Mariposa Folk Festival

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For other uses, see Mariposa (disambiguation).

Mariposa Folk Festival is a music festival founded in 1961 in Orillia, Ontario. It was held in Orillia for three years before being banned because of disturbances by festival-goers.[1] After being held in various places in Ontario for a few decades, it returned to Orillia in 2000. Ruth Jones, her husband Dr. Crawford Jones, brother David Major and Pete McGarvey organized the first Mariposa Folk Festival in August 1961. The inaugural event, covered by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, featured all Canadian performers. The first festival held in the Toronto area, in 1964, was at Maple Leaf Stadium. The subsequent three festivals were held at Innis Lake in Caledon, northwest of the city.

Festival timeline[edit]

The Mariposa Folk Festival has been held in these Ontario locations with these artistic directors:[1]

  • 1961 – 64, Oval Park, Orillia; Ted Schaefer.
  • 1964, Maple Leaf Stadium, Toronto;
  • 1965 – 67, Innis Lake, Caledon;
  • 1968 – 79, Centre Island, Toronto;
  • 1980 – 81, no festival
  • 1982, Harbourfront, Toronto;
  • 1984 – 91, Molson Park, Barrie;
  • 1992 – Ontario Place, Toronto;
  • 1993 - 1995, Olympic Island & Downtown, Toronto;
  • 1996, Annie Williams Park, Bracebridge, and Victoria Park, Cobourg;[2]
  • 1997, Annie Williams Park, Bracebridge;
  • 1999, Parkdale, Toronto;
  • 2000 - 2014, Tudhope Park, Orillia

Artistic directors:

In addition, over the years there have been some alternative concerts and festivals, splinter groups, sub-festivals, and spin-offs,[1] such as Mariposa-in-the-City in Toronto in 2000.[3]

50th anniversary[edit]

In 2010, Mariposa celebrated its 50th festival by fielding a lineup of classic Mariposa artists and young developing talent. Gordon Lightfoot, Murray McLauchlan, Ian and Sylvia, and The Whiteley Brothers took the main stage on the festival's final day.[4] Three new performers passed an audition to perform via the "up and coming showcase" program.[5] The 2010 edition also featured Jason Collett and Serena Ryder, who headlined the mainstage on Friday and Saturday respectively.[6]

To mark the 50th anniversary of the festival, York University's Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections launched an online exhibit highlighting a selection of archival material from the 1960s and 1970s.[7] York acquired the Mariposa Folk Fest archives, which includes sound recordings and publicity documents, in 2007.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Mariposa Folk Festival". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  2. ^ "DIGEST | Orillia Packet and Times". 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  3. ^ "Tonight in T.O.", The Toronto Star, 22 June 2000
  4. ^ "Mariposa Looks Back at 50 Years of Folk Fest". 2010-07-06. Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Mariposa Folk Foundation | The Grande Dame of Folk Festivals". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Mariposa Folk Festival rocks Orillia this weekend". 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  7. ^ Walls, Janice (July 5, 2010). "Mariposa archives at York U reveal folk festival's small details and big performances". York University. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 
  8. ^ Marnoch, Keith (June 6, 2007). "York University acquires Mariposa Folk Fest archives". York University. Retrieved January 2, 2015. 

External links[edit]