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15 Aug, Monday
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Montreal Families

Montreal Folk Festival a family event

In 1967 Radio Canada helped launch a folk music revival within Quebec when it released The Centennial Collection of Canadian Folk Songs, which focused largely on French Canadian music, in turn reestablishing folk’s connection to the province’s heritage and culture. That connection is still celebrated today as every summer Montreal holds an annual Folk Festival to showcase Canadian and Quebecois folk, roots, and bluegrass music.

This June marks the eighth edition of the Montreal Folk Festival on the Lachine Canal. A fixture on the Quebec music scene, the family-friendly festival has entertained legions of Montrealers for years with toe-tapping music and a variety fun, interactive activities for the whole family.

“All of us who organize it have kids, and all of them have grown up at the festival,” says Matthew Large, the co-founder of the Montreal Folk Festival. “It’s a place where mom and dad can enjoy their music and a day in the sun but the kids aren’t going to get bored.”

The festival runs from June 17 to 21, with ticketed, indoor performances starting Wednesday and free concerts and the family area opening Friday at 4 p.m. and running through the weekend. There, kids will be able to enjoy a full program of activities and performances.  “We have a kids coordinator, and a family area with a whole team of people,” Large says. “Many of them are educators, people trained to animate young people.”

On Saturday, Grammy Award-winning entertainer Jennifer Gasoi will perform on the Lhasa de Sela youth stage at 3 p.m., after which another comic book workshop will be held at 4 p.m., followed by a yoga activity at 6 p.m.

On Sunday there will be sing-a-long activities and a performance at 3 p.m. by Tim and the Pacifiers, an interactive folk-rock band. All this is in addition to the face painting; dress up costumes, kids’ food, instrument making, zumba/dance activities, arts and crafts, bouncy castles and more that will be offered for free throughout the entire weekend.

While there’s parking on St. Henri St., families are being encouraged to come by bike. The free, outdoor venue will be at Esplanade du Centenaire between Pitt and Saint Patrick Sts. in the Southwest borough, right along the Lachine Canal’s renowned bike path. For those who want to attend the ticketed shows, single tickets cost $10 to $30 and the festival offers a partial pass for $64.50 and $109 for a universal pass that gives access to all shows.

There will be a free bike drop-off depot, guarded and fenced, as well as a bike mechanic on site. For more information visit montrealfolkfest.com

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