Boxwood Festivals
Boxwood Canada

Participant Information


Boxwood's Philosophy - from director Chris Norman:

Boxwood exists to create a richer and stronger community through our programming and to promote artistic exellence. We share and explore the roots and branches of Atlantic Canada's music & dance traditions; connecting the entire community with programs for children, teens, adults, seniors, novices, amateurs and professionals. We look forward to you joining us!


Regular registration, Work-Study, Teens, Non-Participant friends & family:
Visit our registration page for complete details, on-line registration form, and payment options. Questions? Send us an email or call us at Boxwood office: 902.400.0044. Space is limited, so please register early.

Youth Dance & Music Intensive
Registration for the Youth Dance & Music Intensive utilizes the same on-line form found on our registration page.

Arrival, Check-ins and Departure

Arrival for the Boxwood week is recommended for the morning or early afternoon of Sunday July 21. 2019. Our opening dinner & and concert takes place on the evening of Sunday July 21. Check-in registration at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall will take place between 1–5 PM, on Sunday July 21. The week officially ends after the session following the Finale Concert.

Getting Here

Please note that travelers entering Canada from certain countriesare now required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). It just takes a few minutes and is good for 5 years.

Air Travel
Fly into Halifax International Airport (YHZ) if you're arriving by air. There's usually a sale on the major carriers in April/May. There are a number of seasonal carriers serving Halifax in the Summer months. Check the Halifax Stanfield Airport website for a current list of carriers.

By Car
If you're driving, there are two ferries providing service to Nova Scotia across the Bay of Fundy: To Yarmouth, NS from Bar Harbor, ME. There is also a ferry from St, John NB to Digby, NS.

Please note that we have numerous participants driving up from Maine, New Hampshire, New York and other points South. If you're interested to share a ride please let us know and we'll put you directly in touch with those driving.

Carpool Service between the Halifax Airport (YHZ) and Lunenburg
Boxwood will again coordinate carpool runs between the Halifax airport and Lunenburg on Sunday 7/21 and Sunday 7/28. This information will be shared on our Members Site where participants can connect with each other directly via a forum to work out shared transportation and lodging. We'll help get you down to Lunenburg by arranging carpools or using shared van and taxi services. So let us know your travel plans! We can either assist you with arranging a ride or, if you have a car,asking for your assistance with transportation if you have a car. Those using a shared taxi or van service can expect the fare to be $25-$30 each way, and you'll pay your driver directly.


Boxwood's activities are centrally located and within walking distance to most lodging options in Old Town Lunenburg including many beautiful and historic B&Bs. Motels are located on the edge of town a short walk from town, while camp grounds are centrally located in town. You may also billet with a local host family. A comprehensive list of lodging options in the Town of Lunenburg can be found by visiting their website.

Billeting is currently AVAILABLE: Billeting is the most economical option and it supports Boxwood's programming by means of a matching donation. The suggested donation is a flat $250 USD ($300CAD). Your hosts donate the lodging, and your payment is a donation to support the administrative side of Boxwood. Please thank your host - and we thank you both! Requests are fulfilled on a first-come first-serve basis with preference given to teens and Work Study participants. We have a limited number of billeting spots, therefore, not every billeting request can be met, therefore register early. Our billeting will be coordinated this year by our Boxwood Office - (902.400.0044 or e.mail). Make your billeting request via our On-Line Registration form.

Billeting will be available from the evenings of Sunday July 21 - through Saturday night July 27th, (departing on Sunday morning July 28) - inclusive. The billeting fee will not be pro-rated for shorter stays. We aim to place as many billeters as possible in town. Some of our billeters, however, are located in fabulous oceanfront homes outside of Old Town Lunenburg, so rides will be organized for those staying outside of town without cars. Feel free to contact us via e.mail or telephone with specific questions about the billeting option. The check-in times for billeted lodging are: Sunday, July 21, 1–5 p.m. at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall.

- This is a matching donation scheme: your host is donating the accommodation to support Boxwood, and we suggest you make a donation to support Boxwood.

The number of billeting spots is limited and is allocated with preference to teens, Work-Studys and those registering early.
- A billeting spot is not guaranteed; we'll refund you if a spot is not found or a host cancels.
- We aim to keep everyone in town, however, your host may be outside of town. Rides will be coordinated if needed.
-Let us know a few details about yourself and your preferences in the comments section of your registration so we can place you in the ideal spot.


