𝙗𝙗𝙞𝙩 𝙎𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙚𝙯𝙚𝙗𝙤𝙭 𝙁𝙚𝙨𝙩 presents

Sun Nov 8, 5 pm:
𝒻𝑒𝒶𝓉𝓊𝓇𝒾𝓃𝑔: YOU.

Stay tuned for links!

╚════════════ ∘ ◦ 🎶 ◦ ∘ ═════════════╝


Hey there!

It’s been a while. Quite a year, eh? 2020 was supposed to be our triumphant victory lap, celebrating our successful proposal of the accordion emoji! But even if weightier matters have come to the fore, we’ve been hanging in there, continuing to share our weekly radio program (safely pre-recorded from home studios), hosting our monthly socially-distanced get-togethers outdoors (recently relocated to Strathcona’s spacious Ukrainian Hall), and presenting our annual stage at this June’s Car-Free Main Street Festival virtually, as a digital video stream.

We had a live music venue booked early on, but it took some time to determine that this pandemic business wasn’t just going to blow over, and so it is our pleasure to announce that this year’s allegedly “lucky” 13th annual Accordion Noir Festival is scheduled to burst the dam the first week of November on every major digital streaming platform (at least, all the ones we can figure out how to use. TikTok, we have some questions: How are we supposed to have enough balance to film ourselves longboarding while both playing accordion AND drinking cranberry juice? And how do we go about setting up an Onlyfriends account?)

Make a reminder:

  • The fest begins in earnest Wednesday, November 4th with a live radio and videostream performance by the incredible Ana Bon-Bon at the mothballed CFRO Radio studios during Accordion Noir radio’s standard weekly 9-10 pm broadcast time, followed by another hour of radio previewing other participating performers.
  • It continues Thursday, November 5th with a streaming program of squeezy sets captured from this summer’s accordion-heavy guerrilla Music at MacLean Park series.
  • On we boldly plunge Friday November 6th with the return of the Underdog Instrument Grudge Match, for the first time on Zoom.
  • Our mainstage headliners will be dominating the video streams Saturday November 7th. Don’t mind us, we want to build at least a little suspense here!
  • Finally, we host another Zoom event — a “Community Day” open stage session Sunday November 8th, for folks who wanted to take part in our festival but couldn’t find another way to do so.

For further updates, time and link announcements, and other breaking news… stay tuned to this website (please ignore the distracting ghostly imitators at our old, stolen dotcom URL) and our social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and our three Facebook groups. Cheers & squeeze on!



As we achieve the numeral XII, the hands of the clock meet again at midnight, the dead of night, for our offbeat festival’s twelfth year, marking the completion of a 12-year cycle.  (This is significant for us, as Stradella button systems count in twelves also, dictating the rhythms and flows of our musical lives.)

What it all amounts to is that East Vancouver’s infamous Accordion Noir Festival is once again nigh upon us, squeezing reedy tones out at you from the weekend of November 15-16th — our most syncopated date ever!

The instrument is as everywhere as it is nowhere, and this year’s Friday night mainstage program at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac at Victoria) constitutes a good start at a world tour for your ears, beginning with an excursion into the sounds of east Africa with Sudanda, heading north to Sápmi in northern Finland with VILDÁ, sailing from Scandanavia across the Atlantic in longboats to Vinland to compose new epics with Wolfbrood, then veering sharply south to stomp our boots to the sweaty swamp sounds of the Mississippi River Delta with Nuvo Zydeco.

(Doors at 8 pm, tickets $20; advance tickets at Brownpapertickets.)

Saturday afternoon’s Community Day program at Spartacus Books (3378 Findlay Street) will be much more grounded in our regular and longstanding East Vancouver musical practice, featuring sets by the Squeezebox Circle Orchestra and Accordion Noir theme song composer Andy Fielding, a reading by squeezebox historian Bruce Triggs from his new history book Accordion Revolution, a screening of assorted Saturday Morning Accordi-toons, and accordion open mic spots for anyone who needed to get squeezed in… all kicked off with an accordion parade, weather permitting, around Trout Lake.

(Doors at 2 pm, entrance by donation — suggested donation $10.  No one turned away due to lack of funds.)

Thanks to our friends and supporters for joining us for another round!  If you have questions or would like to help out, please don’t hesitate to contact us.




