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Category Archives: Youth Discoveries

Youth Discoveries Finalists

Last Night a couple of hundred people turned out to watch the finals of the Youth Discoveries 2018. It was an amazing evening of music. A big thank you to all the performers in last night’s Youth Discoveries finale.

Congratulations to Willem James Cowan, Emily Gilbart, Folk ‘N Harp, Esther’s Family, and Basset who will be joining us at Summerfolk43. Thanks to our sponsors, Long and McQuade and the Dock 92.3. Thanks also to our judges Kim Trombley, Liz Scott and Steve Dickinson. A big shout out to our MC and wrangler Robb Elder and to the Roxy theatre for hosting us!

Emily Gilbert

Emily Gilbart

Willem James Cowan

Willem James Cowan

Folk and harp

Folk ‘N Harp


Esther’s family




Youth Discovery Finals and finalists!

After 3 preliminaries, we would like to introduce to you the finalists for this year’s Youth Discoveries. The finals take place Friday, March 23 at 7 PM at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound, Ontario. Good luck to all!


Sidney Riley

Emily Gilbert
Emily GilbertGreg Smith
Greg Smith

Mikalyn Hay

Fork and Harp

Josh Ritter

Alyssa Tess


Ben Heffernan
Ben Heffernan

James Willem Cowan
James Willem Cowan

Kamden Gillespie

Kamden Gillespie

Esther’s Family


Youth Discoveries Mainstage- Cassie DaSilva

Youth Discoveries finals!!!


After 3 preliminaries, these are the performers moving on to the finals of the Summerfolk Youth Discoveries. The show begins at 1PM at the Harmony Centre in Owen Sound. The final is always exciting, surprising and a great time.

4-5 performers get slots at Summerfolk 42!

1.     Paige Ballagh

2.     Bare Sierra

3.     Greg Smith

4.     Allison Skorik

5.     John Anderson

6.     Clara Wiseman


7.     Clarrisa Fortin

8.     Emma Page

9.     Sidney Riley

10.  Moscow Apartments

11. Lily&Thistle                                                                                                                                     


13. Taylor Holden & the Law of Averages


Youth Discoveries Finals- 1 PM at the Harmony centre


It’s time for the finals of the Youth Discoveries showcases. Starting at 1 pm on Sunday the  29th , 11 acts will appear before 3 judges and we will find out whose road will  lead to the Youth Discoveries stage at Summerfolk.


The order of appearance:

The order of performance as selected by random draw is as follows:

  1. Max Gauthier
  2. Sydney Riley
  3. Kyle Fraser
  4. Grace Watson
  5. Braden Phelan
  6. Limberlost


  1. Meline Hanke
  2. Chicks with Picks
  3. Sarah Menary
  4. Darrin Baldwin
  5. Paige Warner

Good luck to all. Stay tuned for results!

Summerfolk Tune Up

The Annual Summerfolk Tune-up

The Youth for this year’s festival gets a chance to polish their chops for Summerfolk39.

Andrew Nunno, Bekah and Missy, Benjamin Rogers, Smith Magenis, MacKenzie Mcruer. and Leah Mathies will be appearing from 1-4 at The marine and Rail Museum. Bring a chair and some sunscreen and we’ll see you there!Summerfolk Tune Up

Youth Discoveries Owen Sound March 9th

We had a fantastic time at the Harmony Centre on March 9th for the first prelims of the Youth Discoveries. We’d like to thank all the performers for their talent and their willingness to share it- Mira Meikle,Skyii Kempers,Lauren Poetker, Abby Woodhouse,Amy Toulousse,Greg Smith,The Arctic & The East,Emma Wright,Holly Melsom,Rebekah Hawker,Grace Watson and Smith Magenis.
Thanks also to our judges Liz Scott, Jade McMeekin and Coco Love Alcorn and to sound man extraodinaire Steve Kenny.

The following acts move to the finals March 30th at the Harmony centre at 1 PM. Join us next week in Paisley for the next round. Congrats to Rebekah Hawker and Missy Bauman, Lauren Poetker, Smith Magenis and Greg Smith. And congrats to all the performers who joined us for the preliminary..

Rebekah Hawker and Missy Bauman

Rebekah Hawker and Missy Bauman

Greg Smith

Greg Smith

Lauren Poetker

Lauren Poetker

Smith Magenis

Smith Magenis



Summerfolk TuneUp

Saturday, June 9th from 1-4 PM at the Marine and Rail Museum

1155 1st ave west, Owen Sound  it’s this year’s edition of the Summerfolk TuneUp. Grea t music to chase the clouds away and get you geared up for the Summerfolk Music and

Crafts Festival.

Join MC Anne Beverly Foster, Jayden Grahlman, Mac ‘n the Boys, Sydney Delong and Amy Tourlousse for a great afternoon of music

Jayden Grahlman

Jayden Grahlman

Amy Tourlousse

Amy Tourlousse

Mac 'N the Boys

Mac ‘N the Boys

Sydney Delong

Sydney Delong


Now Headed for Summerfolk!

