15 Manitoba Artists Showcase for Ontario Festivals

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Fifteen Manitoba artists are on their way to Guelph to showcase at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) October 14 through 17. Three of the 15 artists were selected for official OCFF showcase spots at the 18th annual conference, including Nettwerk act Nathan, harmonica legend Gerald LaRoche, and singer/songwriter Michael Johnston. There are only 24 official showcase spots during the conference, featuring exciting artists from across the country.

Manitoba traditionally has a strong showing at OCFF and this year is no different. In addition to the three official showcases, MARIA will hold its popular Late Night Manitoba Party, featuring homegrown talent like recent WCMA nominee Jaylene Johnson and bluegrass outfit the D.Rangers. On top of his official showcase on October 15, Michael Johnston will perform a concert as part of MARIA’s celebrations on October 16, followed by a folk festival-style workshop with singer/songwriters Johnson, Dale Nikkel, Steve Schellenberg, and Dan Frechette. Celtic singer Jennifer Clarke and blues/roots artist Manitoba Hal will round out the performance. Another workshop will follow, featuring performances by Old Seed, folk/rocker Mike Petkau, roots duo Brandy Zdan and Dave Quanbury, indie folskter Patrick Keenan, and the D.Rangers.

OCFF is a member-based, not-for-profit association representing 1600 members working in the folk, roots, world, and traditional genres across Ontario. The annual conference features four days of performances, workshops, special events and panel discussions covering every topic from marketing tools to education, performance tips, and health. Organizers of this year’s conference promise that this year will be OCFF’s most comprehensive, most in-depth and fun gathering of roots, folk, traditional and world music industry to date.

The conference kicked off on October 14 with a gala concert featuring singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith and world music newcomers Taima. In addition to the launch and the conference’s core events, special celebrations include a gala banquet where Sylvia Tyson will receive the Estelle Klein Award, one-on-one mentoring sessions, youth showcases, and the third annual 5km folk-feet fun run.

For more information on OCFF, please visit www.ocff.ca .

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