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2017 Kingsville Folk Music Festival

2017 Kingsville Folk Music Festival

Photo:Jimmy Rankin hits the stage Saturday night on August 12. Photo courtesy of the artist.

2017 Kingsville Folk Music Festival

Organizers of the 2017 Kingsville Folk Music Festival, have always had a tough act to follow and the 2017 event in Lakeside Park, August 11 to 13, is no exception.

After our first festival, I thought we’d have a hard time topping that line-up in our second year and I’ve thought that every year since,” says John Law, Co-Producer of the festival with his wife Michele. “After seeing this year’s completed line-up, I’m already worried about next year.”

Headliners over the three days include the Cowboy Junkies (see photo on the front cover), Sylvia Tyson and Jimmy Rankin backed by such high-profile eclectic acts as Harry Manx, Steve Poltz, Trad Attack, Christine Lavin, Harrow Fair, So Long Seven, Pat Temple, Ariana Gillis and Kevin Breit, Turbo Street Funk and many others.

The festival’s local showcase features Francine Leclair, Max Marshall, The Fontaines, Martha Renaud and Denis Bastarache.

The festival is a production of the Sun Parlour Folk Music Society with part of the net proceeds designated for the Music and Youth (MAY) Fund, which provides financial assistance to area youth, allowing them to access to the arts through workshops, lessons, mentoring sessions and an annual scholarship.

John and I have been holding concerts to raise funds for youth for years and once we realized how many area youth needed assistance in accessing the arts, we decided to launch a festival to provide even more funding,” Michele remarks. “With our lengthy background in performing at festivals around the world, we felt we were in a great position to know what musicians and fans need from a festival.”

This year’s festival also features a food village, an artisan marketplace, and a family area for children including face painting, Todd Crowley’s musical petting zoo, Jangles the Clown, a pancake breakfast on the event’s final day, entertainment by Splash’ N Boots and music workshops.

In some ways we’ve been surprised by how successful it’s become in just four years,” states Michele. “On the other hand, we’ve had great support from the community and we knew if we brought in world-class entertainment, it had a great chance to be successful.”

John notes that in the first couple of years, “we pulled a lot of favours with musicians we’d met and played with, but now I think the festival itself is the main draw. It’s a gorgeous venue and the musicians seem to love the intimacy of it all.”

It has become a favourite on the Southwestern Ontario festival circuit for lovers of all kinds of music from folk to blues, bluegrass to country and Celtic to roots and indie.

The festival runs from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday August 11, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday August 12, and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday August 13.

Tickets are available at Box Office Video, Merli’s and Anna’s Flowers in Kingsville; Fletcher’s Cleaners in Leamington; Symphony Stables and Guardian Pharmacy in Wheatley and Baha Café and Tony’s One Stop in Chatham.

They are also available on the festival’s website, which features the entertainment line-up and schedule.

Festival sponsors include Biz X magazine, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Canadian Heritage, Town of Kingsville, Municipality of Leamington, Best Western Plus, Ontario Arts Council, The Honey Foundation/Windsor Charitable Foundation, Pelee Island Winery, Southpoint Publishing, Bell Media, Unifor Local 444, Circle of 7, South Essex Community Council, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Unconquered Sun, Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens, and Tim Hortons.