It was an amazing afternoon at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound.

Fate cruelly placed the finals on the first sunny hot day of the decade. A couple of hundred people showed up, however, to watch stunning performances by the 12 finalists in The Georgian Bay Folk Society’s Youth Discovery Showcases.

Our judges( Joel Leblanc, Liz Scott and Kevin Gangloff) had a lot to choose from.

Five performers will be joining us on stage at Summerfolk this year

They are

Mac ‘N the BoysMac 'N the Boys

Sydney DelongSydney Delong


Brendan StephensBrendan Stephens

Emily FlackEmily Flack

Jayden GrahlmanJayden Grahlman


A huge debt of thanks to our sponsors

The Trillium Foundation
Ontario Arts Council
Canadian Heritage
Rogers TV
Bruce Power
Owen Sound Transportation
The Dock 92.3

and to our judges Joel Leblanc, Liz Scott and Kevin Gangloff

Thanks to the Roxy, especially Aly Boltman, Gary Byers.

Thanks to the Youth Committee- Tara McKenzie, Coco Love Alcorn, Stephen Kenny, Ruth Parsons, Rox Davidson.

Thanks to Trev MacKenzie for all the help and the Georgian Bay Folk Society.

To Bill McMillan for judging at the first two events.

Thanks to our preliminary venues The Meaford Hall, Back Eddies in Paisley, The Owen Sound Public Library.

To all the performers who showcased.


Summerfolk Youth Discoveries Finals!

The finals for the Discoveries showcases will be happening this coming Sunday at the fabulous Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound. 12 acts have advanced from the preliminaries and will be performing from 130 Pm until the winners are chosen.

Join us for the Finale of the Youth Discoveries Showcases at The Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound.
After the 3 preliminary rounds, 12 acts have been selected to preform at the finale.

Here is the line up, and we hope to see you there. Details can be found by clicking on the events tab or right here

Here they are, with links ( where we have them) so you can check them out.

Jayden Grahlman
Safe As Houses
Emily Flack
Amy Tourlousse
MacKenzie McRuer
Cassie Dasilva
Mack ‘N’ The Boys
Brendan Stephens
JoJo Worthington
Jack Darby
Adam Crossman
Sydney Delong

Youth Discoveries Paisley!

It was a most exciting day at Back Eddie’s in Paisley for the third round of the Youth Discoveries Preliminaries.

We’d like to thanks the judges- Tara MacKenzie, Coco Love Alcorn and Beth Hamilton. Thanks as well to Trev Mackenzie for sound and to Back Eddie’s for being such gracious hosts.

We’d also like to thank all the performers-Cassie Dasilva, Andrew Nunno, Joel Blackshaw, Adam Crossman, Mac ‘n the Boys, Juckanoo. Everybody played like pro’s and the jusdges had a hard choice to make as always.

The three winners from today’s preliminary are Adam Crossman, , Mac ‘n the Boys and Cassie Dasilva.Youth Discoveries Paisley

The judges also picked the three wild card contestants. They are Emily Flack, Mackenzie McRuer and Jayden Grahlman.


Second Preliminary Meaford!

The second preliminary in the Youth Discoveries showcase happened this afternoon at the Meaford Hall in Meaford Ontario.

10 Performers were slated to take the stage as of 1PM.

We’d like to thank our judges Tara MacKenzie, Coco Love Alcorn and Billy McMillan for once again accepting the task of choosing between these fine performers. The crowd was pumped and the sound was ably handled by Trevor Mackenzie. Thanks also to Rob Memery and Phil Bye for MC duties.

So- thanks to the performers: Jocelyn McGillvray, JoJo Worthington, Greg Smith, Sydney Delong, Emily Flack, Christopher Thompson, Safe as Houses, The Stone Cutters, Columbo for turning in superb performances.

The following performers will be advancing to the finals at the Roxy Theatre on Sunday April 28th…Youth Discovery Finalists from Meaford!

JoJo Worthington,

Sydney Delong and

Safe as Houses


First Preliminary Results

We had a fantastic first preliminary at the the Owen Sound Public Library.

Thanks to

Nadia Danyluk and the staff at the library for their assistance in putting on this great event.

Tara MacKenzie, Coco Love Alcorn and Billy McMillan, our judges for this round. They gave careful consideration and great feedback.

Trevor MacKenzie and Steve Kenny for stellar sound.

Nadine Osbourne for being a fantastic MC

Thanks and congratulations to all the performers that gave of their talents- Jack Darby, Civil Effect, Brendan Stephens, Lacey Legge, MacKenzie McRuer, Amy Tourlousse, Jayden Grahlman and Marshal Veroni.

The following performers will be advancing to the finals at the Roxy Theatre on April 28th.

Brendan Stephens

Jack Darby

Amy Tourlousse



April is all about Discovery

For the next 4 weeks, we’re all about the youth Discoveries.Coming up in less than a week -first preliminary in the Georgian Bay Folk Society’s Youth Discoveries program.

