The Peterborough FolK Festival celebrated its 20th year in 2009, and we’re looking to pull together the history of the festival. Due to all kinds of upheavals, our records are slim. You can help us out by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (705) 874-6796 with info, photos, digital files, scans, or offers of hardcopy records (posters, t-shirts, minutes, programs – anything you’re got).
As you can see below, the best we can do is a basic outline; we’re missing many key events in the festival’s history.
Past Artists – A listing of artists who have played the festival.
A Brief History of the Peterborough Folk Festival
The Peterborough Folk Festival was founded in 1989 with the guidance of the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals. It was a one-day festival, originally taking place in Del Crary Park, and ran the Sunday after the last summer date of the Peterborough Festival of Lights, established in 1987. Under the auspices of the Peterborough Festival of the Arts (later the Peterborough Arts Umbrella), the PFF shared resources with other fledgling arts organizations.
At some point, the festival moved to its present location at Rotary Park/Nicholls Oval.
A Saturday night Club Crawl was added in 2001/2002 by Artistic Director Ken Ramsden, and a Friday Gala evening was added in 2003/2004 by Artistic Director Mike Reynolds.
In July 2004 a flood struck the city’s downtown core, taking with it many Board and volunteers’ basements and destroying the offices of the Peterborough Arts Umbrella. As a result, many of the PFF’s records and resources were lost, and the local arts community suffered a huge setback. Despite this, 2004′s festival was a terrific success.
The festival was granted incorporated non-profit status on October 15, 2004.
In 2008, Director Candace Shaw moved the festival forward one day, running Thursday – Saturday with the free, day-long festival event on Saturday in Rotary Park/Nicholls Oval.
In April 2009, the Peterborough Arts Umbrella folded; thoughmostly unaffected, the PFF’s membership at the PAU had allowed them to accept charitable donations in trust and other resources which will be sorely missed.
In 2009, the festival celebrated its Twentieth anniversary by presenting the Gala kick-off evening in partnership with the Canadian Canoe Museum; the evening featured Ian Tamblyn, a Canadian artist who had played the very first PFF in 1989. The free day-long festival in Nicholls Oval/Rotary Park went forward with some modifications due to rain, but attendance was only slightly affected and the weather grew beautiful in the afternoon. A new addition in 2009, the Sunday workshop series presented in partnership with Sadleir House, was a terrific success.