Montreal Folk Festival on The Canal

Montreal Folk festival

Montreal Folk festival

As the sounds of pots and pans ring out every evening around Montreal, I can’t help but think about the roots of folk music. To folk’s inextricable connection to the people who produce it, to the social movements it inspires and reflects. The wooden spoons bandied about on our streets remind me of my grandfather, who played the spoons and sang folk songs at all our family gatherings. Next week, the Festival Folk on The Canal will be taking over the Ilot Charlevoix and I can barely wait.

Sarah Jane Scouten
Sarah Jane Scouten

The Fest begins on Thursday June 14th with folk legend Peter Yarrow from Peter Paul and Mary. Yarrow is playing with special guest Sarah Jane Scouten who has been making waves around Montreal recently getting an honourable mention in The Mirror’s Best of Montreal poll 2012. Then on Friday, June 15th, Jim Kweskin and the Ever Lovin’ Jug Band will be performing with special guest Daniel Isaiah.

On the weekend will be the meat of the Fest, the hardy platter of tunes, and it’s free! Pardon my french, but how fucking awesome is that! We’ve got l’Arrondisement Sud-Ouest, The Georges Vanier Cultural Center, and St-Ambroise brewery to thank for this amazing chance to check out new and beloved folk acts.

On Saturday June 16th, there will be a unique opportunity for a family friendly urban camping experience. Last summer when I volunteered for the Fest, I heard many a positive comment from urban camping attendees. Thus, this year, I am resolute. I am not missing out. I’ve got a surefire plan: I am going to bring out my tent, refine my ghost stories, and round up some friends to camp by the Lachine Canal.

For Saturday’s line up, I am most excited for Plants and Animals and Notre Dame de Grass. I’m new to Plants and Animals music, who are releasing their third album this year. I thoroughly enjoy their tune The End of That and the quirkiness of their lyrics. I’m curious about these fellows: interest piqued. Of course, I also look forward to Notre Dame De Grass. Not only because I have a musical crush on Joe Grass, but because these guys are a guaranteed good time.

As for Sunday’s line up, I most look forward to seeing Les Soeurs Boulay. These two sisters deliver songs that are simply sweetly charming. With a ukelele and a guitar, these two ladies are sure to steal my heart this June. The other act I can’t wait to see is Kevin Parent. Growing up in Saguenay Lac-St-Jean, Kevin Parent was a huge radio presence and I associate his songs with the idle and confusing summers of my childhood. My inner youth, who had never been to the big city nor the extensive technology of today, sees Parent as a superstar: someone who is made of legend and not of flesh. I am stoked (and also a tiny bit weirded out) by the possibility of seeing him perform live.

Come by the fest, let your soul sing a little.


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