Edmonton Folk Music Festival
Edmonton Folk Music Festival. It was established by Don Whalen in 1980 at the impetus of Alberta Culture on the occasion of the province's 75th anniversary. Held 8 to 10 August at Gold Bar Park in its first year, it moved to Gallagher Park in 1981. Don Whalen served as artistic director 1980-5, followed by Holger Petersen 1986-8, and Petersen by Terry Wickham as of 1989. The festival has employed a mainstage for evening concerts by its headline artists and several smaller stages and tents for daytime performances, workshops, and children's programs. Attendance by 1991 reached 40,000, making Edmonton one of the most popular Canadian folk festivals of the day. Under Petersen's direction, it reflected a 'roots' and country orientation. Wickham in turn has programmed a balanced and relatively mainstream mixture of traditional and contemporary folk, pop music, blues, world music, and the occasional atypical act - eg, Solomon Burke in 1990 and the Violent Femmes in 1991. The festival also has presented or co-sponsored concerts year round at the City Media Club, the Jubilee Auditorium, and the University of Alberta.