Folk festival wants to involve folks - Metro US

Folk festival wants to involve folks

Between Bluesfest, Jazzfest and Chamberfest, Ottawa seems to have all the music bases covered.

But the Ottawa Folk Festival will touch on these genres — and more — when it kicks off at Britannia Park later this month.

“The folk festival’s not just about folk music. It’s about everything — folk, rock, country, Celtic, African and swing dance music,” said festival co-founder and artistic director Chris White. “We’re trying to be as inclusive as possible.”

Canadian Music Hall of Famer Bruce Cockburn, former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page, The Sadies, Amy Millan, Joel Plaskett and Kinnie Starr are headlining at the festival from Aug. 21- 23.

This year’s festival goes far beyond just the music, said White.

In its 16th year, the festival has become about “finding things that include people of all ages,” said White. “We have an ever-increasing emphasis on participation.”

Festivalgoers can build a ukulele, paint, dance, learn to play a musical instrument and do yoga, said White.

“We’re setting up a situation where people can get involved and take something home, whether it be knowledge or an idea that leads to something else. We have objectives that go beyond the actual weekend.”

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