Full registration, Work-Study, and Young Musician Outreach registrations include 6 beautiful suppers held at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall. These meals take place around 6PM on Sunday 7/21, Monday 7/22, Tuesday 7/23, Wednesday 7/24,Thursday 7/25, and Friday 7/26. Lunch is provided for Staff, Guest Artists and Teens at the Fire Hall.

Community building is a central pillar of Boxwood's philosophy, and our evening meals are the one time of day when we're all together. Our chefs take great care to prepare beautiful meals from fresh, local, organic ingredients. We encourage you to come early when the Fire Hall bar will be open, mingle and linger to enjoy the meal. Odessa Spore returns this year to be our chef for the week!

Please note that dinner on Saturday 7/27 and daily lunch is NOT included. We encourage participants to make their own plans by visiting one of the dozens of fine cafes & restaurants in town. We'll be asking local cafes and restaurants to provide a discount for Boxwood participants during the festival week. We'll post this information here ASAP.


The following schedule is the framework for our activities and may be helpful as you make your plans. A PDF Boxwood Festival Guide 2019 will be sent to you in early July with detailed information. The final detailed schedule is available at the bottom of this page. If you have specific requests or questions about what's on offer, please contact us.


  • Some afternoon & evening car pool availibilty.
  • Billeting not available.
  • An informal session is likely.


  • local churches would LOVE to have you play at their morning service; let us know if you'd like to play. It's a great way to announce the start of Boxwood and mix with the community.
  • Work Study participants meeting at 1PM at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • Billeting and registration check in from 1 PM – 5 PM at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • 5:30 PM - All participants, staff & guest artists : pre-dinner welcome, orientation & questions, at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • Supper at 6 PM, at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • Boxwood Opening concert with Boxwood guest artists, 7:30 PM, Zion Lutheran Church, 65 Fox St, Lunenburg, NS
  • after hours session - location TBD


  • 9:00-10:15 AM - Hands on immersive sessions at the Lunenburg Academy, St John's Parish Hall, Central United Parish Hall, and Lunenburg School of the Arts
  • 10:30-11:45 AM - Hands on immersive sessions: all venues
  • 12:00-1:00PM - lunch break;
  • 1:30-2:15 PM - Hands on immersive sessions: all venues
  • 2:30-4:30 PM free time - Academy open for practice, rehearsal, etc. TBA
  • 4:00-4:45 PM - afternoon talks/demo at the Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • 5:00 - 6:00 PM Slow session at Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • 6:00 or 6:30 PM - Supper at Lunenburg & District Fire Hall (25 Medway St.)
  • 7:30 or 8:00 PM - Evening activity
  • after hours session - locations TBD


  • afternoon FREE for napping, sailing, hiking, shopping, etc.
  • some special sessions or events be scheduled.
  • Finale Concert @ 7:30PM - Central United Church, 136 Cumberland St., Lunenburg


  • AM and afternoon departure - carpools & van-shares available.


  • SUNDAY - Welcome and orientation 5:30pm, Fire Hall
    pre-concert dinner; 6 PM, Fire Hall
    Opening Concert 7:30PM, St. John's Anglican Church
  • MONDAY - Ceili dance for Boxwood particpants at the Lunenburg School of the Arts
  • TUESDAY- early session
  • WEDNESDAY - Boxwood Baroque Concert at Zion Lutheran Church 7:30PM
  • THURSDAY - Talent Night at the Lunenburg Academy 8PM
  • FRIDAY -Big Boxwood Ceili at the Lunenburg waterfront
  • SATURDAY - Finale Concert @ 7:30PM - Central United Church

Notes on the schedule

Among the goals of Boxwood is expanding musical vocabulary. We encourage participants to meet with a variety of artists across a number of disciplines during the week. Our schedule is specifically designed to faciltate cross-fertilization between instrumentalists, singers and dancers. As always, the flute and its musical traditions are front-and-center at Boxwood, however we present many styles, genres and disciplines. The two morning sessions are focusd on repertoire and stylistic nuances of each tradition, and are not instrument specific - therefore open to all. A further goal is the development of an aural sense of musical traditions and learning and playing by heart and by ear as much as possible. This is encouraged by having participants dividing themselves up in to four groups according to their ability to learn by ear. There's no audition for this; we'll typically have one slow, two medium groups moving at the same speed, but divided to keep the class-size down (medium and intermediate) and one fast group.

Which sessions you attend is entirely up to you. The schedule is arranged so that you can follow-along with others of your playing level with a variety of artists across various genres of music and disciplines. If the scope of your interest is narrower, you may choose to stay with the same artist all day long. Either option is fine, however if you choose the latter course, it's likely that you'll cover the same material more than once as the sessions will be geared to the specific levels. Please note that Cathy-Ann MacPhee's Gaelic Song sessions and Puirt-a beul will be progressive, and those interested should plan to attend all week long. Due to the language learning curve, dropping in mid-week is discouraged.

