Peterborough Folk Festival headline acts include The Trews Acoustic, Bahamas, Kathleen Edwards

Among acts for the 33rd Peterborough Folk Festival include, top, from left, The Trews (acoustic), Kathleen Edwards, AHI and Joyful Joyful. Photos courtesy Peterborough Folk Festival

The 33rd edition of the Peterborough Folk Festival returns to Nicholls Oval for a five-day musical showcase in August.

On Wednesday, the festival announced some of the musical lineup for the Aug. 17-21 festival. Shows will be hosted at Market Hall and downtown venues.

Among the headline acts is Bahamas, (Afie Jurvanen) a Grammy-nominated and Juno award winner, who will perform on Aug. 20.

The Trews will have a full band set and headline the show on Aug. 21, swapping out their rock sound for an acoustic ensemble. The Nova Scotia and Hamilton-based quartet have been one of Canada’s leading rock bands over the past decade, complete with two Gold-certified albums (House of Ill Fame and Den of Thieves) and a 2019 Juno nomination for best rock album (Civilanaires). They have also received multiple East Coast Music Awards, a CIMA Road Gold Award, an Independent Music Award (U.S) and numerous Juno award nominations.

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Seven-time Juno nominated Kathleen Edwards will perform at Market Hall on Aug. 19. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 8.

Other acts announced include:

  • Odario –  Odario Williams is a hip-hop performer and broadcaster who is the host of the evening program “Afterdark” on CBC Music. He will MC Saturday night’s main stage and perform with his band.
Odario Williams. Peterborough Folk Festival
  • AHI – Ahkinoah Habah Izarh is a two-time Juno-nominated singer who recently toured with Mandy Moore. The two-time Juno award nominee for Contemporary Roots Album of the year performs on Aug. 21.
  • Kelly McMichael – the Peterborough native is an ECMA winner for best rock album in 2022, Polaris prize (for top Canadian album) long-listed in 2022 and past folk festival emerging award recipient. She will perform on the main stage on Aug. 20.
  • My Son The Hurricane – a 12-piece brass band performs on Sunday, Aug. 21.
  • Georgia Harmer She released her debut album “Stay in Touch” in 2022. She is the daughter of Mary Harmer and Gord Tough who were in the band Weeping Tiles. Tough is a guitarist for Kathleen Edwards.
  • Adria Kaina rhythm and blues singer from Toronto who released her debut album “When Flowers Bloom” in February 2022.
  • Joyful Joyful Peterborough’s Cormac Culkeen and Toronto instrumentalist Dave Grenon released their self-titled debut album in April 2022.
  • Michael C Duguay– A Kingston, Ont. singer/songwriter whose songs in recent years have focused on his recovery from drug addiction.
  • Lauryn Macfarlane – a Peterborough alt-country and indie pop music singer/songwriter who was the festival’s 2021 Emerging Artist recipient.
  • Kayla Mohammed 
  • Nathan Truaxa Peterborough country music artist.

Organizers say more artists — national and local — will be announced in the coming weeks.

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The festival kicks off on Aug. 17 at Market Hall with a screening of “We Can Do This,” a video highlighting the efforts to relaunch the festival in 2021 after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A record 14,000 attended the 2019 and 2021 festivals, organizers say.

“I’m proud to see the lineup come together the way it has so far and I have a feeling many attendees will discover their next favorite(s) artist at the festival this year,” said festival artistic director Ryan Kemp.

Peterborough and Toronto-based Joyful Joyful. Jeff Bierk photo

“We are truly lucky to have so many amazing, talented locals in Peterborough. I don’t think many people in Peterborough are aware that Kelly McMichael and Joyful Joyful were just long-listed last week for the Polaris prize for top Canadian albums in 2022 alongside The Weeknd and Arcade Fire. We are so fortunate as a community to have them both perform at this year’s festival.”

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The festival, which includes five stages at Nicholls Oval park, will also feature more than 50 artisan vendors, a children’s village and Cameron’s Beer Garden.

Kickoff concerts at Market Hall and after-parties are planned Saturday and Sunday at downtown’s Jethros and The Red Dog.

Volunteers needed

Organizers say the festival currently needs more volunteers to ensure the event returns to pre-pandemic levels.

Festival board chairperson Malcolm Byard says it has become more difficult to recruit volunteers.

“We are reaching out to the greater community to ensure we are able to host the event in the same manner as the community has grown to appreciate,” he said.

“If we are unable to recruit at least another 125 volunteers, the Festival may not look like it has pre-pandemic. If you can help, please reach out. We are a 100 per cent volunteer-organized charity, we don’t have a year-round paid staff to raise sponsorships or recruit volunteers.

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“Our event is envied for its environmental responsibility and thoughtful programming that appeals to a multi-generational and diverse community,” he added.

For more information on the festival – or to volunteer or sponsor or be an artisan vendor – visit their website


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