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What is "Special Woodstock"?

A day filled with music and friends from all walks of life 


For the past 24 years, with the help of the Lions clubs of Vancouver Island and other caring community sponsors and volunteers, Special Woodstock has been providing, free of charge to everyone, a day of peace, love, and music.


Featuring musicians with disabilities and popular local bands and musical groups on three stages throughout the property. Promoting a new understanding of the abilities of those with special needs through music. The universal language! Reminiscent and fully supported by the original, iconic Woodstock music festival and its founders in New York. 




Let me tell you about Deryn.

Deryn is 28 years old. He is a tall handsome young man with big brown eyes and of slender build. Deryn was born with brain damage. He couldn't talk until he was 10 years old and even then had a very limited vocabulary. He went to school but didn't communicate very well so no one was quite sure how much he was taking in.

He couldn't look you in the eye because of his shyness but responded in a way that allowed you to know that he understood what you were saying.

Deryn found his way to us when he was 10 years old. His mother Corrine brought him and his siblings, 5 and 6 yrs. olds, to our first Special Woodstock. I asked Corrine if she would like Deryn to take part on stage with the entertainment. 

She had her doubts that he would be able to say anything at all, so I suggested that his siblings join him. She replied that the only song that they knew was "Oh Canada". So that is what they did. Deryn looked at the ground the whole time and didn't really join in until about his 5th year when he started relaxing on stage and began joining his sister on her mike.

Each year after that he began to sing louder, smile at the audience and this year Deryn showed up with a new guitar and wanted to do more than "Oh Canada". Deryn had been practicing all year, his Special Woodstock hat next to the door waiting with anticipation for his big moment on stage. Of course, we made sure that he could perform a couple more songs

His mother Corrine came to me over the past few years at Special Woodstock in tears of joy at seeing how much more confident he has become. She just couldn’t believe it was the same son. This year Corrine came up to me and said, "Special Woodstock helped Deryn to mature and become a man."

Special Woodstock gave Deryn a place to be heard. He is loved by a huge island community because they know him, have watched him grow, and appreciate him for his courage. Deryn feels that love and leaves our festival with confidence and a voice which he uses to stand tall and look you in the eye when he speaks.


Click on the button below to view our gallery filled with amazing memories from over the years


Videos and pictures of the past 19 years

Rick Scott with his beautiful granddaughter, Mielle xoxox


Mission/Vision Statement

Sharing the community stage with abled and disabled performers, promoting understanding and respect for each other through the common language of music.


I am so impressed every year with the top level entertainment with well known bands that get people singing, clapping, and dancing!! It is also great to be so inclusive and hear new musicians and those with challenges, so bravely performing for everyone!! It is wonderfully heart-warming to see everyone enjoying themselves so much.

I couldn't stop smiling all day! The colourful outfits, the community spirit and all the varied activities, make this a truly memorable experience!! Thank you for 20 years of making a positive difference in so many lives!

- Susana Michaelis 

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