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This year’s Feb. 15-17 Winterfolk XI features several firsts

February 10, 2022

One of the big challenges of having a successful multi-year run of an annual festival is keeping it fresh and exciting. It’s human nature to get comfortable —every rut starts out as a groove, y’know— but in order to keep the public interested, volunteers motivated and sponsors excited, it’s important to continue to aspire to freshness by coming up with new ideas.

The 11th edition of the Winterfolk Festival, being held Feb. 15-17, has succeeded in doing that admirably, as there are several new concepts and a couple of important “firsts” taking place during the weekend at TO’s Delta Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. W.

One such new wrinkle is the staging, in affiliation with Pete Otis of SongTown, an Honouring Our Own concert on Sun. Feb. 17 paying tribute to Folk icon Brent Titcomb [see story from Feb. 09]. But Winterfolk will also be doing some honouring of its own as on Sat. Feb. 16 it issues its first-ever Certificate Of Recognition to Free Times Café owner Judy Perly for her nearly 35 years of providing a nurturing venue for new and established roots artists. Moreover, on the Sun. afternoon there’s a tribute to the music of Phil Ochs hosted by his sister, Sonny and involving several gifted local artists.

An adventurous and very appealing innovation takes place Sat. the 16th when Peterborough rising Roots Pop star Grainne Ryan, backed by a panoply of A-list talents, will use her two-hour 7-9 p.m. set to record a live album!

Another first —not just for the festival but for anywhere, anytime— will be the presence together on stage on Fri. Feb. 15 of five male members of the diversely talented Whiteley clan, including famed brothers Chris and Ken, Chris’s son and acclaimed mandolin player Dan, and their talented cousins: bass player Ben and keyboardist Jesse.

For full details about these shows and the rest of the festival weekend visit www.winterfolk.com.

Pic: Chris & Ken Whiteley -promo pic