Quebecers shine at 30th annual Folk Music Ontario conference


Hello Darlin’ just returned from the 30th annual Folk Music Ontario conference held in the nation’s capital. The four-day gathering features showcasing and professional development for Ontario artists and festivals, but our neighbours to the west have always made a place for Quebec-based musicians to feel at home. Montrealers like The Bombadils, Bobby Dove, Old-Time Honey, Rob Lutes, Street Meat and others played showcases for a number of Ontario festival, concert series, and house concert presenters in both official, sponsored and private showcase opportunities.

The conference experience can be exhilarating and exhausting for attendees, especially first-timers. However, what feels daunting and overwhelming in the early hours of the conference often turns to exhilaration and relief when you find your groove and put fingers to fret board and lips to microphone.

I find myself feeling the hopes and dreams of emerging performers as a tangible electricity in the air at conferences like these. Emerging performers invest substantial amounts of time, effort, and financial resources to attend these events, with no real promise of success. Smart entertainment buyers spend time checking out emerging acts, to keep abreast of what is coming down the pike, but also to support the next generation of musicians. Renewing the future prospects for emerging acts is something FMO does particularly well and the whole FMO team should be applauded for their expert mastery of how to run a conference.

What of the Quebecers? Our team of provincial stars wowed audiences at every turn and made us all very proud. Showing professionalism, high level musicianship, and a joie de vivre typical of our brand of provincial folk, I couldn’t have been prouder of this amazing group of people.

If you haven’t been to FMO in the past, I highly recommend it.

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