Live roots based concert series held in the historic Almonte Old Town Hall just west of Ottawa
Folkus Concert Series
Folkus began as a three-concert winter folk series in January 2002. Reception was tremendous, and we were encouraged to add a fourth show in our second year.
Now in our second decade, and with the kind support of many sponsors, we are looking forward to another exciting series to take the chill off winter.
We’re all missing the pleasures of live music in our fabulous town hall, and we’re keen to return to what makes Folkus Concert Series tick. In the meantime, as we head into spring after a year of pandemic-living, we want to share the ways in which some of our team members have been supporting musicians.
Read on to meet some of the women behind Folkus and hear how they are supporting music during this time…
Sandy Irvin, Board Member & Artistic Director
“I have been adding to my collection of Canadian vinyl.
“Here are two albums with local connections — Area Resident & The Golden Seals are both local guys who do their day jobs under other names. Do you know them?”
Kathryn Stevens, Board Member & Sponsorship
“I am reading the songlist on the back of Lynn Miles’ latest CD – which I bought at a wonderful concert held in James Keeleghan’s backyard in Perth last September. It was Lynne’s first gig since March and what a treat it was to hear her beautiful voice and lyrics, and the guitar of Keith Glass accompanying her. We were starved for live music after 7 months of the pandemic, but we left feeling filled up!”
Julie Mercier, Board Member & Tickets / Front of House
“I am Julie, (on the photo you will find me under the arrow)…One of the ways I have been supporting musical artists is by supporting local artist Jennifer Noxon and participating in her Rhythm & Song Choir from her home to each of ours through Zoom. I cannot wait to be able to sing all together again and to be gathered for a concert under the same roof. Be safe, and take care of yourself and your soul. Join an online choir!!!”
Kerron Lamb, Board Member and Hospitality Manager
“This past year has been a difficult one for lovers of live music (and for the musicians we would have been going to see) but we set up a turntable and vintage sound system in our living room, and have been actively increasing our collection of vinyl, both old and new! Here are some favourites by Canadians we love to see in concert (Whitehorse, City and Colour, and The Arkells), so in the meantime, we’ll enjoy their music like this until we can see them in person again!”
Monika Seiler, Board Member & Social Media / Marketing
“I’ve been curating playlists on Spotify featuring all of my favourite Canadian artists during this pandemic, highlighting someone from each province or territory.
“I like to “travel” the country via its amazing musicians…”
Dagne Forrest, Board Member and Webmaster
“One of the ways that my husband and I have supported musicians in recent months is to regularly purchase vinyl versions of their music.
It’s been quite a year. We hope you are as well as can be.
We’ve all been through a lot, and we apologize for having taken so long to provide you with an update on our plans for responding to the two cancelled concerts of the 2020 season. At this time, we’d like to offer you a full refund for the March and April concerts.
For season’s pass holders who purchased their tickets online, please check your e-mail (with which you purchased the tickets) for a message from firstname.lastname@example.org containing further instructions.
For ticket-holders who received them as a gift, or purchased them through Mill Street Books, we have to take a few more steps. Please email email@example.com for details.
For ticket holders who would prefer to support Folkus by not requesting a refund, we thank you warmly for your generosity. Please rest assured that your contribution will be put to good use as part of revisiting how we can support musicians and deliver music to our supporters/patrons.
We are looking ahead and taking our cues from larger arts organizations. Until it is safe to gather together, we will not be presenting shows in the traditional format. We may, however, do other interesting things in the interim, so please stay tuned for updates, including following us in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We are so disappointed to have lost half our season to COVID-19, but we want to share some delight in the first two concerts of the season. We now have some great photos by our resident photographer Dennis to share from the January and February shows, which were amazing. Good times!
Updated April 14th: We now know that the April show will also be impossible to hold. We hope everyone is staying well.
Like all of you, we are currently watching how the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation unfolds.
We can tell you that the Town of Mississippi Mills has chosen to close the Almonte Old Town Hall as of the evening of Friday, March 13th and will re-assess the situation on April 1st. Full details about closures affected by the Town’s decision can be seen on its website.
This means our next show, scheduled for March 28th, will not take place as planned.
Please watch this space and our Facebook and Twitter accounts for further updates that would affect our final show of the season in late April.
Leap Day is coming soon and Folkus ticket holders are in for a treat. This will be a lively evening of singing and storytelling.
Campbell Woods is a troubadour with roots in the Ottawa Valley, currently based in Montreal. He’s a listener and a storyteller; his songs bring out the secret joys and ordinary tragedies of life with carefully crafted melodies and seemingly simple turns of phrase. He gets compared to Townes Van Zant and John Prine a lot; he also reminds us of early Fred Eaglesmith.
Kate Weekes seems to live stories on the way to telling them. She hitchhiked her way to the Yukon, collecting stories along the way. She has been a dog-musher in Norway, toured China with a swing band, and has paddled from Whitehorse to Dawson City. Weekes describes her latest album, Taken by Surprise , as the sonic scrapbook of a bold life lived to the fullest. “Wherever I am traveling comes out in my songs,” she says. For this evening, Weekes will be accompanied by multi-instrumentalist and producer James Stephens. Kate is bringing a trio or quartet including fiddler James Stephens.
We’re so excited that The Good Lovelies will open this season, along with The Space Between on Saturday, January 18th, 2020.
The Good Lovelies could very well be Canada’s sweethearts. This will be an intimate, stripped-down, trio show with a focus on harmony.
“Kerri Ough, Sue Passmore, and Caroline Brooks – immensely talented vocalists and songwriters in their own right; however, it’s their voices interwoven in harmony – powerful and pure, organic and inspiring – that elevates the Good Lovelies from impressive to peerless.”
The Good Lovelies won a Juno in 2010 for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year and are four-time Canadian Folk Music Award winners.
Although the season has sold out, there is a waitlist option for up to 20 tickets at each show.
Special guests The Space Between will be opening. Hometown girl Sonja Seiler brings her duo project, The Space Between, to Almonte. Nestling in a rootsy pocket somewhere between Appalachia and Toronto, their sound is clean and pure.
To start off our season, we’re holding a launch party Thursday, November 7th, 2019 at Equator Coffee Roasters, to celebrate our season and to celebrate our wonderful sound man, Brendan Gawn.
He never gets to mingle at shows because he’s working too hard. Brendan is an excellent sound person because he listens. He listens well because plays a mean bass. And he’ll be playing bass with the Brindled Cats, along with guitarist Rob McMurray. They may bring a few friends.
Join us for a pint or a coffee and possibly a bite to eat!
Folkus 2020 Launch Party Thursday, November 7th, 2019 Doors open 7pm; expect to end around 10pm