Scottish/Canadian Folk Musician

Margaret and Michael
Margaret Christl and Michael Johnston

Maggie's music comes from a bittersweet life story. Her childhood in the coal mining areas of Scotland was a time of great hardship.  She was blessed with a singing voice that would eventually take her all over the world in performances.  In the 1960's she emigrated to Canada, living first in Toronto and later spending time in Alberta and the United States, before settling in the Bruce Peninsula area of Ontario, and then returning to Toronto.

Margaret has played every major folk festival in Canada, many times over. Her performances would fill a book, from large concert halls to small living rooms.  She played the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.  As the opening act at the Canada Pavilion at the World's Fair in Brisbane, Australia, she drew record crowds.  She has sung the national anthems for the National Hockey League.  She was made an Honourary Life Member of the Australian National Folk Song Society.  She is the recipient of the 1998 Canadian Porcupine Award.  She sung the Canadian, Irish, and Scottish national anthems for Canada 2001 in Collingwood, Ontario.

She and her husband Michael Johnston have been playing traditional and contemporary folk music together for over 15 years.  Besides providing accompaniment for Maggie, Michael shines in his own right as an instrumentalist, playing arrangements of Scottish dance tunes on guitar.  At the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, PA., and in honour of the Carnegie's Centennial, he compiled and collected the largest and most complete collection of Scottish music -  a very rare collection, in that he accessed ancient manuscripts from library stacks not available to the public.

"Very occasionally I find myself in the presence of ... an artist so exceptional I feel a deep sadness that not everyone I know was there with me.  So it was with Margaret Christl." - Robert Speer, Chico Review, CA.
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Photographs copyright © Margaret Christl