Stan Rogers Folk Festival

Stan Rogers Folk Festival
The Stan Rogers Folk Festival, also known as simply Stanfest, is an annual music festival held in Canso, Nova Scotia, Canada. The festival runs over three days in early July, attracting singers-songwriters and music lovers from all over the country.

The Stan Rogers Folk Festival was established in 1997 to honor Stan Rogers, a Canadian folk musician and singer-songwriter. Rogers was noted for his finely crafted, traditional sounding songs whose style was often reminiscent of traditional British songs of the 18th and 19th centuries. Despite their British sound, they were purely Canadian in spirit because Rogers took his inspiration from the daily lives of working people living in the fishing villages of the Canadian Maritimes and on the farms of the Canadian prairies and Great Lakes. Rogers was also known for his rich and deep baritone.

Unfortunately, his life was cut short. Stan Rogers died at the age of 33 of smoke inhalation caused by in-flight fire. He was one of 23 passengers who died while traveling on Air Canada Flight 797 from Dallas to Montreal on June 2, 1983. Fourteen year later the fans of Rogers’s songs created a folk festival named after the musician to honor his contribution to the development of folk music. The inaugural Stan Rogers Folk Festival took place in 1997. The festival has been held every first weekend on July ever since. The only exception was 2014, when the festival was canceled because of hurricane Arthur.

The Stan Rogers Folk Festival is an international festival for singers-songwriters featuring grassroots musicians from Canada and abroad. The festival embraces all music genres, the only requirement is that participants perform their own songs. Stanfest attracts over 10,000 music fans from all over North America every year. Since its inception, it has won several East Coast Music Awards for its contribution to the music industry and culture of Atlantic Canada.

Interestingly, Rogers wasn’t born in the Maritime provinces. He spend his childhood in Ontario but often visited family in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. It was there that he fell in love with the landscapes, folklore and the way of life in the Maritimes. This love had a profound impact on his songs and helped develop the music culture of the region.

Stan Rogers Folk Festival

Photo: Pam and Allan Samson




Related Articles