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Terri Clark and Bahamas to headline 2017 Stan Rogers Folk Festival

Nova Scotia performers for the festival in Canso from June 30 to July 2 include Dave Gunning, Erin Costelo, Old Man Luedecke, Bruce Guthro and Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers

Toronto folk musician Bahamas and Terri Clark, eight-time Canadian Country Music Award winner, will headline the 2017 Stan Rogers Folk Festival, June 30 to July 2 in Canso.

“For Canada’s 150th year, we wanted to present great Canadian artists who are blazing a trail internationally,” artistic director Troy Greencorn said in a news release.

The weekend-long festival honouring one of Canada’s most prolific songwriters features a variety of genres, including folk, country, jazz, swing, blues, rag, gospel, pop, rock, bluegrass and world music.

It won the East Coast Music Award for event of the year from 2002 to 2004. Each day, four stages operate concurrently from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The evening stage begins at 7 p.m. and stretches into the wee hours. Thousands of people camp on site and at nearby campgrounds.  

The festival, dubbed Canada's songwriter festival, will also feature Canadian songwriters James KeelaghanDoug PaisleyJames GordonLindi Ortega and Danny Michel.

Among the East Coasters on the growing roster are Nova Scotia's Dave GunningErin CosteloOld Man Luedecke and Bruce Guthro, Newfoundland and Labrador's Steve MaloneyChris Ledrew and Brianna Gosse, and Dylan Menzie from Prince Edward Island.

“I am so excited to get to be a part of StanFest this year,” Clark, a three-time Juno-winner said in the release. “I'm honoured that this festival is opening its arms to someone who is considered mainly a mainstream country artist. My solo acoustic show will fit right in and display a lot of the bluegrass, country and folk elements that I grew up with and was influenced by. My mother was an avid roots and folk music fan, so this only seems natural. I can't wait!”

Bahamas, a Finnish-Canadian originally from Barrie, Ont., outside of Toronto, is the stage name of Afie Jurvanen. He has performed with Feist, the Stills, Jason Collett, Amy Milan of Stars, The Great Lake Swimmers and more.

Among international acts are: England’s the Young’uns, who will make their Atlantic Canada debut, sharing a capella ballads and humorous stories; Jake Morely, a songwriter and guitar player from North London will make his first visit to Nova Scotia; and Scottish songwriter and instrumentalist Paul McKenna, named Scots singer of the year in 2012 at the Scots Traditional Music Awards.

Umited States buzz act Penny and Sparrow is also on the roster.

“These guys are certain to become massive stars. They have it all. Great songs, soaring and emotional vocals, the whole package,” said Greencorn. “Another favourite new find is the Grassabillies, a newgrass-rockabilly-old country ensemble with loads of heart and charisma.” 

StanFest will welcome back one of its most popular world music alumni, Zimbabwe vocal-dance group Black Umfolosi 5 and Canadian-U.S. collaboration HuDost brings folk-rock fusion built on Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Balkan, Farsi, Turkish and Arabic musical traditions.

Celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation, the festival will present First Nations artists from across Canada. This growing list includes Manitoba songwriters William Prince and Leonard Sumner, Labrador’s the Flummies and Nova Scotia’s Alan Syliboy and the Thundermakers.

And there will be a youthful contingent with teen bluegrass wonders Nick Earle and Joe Coffin from Newfoundland and Labrador, 12-year-old Emi Sunshine returning with her Nashville band and the Salt and Light Bluegrass Band from North Carolina, featuring six siblings sharing their unique brand of bluegrass.

Tickets are now on sale. Weekend passes are $140, plus tax, and day passes are available. Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketpro outlets, by phone at 1-866-311-9090 and online at

Campsites are available by contacting Wanda at the festival office at 1-888-554-7826. RV sites are $90 (plus tax) and tent sites are $70 (plus tax). For more information, visit


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