Mariposa : celebrating Canadian folk music : 1961


Mariposa Folk Festival button

The first Mariposa Folk Festival was organized by Ruth and Dr Crawford Jones and held at Oval Park in Orillia, Ontario from August 18-19. The name Mariposa was borrowed from Stephen Leacock’s Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town which created a comical and affectionate portrait of a town modelled on Orillia, where Leacock had a summer home. In its first year, the festival reached an audience totalling 6000-8000 people with an all-Canadian line-up of performers such as O.J. Abbott, Omar Blondahl, Jean Carignan, Alan Mills, Jacques Labrecque, The Travellers, Al Cherney, Bonnie Dobson, the Canadian folklorist Edith Fowke, Merrick Jarrett, Alan McRae and Peter Wyborn, Finvola Redden, Ted Schafer, Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker, Mary Jane and Winston Young and the York County Boys.

Here is a recording of a radio broadcast of the opening ceremonies.  In it Pete McGarvey introduces the mayor of Orillia George McLean who is accompanied by Scottish bagpipes.

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