Not all sessions are listed on the schedule. It's expected that those interested in specialized areas will work out times to meet directly. The Academy building will be open till 5PM each day, so there's time to organize additional sessions according to your interests.

Baroque sessions will a feature a morning master class format with continuo accompaniment available. There will two harpsichords available: at the Central United Church and in the St. John's Anglican Church. The morning masterclass is open to all Boxwood particpants regardless of stylistic focus or the pitch of your instrument. Harpsichord will be available for continuo accompaniment. The baroque masterclasses will be directed by Gregoire Jeay, Bronwyn Thies-Thompson, Kirsty Money, and Garth MacPhee as well as some surprise guests. Bring your own music. This is a unique opportunity to get some pointers on your specific repertoire from world-class artists.

Those wishing to focus on dance during the week will have an option every class period including a variety of forms of percussive and social dancing. I would encourage all musicians to do some dancing and singing this year.

Additionally, if you have ensemble music that you'd like to read-through or perform, bring it along with you. The afternoon schedule will include ensemble coaching in a variety of genres. Groups will be suggested on the schedule and also arranged by your suggestions and preferences.

Our sessions will take place at a variety of venues including the Historic Lunenburg Academy Building (third floor - yes, there is an elevator). You can't miss it - atop the hill at the top of Kaulback St. (see map of Lunenburg). the St. John's Parish Hall, the United Church Hall, and the Lunenburg School for the Arts. A slow session will take place immediately preceding the supper hour so particpants and filter down and take part before dinner.

Evening Sessions

Please bear in mind Boxwood’s philosophy & goals as stated above. Inclusivity is always at the forefront at Boxwood's sessions with the baton being passed frequently; therefore we ask all to be sensitive to good session etiquette at all times. The 5 PM sessions before dinner at the Fire Hall are slow sessions where tunes will be taught briefly beforehand and played slowly so that everyone including novices, can join in. The evening sessions will tend to be at a faster pace. This year's sessions, including evening sessions, will have a leader or core group of players to start things off and guide the pace and mix of repertoire. Recording devices are welcome, however we ask that you leave the room to text or make phone calls.

Contact info during the week

    902.400.0044 (in Lunenburg)
    email us


We encourage you to minnimize your use of printed paper by using tablets, iPads, and apps like TinyScan capture and read music. We will have some limited capability for making copies in the Boxwood Office.

What to bring

All musical instruments are welcomed. Most of the week will be at A=440, but some of the advanced baroque repertoire will be at A=415. If you have the opportunity to borrow a 415 flute, recorder or violin before arriving at Boxwood, please do so. Flutes may be available for loan on a limited basis. If you have extra instruments and would be willing to share them during the week, please bring them. Your fellow students will appreciate it!

. . .also a sound recording device, pencil and paper, manuscript paper, tuner, and portable music stands may come in handy. Comfortable walking shoes are a MUST as Lunenburg is hilly. Sweater, umbrella or rain coat, sunglasses, and bug spray are also suggested. Your billeters will be providing bedding.

Please bring a camera if you are photographically inclined. We look forward to sharing your pictures/videos.

Wine, Beer & Spirits

Wine & beer will be available at meals and at our evening sessions. You must be 19 years of age or older to consume beer or wine in Nova Scotia. Donations will be encouraged to defray this cost.

Boxwood Boutique

The boutique will be open during the evening Fire Hall activities on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, as well as during meal times to sell recordings, books, etc. If you have items to sell, bring them along and submit them to the Boxwood Boutique Coordinator at registration or whenever the boutique is open. Boxwood retains 10% on the small stuff to offset our administrative and credit card fees. No commission on instruments.


Registration for Boxwood 2019 is limited and is filled on a first come first serve basis upon full payment of tuition. Places cannot be held with a deposit. No Refunds will be made after June 15, 2019. Refund requests made on or before June 15, 2019 will receive a refund within 30 days of receipt of the full amount paid minus a $50 administrative charge. There are no refunds for work study or Children's Program participants after May 1, 2019. Cancellations prior to this time will be subject to the above mentioned $50 administrative charge.

Daily Schedule

The full daily class schedule is available as an interactive web page or as a PDF you can download and print.

Additional Files

  • Boxwood Guide including a venua map, schedule overview, including evening events and sessions, and more.