In 1961, the Canadian folk festival model of outdoor, community-based events with stellar artist hospitality and a programming format incorporating collaborative workshops, or sessions, was born after the visionary Estelle Klein created Ontario’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Now, in major centres, small towns and rural areas, a handful of professionals and thousands of volunteers have created a singular festival format.
Founded in 1980 as part of a celebration of Alberta’s 75th anniversary, and held at Prince’s Island Park since its inception, the Calgary Folk Music Festival (organized by the not-for-profit Folk Festival Society of Calgary) has grown from a locally based one-day event to four-day extravaganza with a national and international profile and a broad, cutting-edge programming vision.
The Calgary Folk Music Festival is a multi-tentacled creature: one of Canada’s flagship, trailblazing music festivals plus a year-round presenter of music, art and cultural performances at its own curated space, Festival Hall, the first of its kind for a music festival. The organization also spearheads key mentorship and educational programs (Boot Camp, the Song Contest, educational outreach) which are key to developing the skills and careers of Alberta’s budding songwriters and musicians.
The annual Festival is a four-day family-friendly cultural and musical jamboree at the bucolic Prince's Island Park that celebrates over 70 artists from Alberta, Canada and the world on 6 daytime and 2 evening stages and in concerts and sessions – unpredictable, magical curated mash-ups where artists share songs and stories and collaborate. It is a must-attend event for music and event lovers; an essential community gathering for 53,000 Calgarians and tourists.
Location: In Calgary