CannaFest was born from Chuck Varabioff’s love of Rock ‘n’ Roll and caring for a family member tragically struck with cancer. Back when Chuck launched BCPS Canada to help his close family deal with their cancer, he had a brainstorm: why not invite a band to play for the opening at the Commercial Drive?
Prism was booked, hoping to attract fans and make the opening special for everyone. It was a bit of a disappointment as 40 fans watched in the pouring rain out the back door of the BCPS Canada head office.
Wanting to make good on a 10+ year old dream of hosting a Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival and determined to do better than the opening at BCPS Canada, CannaFest’s inaugural 2014 festival kicked off at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Prism, Headpins, Helix and Catalyst put on a stellar show that year! Turnout was disappointing again though with 400 people in an 1200 seat auditorium. It was right then that Chuck became extremely motivated. Analyzing the situation Chuck decided the best chance for the brand new festival lay outside the big city and all its distractions’.
CannaFest 2015 would be in the beautiful outdoors in Grand Forks, BC. After years of disappointment, a festival star was soon to be born.
After years of planning, schmoozing, trial and error, CannaFest 2015 delivered the goods! Hot Classic Rock, RV Parking, Camping, everyone loved it in Grand Forks! The mayor, local businesses were all ecstatic when they saw the great turnout for Lee Aaron, Prism, Streetheart, Jerry Doucette, Headpins and Harlequin. Chuck finally had his Rock ‘n’ Festival and it kicked ass!
CannaFest 2016 was such a success it brought over two million dollars into the BC and Grand Forks economy. Sass Jordan, Chilliwack, Toronto, Mad Dog, Honeymoon Suite, Headpins, Helix, Doug and the Slugs and Vision rock so hard tickets sold out!
Now firmly established as Western Canada’s premiere Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival, CannaFest 2017 promises to be even bigger with Loverboy, Randy Bachman, Darby Mills, April Wine, Trooper, Platinum Blonde, Harlequin and SAGA, who are playing their final tour ever at CannaFest 2017.
Creedence Clearwater Revisited was the headliner for CannaFest 2017.