November 2003 * Volume 9, Number 2

Old Chestnuts Song Circle November 22 * BWFC 10th Anniversary / Valdy Concert January 31

v Last Month and Next - Jack Cole

The October Song Circle at Mary and Barry's was a great night, with an overflow crowd (into the "wing" of the living room) and a bunch of new folks (from as far away as Orillia and St. Catharines), who not only sang along, but lead songs too! Nice to see such enthusiastic new faces, and I hope you all make it back in the months to come.

We sang a few more songs from the OCSC Songbook, and thanks again to M&J for adding a few more last month, and (in advance) for more this month. At the end of the night we nominated 2 or 3 songs to go into the binder, including a nearly brand new one of Paul Mills' (via Rick), which he wrote at (and for) The Woods. A great Song Circle addition, and many thanks Paul for allowing us to include it. I'm looking forward to singing it again soon.

For your entertainment - here are the songs in the Songbook as we head into the November Circle.

This month's Circle is almost upon us - Saturday November 22, back at the usual Chestnut Street location, and themeless once more. Please arrive by 8 pm, and if you can let me know ahead of time (578-6298) it will help with the planning. I hope that we can sing a couple of the songs from this year's Celtic College, so I am especially asking those folks to polish up "All Among the Barley" and the shape note songs.

Remember that there is no Song Circle in December, so this is the last chance until 2004, and a good night to bring seasonal songs as well.

v Canada's Folk Music Walk of Fame - Jack Cole

With little fanfare and well under most radars, the Canadian Folk Music Walk of Fame was opened on October 4, 2003 in the "Old Ottawa South" district of the nation's capital.

The sidewalks of Bank Street have been transformed with bronze plaques commemorating the first six inductees, and 22 red maple leaf "blanks" for future additions.

The Walk was the brainchild of staff at the Ottawa Folklore Centre, who spied an opportunity in the new sidewalks being built along Bank Street in the fall of 2002. The idea was bounced to city councillors and the Mayor who, along with some corporate sponsors, provided funding for the project.

Voting began in August 2003 via a Web site. The popular votes nominated more than 50 as inaugural members of The Walk, from which six were chosen by The Walk Board. So here are the first inductees into our Folk Music Walk of Fame, taken from notes provided on the Web site.

  • Jean Carignan - Quebec fiddler, Order of Canada, Honourary Doctor of Music, 3 command performances for Queen Elizabeth II, "he significantly enhanced the art of fiddling around the world".
  • Bruce Cockburn - Ottawa-born singer and songwriter, 11 Juno awards, 16 gold records, 3 honourary doctorates, Order of Canada, and "highly regarded for his work promoting issues about the environment and humanitarian causes".
  • Helen Creighton - pioneering collector of folk songs, notably from Nova Scotia and including Farewell to Nova Scotia. Order of Canada, 6 honourary doctorates, Distinguished Folklorist of Canada.
  • Gordon Lightfoot - Ontario singer and songwriter. 5 Grammy nominations, 17 Juno awards, 6 gold albums, Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Order of Canada. "His influences ... are still being written. His legacy ... will endure forever."
  • Joni Mitchell - Alberta singer and songwriter, artist and poet. 4 Grammy awards, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Canadian Music Hall of Fame, "she continues to be an inspiration to all".
  • Stan Rogers - Ontario singer and songwriter. "Larger than life....the Canadian Folk Legend lives on through his words."
For more about the Walk, and the inductees, (and to vote) visit the Web site - .

And just for fun, I'd be interested in nominations from the readers of this newsletter. Ian and Sylvia? Stompin' Tom? Valdy? Edith Fowke? Emile Benoit? Wade Hemsworth? Please send your thoughts to me, and I'll report on them later.

v Closing Notes - jc

# Kitchener-Waterloo's Black Walnut Folk Club is having its tenth birthday amd is having a concert and party to celebrate.

With the co-operation of the Old Chestnuts, the Black Walnuts are bringing VALDY to Kitchener-Waterloo, for what we think is the first time ever. It's hard to believe that this 2-time Juno winner, with 22 singles and 4 gold records, hasn't been here before, but none of us can remember when.

Zion United Church - one of the coolest venues in town - has been booked for Saturday January 31, 2004. The church seats about 250 people, so tickets are expected to be sold out quickly. For tickets, call Cam or Jakki (624-1175 or 742-2584), or email myself or Cam ( They will also be available at Words Worth Books in Waterloo and the KW Bookstore in Kitchener. Ticket price is a bargain at $18, and an even bigger bargain if you pick them up from us at November's Old Chestnuts, or December's Black Walnut or Mill Race Singaround at a special early bird price.

Valdy has just released his 14th recording - a double CD of live and studio recordings called Viva Valdy. Come on out on the 31st and help us - and him - celebrate many great years of folk music.

# There is a Songwriter's Retreat, Dec 6 and 7, 2003 happening at the Ecology Retreat Centre near Orangeville. The teachers will be 3 of Canada’s top award winning singer/songwriters: Ian Tamblyn, Lynn Miles and Terry Tufts.

Some of the topics included in the retreat are:
What are songs and why do we write them.
Finding your personal themes and your point of view.
Your instrument and its influence on songwriting and your voice.
The types of songs, the form, the rules and the rules to break.
Integrating the music with words, clichés, metaphor, simile, rhyme, cadence, etc
Transporting the listener to the AHA moment in the song.
The 30th song and getting through the Wall (writer’s block).
Self-editing and re-working the song.
Performance tips and singing the songs.
Recording a demo, registering and selling the songs, royalties, etc.

In addition, there will be an opportunity to present one of your songs to the instructors and get constructive feedback.

The retreat begins at 9am on Saturday December 6 and ends around 4:30 pm on Sunday December 7. The retreat will be preceded by two concerts: one by Ian Tamblyn on Thursday night and one by Lynn Miles and Terry Tufts on Friday night.

Call 519-941-4560 for more information.

# Muses Cafe - a vegetarian spot on King Street in downtown Kitchener - has been featuring live music for the last couple of months. Catch host Mary Anne Epp Friday early evenings and (now) Saturday late afternoons at "Musing Out Loud". Guests in the near future will be Matt Osborne and Mike Alviano. Writes Mary Anne: "I genuinely feel these events have the potential to grow into something K-W can be proud of. And they're just one more contribution in Kitchener-Waterloo that's helping turn this area into an amazing hot-bed of musical talent." Here's too that!

# Non-folk-music things! Amidst everything else happening this season, one of the Song Circle members - Nick Walsh - is directing Ibsen's "A Doll's House" at The Registry Theatre November 27-29 and December 4-6. Tickets ($13) from the Centre In The Square.

And, too late, but worthy of a mention: another Old Chesnut (as of last month!) - Erin Noteboom - launched her new book Ghost Maps: Poems for Carl Hruska on November 12. The book of poetry is the recent winner of the CBC Literary Award, and takes the reader into a soldier's life in a WWII foxhole.

v About this newsletter..... It’s emailed. It’s on the Web at and available at Circles. Also available by regular mail, but for that I request a few stamped envelopes or a contribution to postage. Call 578- 6298 or write for more information. If you are getting this by mail and have eMail, please let me know! Another very late newsletter, but hopefuly an interesting one! At least, I found it so! And maybe that's what matters, since I'm the only one that I'm sure ever reads this far! :-) If you don't make it to our place in November, have a great Christmas and a contemplative season of peace. jc

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