Starting at 2 on Sunday the 7th of April, some of Owen Sound’s best will be playing at the Owen Sound Public Library. April 14th brings the Discoveries showcase to the Meaford Hall, Meaford. April 21st it’s Paisley’s turn at Back Eddie’s

The finals on April 28th at the Roxy Theatre will award spots at Summerfolk to 5 deserving performers- but Discoveries is about much more. It’s about building connections in the musical community. Many of the participants in Youth Discoveries find like minded performers-they gain stage experience and the opportunity to access a unique group of mentors and coaches. It’s all about taking the first steps towards a life in music.

The winners will be joining a performers roster that includes The Proclaimers, Kathleen Edwards, Vance Gilbert and more.

Come out and support them and find your new favourites!

All the info you need can be found right here!



Sun Times Articles 2012 – part 8

James Keelaghan wrote a series of articles for the Owen Sound Sun Times last year as part of the lead up to Summerfolk.

July 25

I played my first paying gig at seventeen in a folk club in Claresholm, about an hour south of Calgary. After that I played as regularly as I could. Luckily, Calgary was rich in places to play in those days.

I had a regular gig at a place called the Kensington Delicafe. I played three hours a night Thursday, Friday and Saturday-it largely paid my way though University. There was a guy who used to come in for his deli-burger, a bass player named Bill Eaglesham, he was tall and wiry, with piercing blue eyes. I knew him from the local scene. During my sets he would watch me but not once did he ever applaud. My mission became getting some kind of reaction out of him.

I never did. I ended up hiring him as my bass player on my first national tour instead. For the next three years Bill and my other player, Gary Bird, whipped me into shape. Today we would call it mentoring. Back then we just lived by the adage that the best way to get good was to play with people who were better than you.
I did not emerge fully formed as a musician, no musician ever does. Learning to be a performer is a long process-the only way you learn is by playing.

The four finalists from this year’s Youth Discoveries program are already on that road. Youth Discoveries is an initiative of the Georgian Bay Folk Society and is sponsored by Bruce Power and the Dock 92.3 FM. The four acts were chosen from thirty-six who showcased for the opportunity to appear at the  37th annual Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival.

Amy Carson Hunter is the performer most likely to make you impulsively hold hands with whoever is next to you. She’s from Toronto, but like many of this year’s Discoveries hopefuls, she maIMG_0068de the trek north in the hope of winning a spot at the festival and the judges were duly impressed. Her voice sounds too mature to come from someone so young. It hovers somewhere in the dusky zone. She also writes and performs with a maturity and poise that any performer would be envious of.

Mad Casper didn’t travel as far as Amy. Simon Kaarid, Tristan Kaarid, Dan White  Erik Wagenaar come from right here in Owen Sound. When I first heard them it took my mind back to a workshop I played with Gil Scott Heron at the Calgary Folk Festival.
Gil’s songs, particularly The Revolution YDMadCasperWill Not Be Televised, paved the way for rap music. It’s been argued that Gil was the first rap artist. What was he doing at a folk festival?
All you had to do was listen to get it. The lyrics were politically charged and relevant. The music was played acoustically on piano, upright bass and percussion. If Gil wasn’t folk music, what was?
Mad Casper has the same sensibility-a story to tell against a solid back beat. It’s a mix of hip hop, dub poetry with an acoustic instrumental edge. The lyrics sung in a cadenced and measured staccato are political, sincere and relevant.
Chris Strazz comes from Woodbridge. He sings with a high reedy tenor and has a great sense of amtosphere. He is slightly bluesy with an undeniably great rhythm guitar style. Chris is blessed with a quick smile and a comfortable attitude that is disarming. If  Carson Hunter is the dark and sultry, Chris is the guy who’s going to send you down the street whistling. Of all our Discovery finalists I would peg him as the guy most likely to end up doing one of those coveted musical appearances on Sesame Street.

I was extremely happy that traditional music was represented at the Youth Discoveries showcases. I love fiddling and step dancing, but it is a crowded field and to rise to the top you have to be really good. Andrew and Diana Dawydchak are 12 and 14 years old, respectively. They were the youngest performers at Youth Discoveries, but may be the most seasoned performers of the bunch. You don’t get to be as good as they are unless you’ve been doing it a long time. They have taken top honours at the Canadian Open in Shelburne and the Ontario Open in Bobcageon. That is no mean feat.
They are energetic and explosive, YDAndrew and Diana copybut what was the most disarming thing about them was the fact that their bio ends by saying that they are proud to be Maple Leaf’s fans. Is there anything more enchanting than the optimism of youth?

Youth Discoveries happens because of the hard work of many people. In the next year we are going to expand the program. We’ll be offering workshops on everything from performance to vocal technique and a new venue for the Final Showcase.
There is a wealth of young talent in our communities and we want to help that talent reach its audience. You can help the GBFS by letting us know abut the outstanding young performers in your community.
Join us Friday, August 17 at the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival for the Youth Discoveries concert starting at 7pm on the Young and Hungry/Over the Hill stage
For more information visit us at

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