The Early Years

The Haliburton County Folk Society was born in the creation of the Wild Oat Arts Café. Out of the after work jams came a regular Open Stage, open to all performers and later a concert series.
The fledgling folk society brought Canadian singer/songwriters to Haliburton performing in homes and the Rails End Gallery. Concert goers were treated to performances by:
Bob Bossin
Ken Hamm
Terry Tufts
Rick Bockner
James Keelaghan
Bob Snider
Charlie Sohmers

Inspired by a wedding held on the site, the Society organised  Fall Gatherings in 2001, 2002,and 2003  using the facilities of the Minden Whitewater Preserve. The Gathering was three days of music, workshops, campfires, a potluck dinner, and pancake breakfast in a beautiful setting with the constant sounds of rushing water in the background.  

In 2003, the open stages moved to the Hair Lounge , which was transformed into the Lounge Café, in
Carnarvon Ontario.This beautiful facility, with its excellent sound system, was the home for most Folk Society activities until the summer of 2005. Through 2004/2005, owner Mark Christiano presented concerts by Don Ross, Brooke Miller,
Ian Tamblyn, Steel Rail, David Essig, Rose Cousins.

Thanks to Mark and Claudette for giving the Folk Society a home.

In January 2004, the Folk Society encouraged and supported the development and performance of  "The Letter I Didn't Send", an original production by David Fougere, a local singer/song writer and his daughter Nicole, a professional dancer. The Society gave financial support to Cedric Butz, young local guitar maker, to train with a master luthier.

After the closing of the Lounge Café, the Folk Society regrouped and hosted Open Stages at the Haliburton Outdoor Association Fish Hatchery and  Head Lake Park. In October, the Folk Society hosted a concert by Bob Bossin at the Fish Hatchery.

In the fall of 2005, the Folk Society moved to a new venue at the York Street Internet Café, in the village of Haliburton. The first concert in the new venue was a performance in November by Finest Kind.
Finest Kind was formed in Ottawa, Canada, in 1991 by Ian Robb, Ann Downey, and Shelley Posen. Ian, originally from London, England, is renowned as one of North America's most gifted performers of British folksong, a concertina player extraordinaire, charter member of Toronto's Friends of Fiddler's Green, and composer of folk standards such as "The Old Rose and Crown." Ann, who hails from the southwestern U.S., plays guitar, banjo, and bass, and has performed in bands playing old-time and cowboy music, bluegrass, klezmer, jazz, and swing in North America and Europe. Shelley, a professional folklorist from Toronto, is a versatile singer and multi instrumentalist who has spent a lifetime researching, teaching, writing about, performing, and sometimes composing songs.
Shelley      Ian          Ann
Go here for  list of the 2006 Concerts

The York Street Internet Café is currently undergoing a series of renovations, becoming more functional and attractive as the walls move, get painted and the art is hung. Thanks to Pete Smith for being such an enthusiastic supporter of the Folk Society.

Currently the Folk Society's activities incude:
the organization and promotion of ongoing Open Stages in a new venue, the York Street Internet Café, in partnership with another local business.
a concert series
Raising money to purchase a high quality sound system to be used for open stages, folk concerts and to rent or loan to other community groups who need such equipment.
Establishing, awarding and maintaining  a high school scholarship for a deserving student with an interest in folk music

Until very recently, the Haliburton County Folk Society functioned as an unincorporated organization.  As it grew and matured the HCFS realized that it needed to undertake a more formal approach to doing business if it was to be effective in fulfilling its mandate. Rather than using its limited resources to cover costs of incorporation and directors insurance, the HCFS decided to become a member organization of the Haliburton County Community Cooperative (HCCC). The HCCC provide the organizational framework thereby allowing the Folk Society to concentrate on its mandate.

The HCCC was formed in November 1998 with a mandate to encourage, develop and support entrepreneurial initiatives that contribute to the social, cultural, environmental and economic well being of Haliburton County and its residents. The Co-op grew out of the discussions of a diverse group of community members who came together after the closure of a Women's Emergency House to investigate how to create new wealth in the community that could be re-invested in initiatives that benefit the community.  The HCCC provides the following services:
Project and business plan development
Non-profit incorporated status
Support in acquiring financing and funding
Support with fostering of appropriate partnerships (community, provincial and federal)
Book keeping and accounting
Advice and support from a board of directors
Connections with other Co-op members

Co-operatives are unique social, cultural and economic bodies. They are driven by the member's (community's) needs and values rather then the financial drive to earn a profit.

The Haliburton County Folk Society is a part of the HCCC and provides a representative to sit on the HCCC's Board of Directors. The HCFS has its own management structure consisting of:
President  - Barrie Martin
Vice President - Kris Kadwell
Treasurer - Don Gage
Secretary- Laurel McCauley
Committee members  - Sean Pennylegion, Ian Pay, Art Theberge,   

In 2006, the Folk Society had an intern, Katharine Hagerman, who was hired with funds from the Haliburton Community Development Corporation. Katharine's main focus was to support the development of new concert series, explore sponsorships and grants.

The HCFS also recruits and maintains its own membership. There are currently 50 paid members