ABOUT OUR FEST
MAY 5 & 6, 2023
THE FEST'S ORIGINS
In 2021, Walter Martella came up with the idea for our Accordion Fest, and Karina Inkster eagerly jumped on board. Karina has been studying accordion with Walter since 2018.
For several years they've worked together to expand the stereotype of accordion music, including performing diverse pieces by Astor Piazzolla and Richard Galliano, teaming up with other instrumentalists, leading accordion workshops for beginners, and coaxing local closet accordionists out of the woodwork. An Accordion Fest seemed like the next logical step to combine these endeavours into one weekend of serious squeezebox shenanigans.
Our Accordion 101 workshop in 2021. The most accordions in one place in our town since the 1950s! (We think.)
WALTER MARTELLA - FEST CO-DIRECTOR
Musician, conductor, instructor, Music Director of the Powell River Academy of Music (PRAM). Recorded 6 studio albums. Bench presses your body weight and makes a mean apple cider.
Conductor and Music Director of the Powell River Academy of Music (PRAM), Walter is an accomplished pianist, accordionist, and trumpeter. He earned a Diploma in Jazz Trumpet from Malaspina College (VIU), a Bachelor of Music Degree from UVic, and attended the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Conducting became a significant part of Walter's life and career when he returned to Powell River to study at PRAM under Don James.
He has participated in the British Columbia Choral Federation's conducting program and has collaborated with world-renowned conductors. He has led noteworthy works like Holst's Rig Veda for choir and harp, the Messiah, Schubert's Mass in G, and Vivaldi's Gloria. He conducts the Academy Chamber Choir, Chor Musica Men's Choir and the Powell River Chorus as well as currently maintaining a full private teaching schedule.
Walter is a strong believer in the power of music as an important part of community, and has been an adjudicator for instrumental and choral festivals throughout British Columbia. He has recorded five jazz CDs, performed provincially with many well-known musicians in multiple genres, and continues to be in demand all along the West Coast as a trumpet soloist and jazz pianist.
KARINA INKSTER - FEST CO-DIRECTOR
Recreational accordionist, author, podcast host, vegan fitness and nutrition coach. Does a ridiculous number of chin-ups and eats absurd quantities of dark chocolate.
Karina Inkster is a fitness and nutrition coach, author of 5 books, magazine writer, and host of the No-B.S. Vegan podcast. Founder of K.I. Health & Fitness, she and her online coaching team work with vegan clients all over the world. Karina holds a Master's degree in Gerontology, specializing in health and aging.
What does all this have to do with music? Well, nothing. When she's not working (or working out), Karina attempts to make time for her musical pursuits. She started taking piano lessons at the age of 5, has been playing Australian didgeridoo for over 2 decades, and picked up the accordion in 2013. She's been studying accordion with Walter Martella since 2018 after moving from Vancouver to Powell River.