OCFF Announces 2008 Estelle Klein Award Winner

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The Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) has awarded this year’s Estelle Klein Award to Bernie Finkelstein, a pioneer in Canadian music. The award will be presented at the 22nd annual OCFF conference in Ottawa from October 23-26, 2008. The annual award is named after Estelle Klein, a long-time advocate of Canadian Folk music and one of the early founders of the Folk festival scene in this country. Each year, the OCFF honours the work of an individual who has made significant contributions to Ontario’s Folk music community

This year’s winner, Bernie Finkelstein, founded Canada’s first independent record company, True North Records, in 1968. Over the years, the label became one of the country’s largest record companies, with recordings by Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Stephen Fearing, Carole Pope & Rough Trade, Randy Bachman, The Rheostatics, Lynn Miles, Lenny Breau, Lighthouse and Lorraine Segato, to name only a few. With over 400 releases, 40 Juno Awards and 39 gold and platinum records to its credit, True North is a Canadian success story. Currently, the label has licensing ventures with UK-based Cooking Vinyl, Denver-based Sci-Fidelity, New York-based Plump Records, Los Angeles-based Fuel 2000, Boston-based Tone Cool, Vancouver's Guitarchives and distributes recordings by many artists including The Guess Who, Shawn Colvin, Richard Thompson, Oysterband, Susan Tedeschi, Double Trouble and the North Mississippi Allstars.

In addition, Mr. Finkelstein heads The True North Publishing Group which has extensive interests in music publishing and oversees a rich catalogue of works by writers including Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Barney Bentall and Rough Trade. Other copyrights include various film and television soundtracks (Going Down The Road, Waterwalker, Franklin) and covers by artists as diverse as Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies, Jerry Garcia, kd Lang, The Rankins, Judy Collins, Elbow, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Buffett, Dan Fogelberg and The Barra MacNeils.

Mr. Finkelstein will receive the award at the OCFF Conference Saturday evening gala dinner on October 25th, an event that will include a short presentation of his life’s work in music. On Sunday, October 26th, the OCFF continues its tradition of a live interview with the award recipient. This year’s interview will be conducted by Mr. Richard Flohil of Flohil and Associates and will be recorded.

Past recipients of the Estelle Klein Award include Estelle Klein (2000), Jackie Washington (2001), Ian Tamblyn (2002), Friends of Fiddler's Green (2003), Sylvia Tyson (2004), Ken Whiteley (2005), Richard Flohil (2006), Stan Rogers (posthumously 2007.)

The Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) is an organization dedicated to the development of traditional, contemporary and multicultural Folk and Roots music.

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