Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival

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Folk band The Dardanelles performing on the main stage in 2010

Summerfolk is an annual folk music and craft festival held in Owen Sound, Ontario during the third weekend in August. Summerfolk attracts performers and fans from across North America and the globe to Kelso Beach Park located on the west shore of Owen Sound on Georgian Bay. The festival was founded in 1975 by brothers Tim and John Harrison[1] and is nationally renowned for its music and craft excellence. Many of the improvements at Kelso Beach including the limestone amphitheatre. that can seats 3000, were initiated by Georgian Bay Folk Society who organize the annual festival. The 2010 edition of the festival saw 12,000 people attend over the three days.

After the festival in August 2011, which experiences extremely inclement weather, the festival was close to being cancelled. The Folk Society found themselves $25,000 in debt. An appeal to the community and many of its far flung supporters was able to turn this situation around by October of that year.[2]

Over the last few years Summerfolk has held a series of youth talent shows called the Young Discoveries Showcase offering the winners a chance to play a the festival.[3]

Many performers who have played at Summerfolk have gone on to great commercial success, such as Leahy, Valdy, The Rankins, The Arrogant Worms, and Natalie MacMaster. Other more commercial Canadian talent have also graced the stages over the years such as Gowan, Rik Emmett, Blue Rodeo, Moxy Früvous, and Bruce Cockburn. One of Summerfolk's most famous and revered performers was Stan Rogers. The Main stage features a memorial to Stan and is dedicated to his memory.


  1. ^ Walsh, Kate (1995). Three Days in August:Summerfolk. Owen Sound, Ontario: Georgian Bay Folk Society. p. 1. ISBN 9780969971511. 
  2. ^ Editorial (October 22, 2011). "Summerfolk will no doubt weather latest crisis". Owen Sound Sun Times. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Gowan, Rob (24 April 2013). "Youth vie for Summerfolk space". Owen Sound Sun Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013. 

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