Dear friends,

You remembered us!  (We’ve been at it for twelve years now: of course you would remember us — we’ve been unforgettable!)  Specifically, you remembered the way that we typically host our accordion festival every September.  Now it is September and, for lack of any big news to the contrary, you have been beating down our door demanding to know when our festival is taking place!  It’s all very flattering.

The good news is that you haven’t missed anything!  It’s taken longer than expected for the pieces to fall into place, but they have just about all landed in their little grooves and we are looking forward to bragging to the world all about the varied squeezy splendours we’ll have awaiting you this year!  But like a slowly opening bellows, please allow us to milk a little more suspense out of the big reveal.  So today, we will tell you the dates: this year’s 12th annual Accordion Noir Festival in Vancouver, BC, will be taking place Friday, November 15th, at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac at Victoria), and Saturday, November 16th, at Spartacus Books (3378 Findlay Street).  The first event will be a program of mainstage headliners, and the second will be a delightful menu of curiosities for our customary Community Day.

Like a melodic metal reed, stay tuned — very soon now you will have been fully briefed about all the acts and activities scheduled for our events, and presale tickets will be up and available via Brown Paper Tickets.  And there are more surprises we are yet hiding under our hats.  In the meantime, if you’re interested in our year-round activities, the place that would have kept you fully briefed would be our monthly e-mail newsletter, to which you are invited to subscribe 8)

Cheers & squeeze on!

(Thanks yet again to Elin Jonsson for the fabulous poster prototype!)


12th annual Accordion Noir Festival, coming up Autumn 2019!

Georgia Straight article brought you here? All the latest information over on this page!


Welcome home, squeezebox fans! This website has been light on announcements since Vancouver’s eleventh annual Accordion Festival wrapped back in 2018… but you have found the place to find the latest information about our upcoming twelfth festival coming up in the Autumn of 2019! (If you’d like to take part, you really need to contact us at accnoir at gmail dot com, the plans are already in progress!) In the meantime, do please join us on Accordion Noir radio 10-11 pm every Wednesday night, at the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle get-togethers at Spartacus Books the first Thursday of every month, and at our third annual stage at Car-Free Main Street on June 16th. For breaking updates, catch us on social media — @AccordionNoir on Twitter, @AccordionNoirFest on Instagram, and our three Facebook groups for the Accordion Noir Festival, Accordion Noir fans, and the Vancouver Squeezebox Circle. Cheers & squeeze on!

art by Julie the Bruce

Faces of the Accordion Noir Festival: Melodona


While the critical issue of local accordion repair is not presently a solved problem to our local region, for a few weeks every year at least we get a chance to avail ourselves of the extraordinary skills, talents and expertise of Montreal’s great accordion repair technician Melodona, as we have for every festival since our fifth.  A repair table will be set up at all three nights at the WISE Hall this weekend for repair, demonstration and consultation, and she will remain for a month doing her essential work in Vancouver through Oct 17th, to ensure all of your Hallowe’en accordion preparations are in order.  She notes:

“Those who have specific rare needs are invited to inform me in advance (at, so I can make sure to bring all the required replacement parts. You have until noon on Thursday Sept 14th to do that!”


2018-09-13: Accordion Noir Fest pre-show — “Echoes and Ripples” art opening


On the eve of the 11th annual Accordion Noir Festival, “Echoes and Ripples” is a celebration of visual art concerned with and inspired by live music, ranging from concert and festival poster designs to more profound meditations on the internal experience of performing or listening to music.

In addition to paintings by multi-Accordion-Noir-Festival poster artist Elin Jonsson, this show will be featuring visual artwork by Mister Fire-Man, Jenny Ritter, Pinguino Kolb and Darren Williams, among others.

Because art imitates life, stay for live accordion music by Rowan Lipkovits of the Creaking Planks, Teapot in the Tuba, and the Legion of Flying Monkeys Horn Orchestra.

The opening begins at 6 pm and runs until midnight.  This exhibition is taking place at Creative Coworkers (343 Railway Street, Vancouver) and will be up for two weeks; admission to the opening is by donation ($10 suggested donation includes a drink ticket) and pre-sale tickets are available online at Eventbrite.

Accordion Noir Festival XI poster announcement

Following a fruitful collaboration between Vancouver’s notorious accordion band the Creaking Planks and Imaginary Games, developers of the free mobile CCG Afterland, introductions were made enabling Swedish artist Elin Jonsson and the Accordion Noir Festival to be drawn into each others’ orbits, where she has graced us with three consecutive festival posters, consummate in their enchanted noir-ness.  This year’s is no less magical.

