Thursday, August 18


Music is a pretty important part of our household.  I was in the choir and band through middle school and high school and I still like to sing along.  I can't say I have an interest in playing music myself, but I believe there are people who should.  People who should be able to do that for a living and make an actual living.  There is a lot of great independent music happening just under the radar.  People writing about what they know, singing about what they have exprienced and imagined.  My exposure to this started with Summerfolk.

Summerfolk is a music festival that happens in Owen Sound every August.  They get roughly 15,000 attendees, have over 30 acts, 3 stages at night and 5 more during the day running concurrently.  There are artisan merchants, local food, interactive displays.  It's like drinking folk music from a fire hose sometimes because there is so much to choose from.  Now folk isn't just Peter Paul and Mary.  It's a pretty broad umbrella at Summerfolk covering blues, bluegrass, comedy, country, acapella, singer/songwriter, celtic, folk music from around the world.  They have one stage set for dancing, there is a lot of contra dancing that goes on at Summerfolk the past few years.

I first went to Summerfolk just before I met my husband.  I was a support worker for a teen with Down syndrome, R, and I went with him and his family.  It's cool to hang out with someone who is 6 years older than you, it's not cool to hang out with your mom because you still need guidance with decision making.  I had no clue what I was getting into.  I have to say a lot of it just went over my head.  I loved the festival, I loved the atmosphere, I had a great time, but outside of the Ennis Sisters and Leahy, most of who I remember were at the kids tent because that's where R wanted to be. 

Fast forward and I meet my husband a few months later.  We did a little double dating with R and his girlfriend, went to OHL games in their home town.  Summerfolk approached and I was asked if I'd like to come with them again.  My husband was over the moon, apparently this was one of the things he wanted to do when moving to Ontario.  So we both go.  And it was again, wonderful and magical and the same fantastic atmosphere.  We had a lot of fun with my friend R and he brought a friend with him.  Oh it was pretty crazy.  They were both over the legal drinking age here and that added a lot of unpredictability.

See at the bottom?  The hair pulled into a pony tail?  That's me.  We have hosted everyone on stage except Suzie Vinnick - Peter Judd (left), Mike Agranoff (standing) and The Undesirables, Corin Raymond and Sean Cotton (far right).  Credit to Peter Judd for the picture

Now the only year we have missed Summerfolk is the year we got married.  Sunday marks 7 years of marriage for us and every year at Summerfolk we think back on what our time together has been like.  We always find new music to inspire us, come home with a rediculous number of CDs.  Last year we felt so full of music we spent the whole drive playing the "what if we won the lottery game" and thought we would open up a venue for music, find a way to make a hobby pay for itself.  It was a fun dream.

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