Kumbaya Festival

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Kumbaya Festival
Genre diverse genres
Location(s) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Years active 1993-1996
Founded by Molly Johnson
Kumbaya Foundation

The Kumbaya Festival was an annual Canadian music and arts festival in the 1990s.[1] It was organized by Molly Johnson as a benefit for Canadian charities and groups doing work around HIV and AIDS.[1]

The festival was broadcast live on MuchMusic each year, with the broadcast including a toll-free number which home viewers could call to make additional donations.[2] Compilation CDs of performances from the festival were also subsequently released to raise additional funds.[2][3] The festival raised over $1 million during its years of activity.[1]

Each annual festival consisted primarily of musical performers, although each also featured numerous writers reading literary pieces, as well as actors, media personalities, HIV/AIDS activists and other Canadian public figures speaking on the importance of the HIV/AIDS issue.

Although the Kumbaya Foundation, the organization which staged the festival, is still active in Canadian and international HIV/AIDS fundraising as of 2014, the festival itself has not been staged since 1996. Johnson has, however, expressed an interest in reviving the festival.[1]

Performers and speakers[edit]


Lee Aaron, Lillian Allen, Randy Bachman, Ralph Benmergui, Blue Rodeo, Meryn Cadell, June Callwood, Andrew Cash, Tom Cochrane, John Cody, Holly Cole, Cowboy Junkies, Crash Vegas, Devon and the Metro Squad, Eric Dow, Shirley Eikhard, Rik Emmett, Phillip Ethier, 54-40, Joel Feeney, Marlene Freise, Peter Gzowski, Infidels, Rebecca Jenkins, Clifton Joseph, King Cobb Steelie, Kristy Knight, Leslie Spit Treeo, Alex Lifeson, Lost Dakotas, Lisa Lougheed, The Lowest of the Low, Maureen McCall, Murray McLauchlan, Mae Moore, Moxy Fruvous, Mary Margaret O'Hara, David Ramsden, Lorraine Segato, David Sereda, Sandra Shamas, Chris Sheppard and BKS, Shingoose, Jane Siberry, Skydiggers, Dale Smith, Tarzan Dan, Tim Thorney, The Tragically Hip, Skot Turner, Cassandra Vasik, Joey Vendetta, The Waltons, Youth Outreach Mass Choir.


Lee Aaron, Accidentally Cool, Lillian Allen, Jann Arden, Chantel Aston, BKS, Randy Bachman, Barenaked Ladies, Micah Barnes, Jaymz Bee, Ralph Benmergui, Barney Bentall, Moe Berg, Big Sugar, Blue Rodeo, Sara Botsford, Meryn Cadell, June Callwood, Stuart Cameron, Change of Heart, Tom Cochrane, John Cody, Holly Cole, Simone Denny, Devon and the Metro Squad, Dream Warriors, Pye Dubois, Erica Ehm, Rik Emmett, 54-40, Joel Feeney, Fifth Column, Lawrence Gowan, Danny Greenspoon, Peter Gzowski, hHead, Tomson Highway, Rebecca Jenkins, C. David Johnson, Kit Johnson, Taborah Johnson, Jughead, Leslie Spit Treeo, Alex Lifeson, Lost Dakotas, Ashley MacIsaac, Peter Mansbridge, Shannon Maracle, Cindy Matthews, Michelle McAdorey, Kevin McDonald, Murray McLauchlan, Kim Mitchell,[3] Moist, Moxy Fruvous, Billy Newton-Davis, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Prairie Oyster, Punjabi by Nature, David Ramsden, The Rankin Family,[3] Jimmy Rankin, Lisa Rendall, Kathryn Rose, Lorraine Segato, Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, Sandra Shamas, Jay Sharp, Jane Siberry, Kurt Swinghammer, Chris Tait, Randy Taylor, Tim Thorney, Cassandra Vasik, Don Waboose, The Waltons, The Watchmen, Vivienne Williams, Shelley Wright, Lori Yates.


Armed and Hammered, Margaret Atwood, Barenaked Ladies, Micah Barnes, Jaymz Bee, Ralph Benmergui, Salome Bey, Bitch Diva, Blue Rodeo, The Boomers, Bootsauce, Meryn Cadell, June Callwood, Change of Heart, Holly Cole, Les Colocs, Crash Vegas, France D'Amour, Jennifer Dean, Dream Warriors, Shirley Eikhard, The Fabulous Freaks, Joel Feeney, Furnaceface, Doug Gilmour, Peter Gzowski, Jeff Healey, Orin Isaacs, Jingle Dancers, Gordie Johnson, Clifton Joseph, Junkhouse, The Killjoys, Andy Kim, George Koller, Daniel Lanois, Leslie Spit Treeo, Alex Lifeson, Lost Dakotas, Ashley MacIsaac, Cindy Matthews, Maximum Fine, Sarah McLachlan, Melleny Melody, Michie Mee, Derek Miller, Moxy Fruvous, Billy Newton-Davis, No Mans Land, Odds, Robert Priest, Carole Pope, The Pursuit of Happiness, The Rainbow Choir, David Ramsden, Ellen Reid, Kathryn Rose, Lorraine Segato, Skaface, Skydiggers, Slowburn, Bob Snider, Spirit of the West, Ian Thomas, The Toronto Tabla Ensemble, Cassandra Vasik, Wild Strawberries, Vivienne Williams, Lori Yates.


Angel, Jann Arden, Erin Benjamin, Barney Bentall, Barstool Prophets, Bass Is Base, Beautiful Joe, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Captain Tractor, Tom Cochrane, Bruce Cockburn, Jim Cuddy, Devon, Annette Ducharme, Duotang, Earthtones, Joel Feeney, Danielle French, Lennie Gallant, Jeff Healey, Hunnytruck, Marc Jordan, Junkhouse, Leslie Spit Treeo, Kevin McDonald, Murray McLauchlan, Merlin, Pamela Morgan, The Paperboys, Punchbuggy, Jimmy Rankin, Salmonblaster, Sianspheric, Amy Sky, Kinnie Starr, Kim Stockwood, Sunfish, The Super Friendz, Tariq, Tristan Psionic, Umoja, Universal Honey, The Waltons, Wild Strawberries, Tom Wilson.


  1. ^ a b c d "Switching jazz singer Molly Johnson on and off". The Globe and Mail, November 22, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Kumbaya - get bigger, raise more". Canadian Fundraiser, November 27, 1995.
  3. ^ a b c "Kumbaya disc needs more odd couplings". Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont. By Peter Howell and Geoff Chapman Sep 2, 1995 Page: L.8

External links[edit]