The (Almost) Folk Festival 2020 Programming: Here’s What You Need To Know

Thursday, July 16, 2020


Back in April, we made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Canmore Folk Music Festival. Though, with that announcement, we also made a promise: to come together to share music and celebration with all of you this summer. Today we’re excited to announce just that! It’s different, without a doubt, but we’ve been working hard to put together a (almost) festival weekend that we think you’re going to love. 

The August long weekend will combine old traditions with the new normal for a fusion of nostalgia and exploration. Above all else, this unique festival weekend is an opportunity for us to come together in celebration. There are several ways to get involved, from tuning into our virtual show or taking part in this year’s one-of-a-kind contest. 

Before we dive into the details, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your endless love and support during these unique times. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we hope you enjoy this year’s programming! Here’s the scoop:


All Weekend: Mountain FM Folkie Take-Over 

Every year on Folk Fest weekend, you can hear the faint melody from the main stage throughout town. The music and the energy fills the air and is just one of the many sweet, familiar feelings we all know and love. 

This year, we’re taking a more decentralized approach. Throughout the entire long weekend, Mountain FM will be playing the music of past Folk Fest performers for you to enjoy wherever you like. A non-stop line-up of legendary folk artists we all know and love sounds like the little slice of normalcy we’ve all been craving. Tune in via 106.5 Mountain FM. 


All Weekend: Caught On Paws T-Shirt Contest 

During festival weekend each year (and all the time, really), we get the pleasure of seeing the current Folk Fest T-shirts everywhere we look. This time around, for the (almost) Folk Fest, we’d like to invite you to toss on any Canmore Folk Festival T-Shirt no matter where you are. 

Snap a photo of you in your shirt and tag us on social media over the festival weekend! One lucky winner will win 2 FREE tickets to the 2021 Canmore Folk Music Festival, the second choice of tarp real estate (the silver tarp), and 2 FREE festival shirts. Get creative and show us the Folkie energy we’ve been missing all year! 


Visit for all the details!


Saturday, August 1, 1 – 3 pm: Retrospective Festival Takeover With CKUA 

Tom Coxworth and Andy Donnelly will be hosting an exceptional 2-hour segment on CKUA that we cannot wait to witness. The takeover will be a festival retrospective, including archival interviews, music, and more from past festivals. 

Whether you’re a long-time folkie or you’ve never been to the festival, this stroll back through time will be immensely meaningful and filled with words and tunes that remind us why we adore folk music, storytelling, and the vibrant tapestry they weave together. 


Sunday, August 2, @ 2 pm MT: The Launch Of The Great Paws Virtual Show 

On the Sunday of the festival, we will be launching a special 90-minute video that will feature an astounding roster of talented artists. The roster includes Amelie Patterson, Amythyst Kiah, Celeigh Cardinal, Danny Michel, Devin Cuddy, Elk Run & Riot, Irish Mythen, Jim Cuddy, Locarno, The McDades, Sam Polley, Shakura S’Aida, and The Small Glories.

These past festival performers have been asked to submit a song that has a connection to the Canmore Folk Fest. Perhaps they were inspired to write the song because of the festival, maybe it reminds them of the festival, or maybe it just makes them feel connected to all you folkies in some kind of way. 

We simply cannot wait to see what everyone has put together for the occasion. We will be sharing more details in the coming week, so check back often! 



Monday, August 3, @  7pm MT: The Finale, Different But The Same 

Four Strong Winds and The Mary Ellen Carter and the two songs that have brought the Canmore Folk Festival to close every year for as long as we can remember. Because there’s nothing we love like a little tradition, we’ll be launching two compilation videos of our two finale songs. 

The videos will include the voices of some of the artists mentioned above as well as some local talent. Tune in, sing along, and toast to festivals past, present, and future. These videos will be released via our social media platforms. If you don’t partake in social media email us so we can send you a direct link! 


We’ve sure been through a lot together, Folkies. We can’t wait to share this historical year with you. 


Thanks to our funders and sponsors, we’re able to offer the entire 2020 festival for FREE! A heartfelt thank you to: TD Bank, Epcor, Alberta Foundation of the Arts, Canadian Heritage & SOCAN Foundation. 

“TD is very proud to be returning as the presenting sponsor of the Canmore Folk Festival this year,” said Robert Ghazal, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking, Prairie Region. “While we all wish we could listen to live music with the backdrop of the beautiful Three Sisters mountain in view, we are very happy to be able to still come together virtually and support amazing local musicians. Music has the power to unite us and bring us together. While we may be physically apart, we can all be together through our shared love of music and community.”

Filed under: 2020


16 thoughts on “The (Almost) Folk Festival 2020 Programming: Here’s What You Need To Know”

    Wow! Can’t wait – so looking forward to the 2020Festival – it will make my heart sing and carry me through!

    Fantastic. Brilliant solution to this event. Well done on all the time spent creating this “non event”!

    So looking forward to these “events”. Hoping my Paws t-shirt arrives in time!

    Canmore Residents should be able to pick up the shirt next week! Or, if that doesn’t work delivery will be the festival week.

    This sounds great – but is Mountain FM accessible through the internet? We made alternate plans this year because of the cancellation and will be in Thunder Bay visiting family, but if we could catch the music online, that would be the best of both worlds! (We’ve already ordered the t-shirts)

    Sounds like a great weekend of music. How can we enter the T-shirt Contest? We have not received our shirts!

    Hey Sandra,

    You can use any shirt from years past! As well, like promised we are sending shirts for delivery before the weekend. We mailed them today actually!

    Stay tuned for more details regarding the shirt contest.

    Wow. Sounds great. I was actually sad these last few days thinking about missing the FF. I look forward to so much It’s my favourite weekend of the year. Commend you for creating something special for all of us. It’s also a great time to connect with friends that only make it to Canmore one special weekend all year.

    Canmore Folk Festival has a long history of being adaptable and responsive. This is another example of resourcefulness and community-building. Thanks for doing this! Love that you are still having Four Strong Winds and The Mary Ellen Carter close the festival. I was one of the lucky ones to be onstage with Stan Rogers when he led the crowd in singing them to close the 1982 Folk Fest. The next year we sang them in his memory as we dedicated the new log stage.

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