And for the first time, here you see on the poster the complete slate of scheduled festival performers!  Those being… on Friday, September 14th:

And on Saturday, September 15th:

Finally, on Sunday, September 16th, as you can see we’ll be playing host to:

We still have some secrets and surprises to spring on you, but there, in broad strokes, is our festival.

Now some of you have expressed some concern over the fest’s poster: to wit, the pure anatomical masochism of a woman playing accordion without any kind of protective garment over the upper portion of her body — not just a punchline, but a real and imminent pinching hazard, every squeeze a risky hazard!  To put to rest your concerns of our mascot’s perilous situation, the poster designer has clarified that the fantastic scene depicted derives from the fables and legends of her native Sweden, and she is assuredly protected by some ancient magic — the real danger is to you, the listener!

In Swedish folklore we have Näcken who is a naked man, playing violin in the river. If you come to close to the river and hear him playing you will (as a woman) be hypnotized by the music and be pulled into the water and live a life under water. This woman in the poster is flirting with this folklore. 💛

Also, though you can’t see it, the reverse side of her instrument is surely covered with a padded leather back panel to protect the delicate pressed-cardboard bellows from water damage… and also afford the player some comfort and pinch protection.  Even gents and the clothed appreciate the frictionless buffer!

(Do please note that we are not trying to exploitatively titillate you with an objectified, sexualized female body — actually, the best poster art suggestion from our administration involved a cage full of tropical birds! — but as with the “Accordion Babes” pin-up calendar (which, ahem, there should be copies of for sale at the merch table this year), this undertaking was also the deliberate creative decision of a woman artist choosing to express herself in this way for her own reasons.  All we can do is write long blog posts exploring her choices.)

These should be hitting the streets very soon now in poster and handbill form — if you like, take a selfie with one and share it on social media with the #NoirFestXI hashtag to show the world what colour you like your squeezebox music!  (The correct answer is: noir.)

2018-09-16: Accordion Noir Fest XI – Wrap party!

I know, I know — every day is a party with an accordion in the house. But the time eventually comes for this free-reed celebration to leave the crowds of hundreds and move to the kitchen, to delight no more than a dozen or so family members and neighbours at a time. Happily, that time will not yet be quite upon us until the 17th! In the meantime, we reconvene with old friends and new for one last time to bring our spirits gently back down to the real world after two days in the accordion heavens, preparing ourselves emotionally for another twelve months of having to settle for weekly radio updates, monthly get-togethers and such meagre local accordion concerts as are produced by other organizations.  In the meantime, let’s go out on a high note!


Illiteratty ( are a wild crew of metafolk musicians who have gone out into the wide world of music and returned to make delicious sonic stew with only the very best ingredients they have found in every other genre they encountered. (With such a selective and severe mandate, it’s no surprise that the accordion has floated to the top!)

A Cavalcade of Salmon Avalanche: Over the past six years, the tireless Katheryn Petersen ( has done everything for this festival except play music — which was really burying the lede, since as VCC’s first graduate in accordion studies, she has a mighty backlog of magnificent musical wisdoms just lying in wait for the opportunity to drop on us! We felt that flipping that equation on its head would be a more fair way to go about things this year, acknowledging and celebrating her long contributions to our festival by devoting a healthy slice of stage time to her and her selection of choice musical collaborators, from Teapot in the Tuba to Lindy Gray.

You will no doubt remember Basilissa ( from their set at this summer’s Accordion Noir stage at Car-Free Main Street — or if not there, surely their stint at the Jazz festival left an impression! Either way, we are thrilled to once again have an opportunity to share with you the bittersweet fado-infused musical stylings of this Portuguese ensemble.

From Alberta to France to Sweden to Spain and now back to BC again, the peregrinations of Wendy McNeill ( mirror in a way the travels of the accordion itself, picking up strange and delightful new tricks and inflections with every new territory it passed through. She has a new album you may not have heard yet, “Hunger Made You Brave”, and hopefully this festival appearance will set that omission straight.

All three nights of the 11th Annual Accordion Noir Festival take place at the WISE Hall (1882 Adanac St. at Victoria, Vancouver, BC V5L 2E2). Doors open at 8 pm. Admission is $20 at the door or you can purchase advance tickets online, as indicated below: