spotlight showcase artists 2022

al qahwa

12:10AM - Saturday, October 15

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

Al Qahwa Ensemble is Maryem Tollar - vocals, riqq, qanun; Ernie Tollar - wind instruments; Demetri Petsalakis - oud and Naghmeh Fahrahmand - percussion. They perform original compositions and traditional Arabic repertoire. Their latest recording “African Routes” is inspired by North African music and includes 3 guests: Roula Said, Waleed Abdulhamid and Fethi Nadjem.



12:20AM, Thursday, October 13

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

Alysha Brilla is a 3x Juno Award nominated artist, songwriter and music producer with a special interest in sound as a healing modality.

Brilla is the first female artist in Canada to receive multiple Juno Award nominations for her self-produced albums. Brilla's work is driven by a deep belief in music's power to transform ourselves and our world. Brilla's unique global roots x folk fusion is inspired by growing up with parents from two different cultural and religious backgrounds; an Indo-Tanzanian father and a European-Settler Canadian mother.


alexis normand

12:15PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Alexis Normand arrives on the spellbinding winds of the Great Plains with her jazz-folk melodies. Named Francophone Artist of the Year by the WCMAs, she was also a member of the internationally-touring and award-winning folk trio, Rosie & the Riveters. Produced by James Bunton (Donovan Woods, Celeigh Cardinal), her next album marks her long-awaited return as a solo artist, one brimming with warmth and vulnerability. Mementos will be released in 2023. 


alicia toner

1:20PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Alicia Toner is an Americana singer, songwriter from the East Coast of Canada. Her latest album, “Joan” was released in June 2021 and it marks the arrival of an artist you must pay attention to. Winning a Canadian Folk Music Award (Solo Artist of the Year), and nominated for two East Coast Music Awards (Rising Star and Solo Recording of the Year) and 7 Music PEI Awards (Winning Solo Recording of the Year), “Joan” is full of hooks, masterful vocals, compelling lyrics and top notch production, It is a collection of songs that demands your attention


anddre mafra

10:00PM, Thursday, October 13

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

Anddre Mafra is an independent artist, songwriter and music producer who blends his roots and inspirations into an indie-folk alternative project where he explores his intimate feelings.


andrew waite

1:40PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Combining raw sound with electric showmanship, Andrew Waite is a true songwriter. His songs are honest and rugged, making for an unforgettable experience when paired with his dynamic live shows. Recently having released his highly anticipated sophomore album, Waite is an artist not to be missed.



1:00PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Toronto-based folk band, Basset, will take you from a beekeeper’s fields to the haunted basement of a second-hand store, in a style all their own. Basset bring a deep love of the natural world to their gorgeously meditative debut album, In The Clay, set to release in Fall 2022.



4:15PM, Friday, October 14

Developing Artist Program Showcase - Ballroom Stage B, Doubletree Hotel

Bella is an eighteen-year-old newly emerging artist located north of Toronto, whose music weaves together pieces of Taylor Swift’s heartfelt, articulate writing with varied influence from Alanis Morissette's authentic confessionals to Justin Rutledge's soft-spoken sensitivity, for uniquely expressive songs that capture the excitement, passion, confusion, curiosity, and openness that comes with being a young adult. 

bobby parent

2:20PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Bobby Parent is a Canadian born singer/songwriter. Inspired by his journey in sobriety, the album ‘Real Love’ is in part about that spiritual journey and in part about the rediscovery of music and art. I wrote these songs to help me heal and to help me grow. 

broomsticks & Hammers

10:00PM, Friday, October 14

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

Winners of the 2016 Folk/Roots London Music Awards, Broomsticks & Hammers continues and builds on the folk/roots tradition of taking songs grounded in stories of the human condition and treating these stories with great musicianship and exciting band dynamics. On record, the songs shine through alongside the band’s keen ear for thoughtful and sometimes quirky musical treatments. Live, the band traverses folk, rock, country, and even a little jazz and blues with ease. Fans of the roots music of Blue Rodeo, Dan Mangan, Ryan Adams, The Skydiggers, The Band, and others will find that Broomsticks & Hammers fits right in.


brothers wilde

10:20PM, Thursday, October 13

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

These proud Ojibwe men are proud of their roots and family is the most important thing to them. Always chasing their dreams, Ethan and Nolan Wilde are brothers who have been playing their own unique brand of Country Fried-Roots Rock for the past 2 years and they're beginning to pick up steam. After winning 2019 International New Country Duo of the year in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, Lead Singer Nolan and Lead Guitarist Ethan have been burning up the local music scene.



12:45PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage B, Doubletree Hotel

Campbell Woods pays attention.

He sings soft songs about hard luck. Writing songs rooted in the tradition of Townes Van Zandt, his style is tried and true, but he’s no dinosaur. You’ve heard it all before, but not like this.

cÉleste lÉvis

10:50PM, Thursday, October 13

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

Céleste Lévis vous invite à découvrir son nouveau spectacle “Si tu veux tout savoir”; un spectacle qui entame les réflexions et les combats des dernières années. Tomber sous le charme de sa voix à la fois douce et puissante et laissez-vous transporter par ses histoires de rêves et d’espoir. 


christina hutt

4:00PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage B, DoubleTree Hotel

Once described as a full-bodied glass of red wine, it is reminiscent of the succulent vocals you would have heard flowing from a transistor radio in the late 50’s.  Prepare to be moved by the honest delivery and out-of-this-era voice of Christina Hutt.


claire morrison

10:40PM, Friday, October 14

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

Winnipeg-born, Montréal-based folk songwriter Claire Morrison delivers “luminous … dazzling folk music” (Rocknfool) with fearless intimacy. POP Montréal 2021 official showcase artist, named a “Canadian artist to watch” in 2021 by the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. Latest singles You Are Light + Hands Up out now.


craig cardiff

3:40PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage B, DoubleTree Hotel

Craig Cardiff writes songs that offer pithy little grasps of hope for people to hold onto. A prolific songwriter, Craig has released 22 albums and has a global audience that has streamed his songs more than 100 million times.

dylan menzie

11:15AM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage B, Doubletree Hotel

Since 2013, Dylan Menzie has been steadily building a catalog of critically acclaimed, award winning music.  A combination of folk, rock and pop elements, Menzies style is best described as Indie Pop Americana. His dynamic vocals and compelling songwriting have given him the opportunity to showcase & tour across Canada and around the world.  Including performances at Cambridge Folk Festival, Edmonton Folk Festival, Folk Alliance International, Australia Music Week, Americanafest UK and more.

Emma Lamontagne

4:00PM, Friday, October 14

Developing Artist Program Showcase - Ballroom Stage A, Doubletree Hotel

At a statuesque six-foot-one, it’s hard not to notice Ottawa singer-songwriter Emma Lamontagne but it is her emotive live performances, insightful songwriting, and soulful voice that has garnered her some well-deserved attention. Emma began turning heads in 2016 after winning RBC Bluesfest’s “She’s The One” competition, a Canada-wide talent search for emerging female artists. The “She’s The One” judges were captivated by Emma’s voice and her ability to deliver an emotive live performance. 

emily gilbart

11:40PM, Thursday, October 13

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

Emily Gilbart is a folk singer/songwriter with a new EP for release this summer. She was selected as a finalist in the Toronto Blues Society’s Talent Search and was part of the Developing Artist Program with Folk Music Ontario in 2019 as well as a finalist in the Youth Discoveries Program at Summerfolk 43 in 2018. She is pursuing studies in music therapy, while continuing her love of live performance.


emily jean flack

11:00PM, Thursday, October 13

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

It’s about the collide. The light with the dark. The old with the new. A traditionalist at heart with a love to roam, Emily Jean Flack continues to captivate audiences with her soaring voice, and heartfelt words. “Growing up playing Celtic music gave me the fire. Listening to country and folk gave me the soul. Emulating female vocalists like Ella Fitzgerald, Celine Dion, Enya, and Allison Krauss — I started to dream. Then I began to write and from there, things started to collide.” Emily Jean Flack — a contemporary folk artist.


Eve Goldberg

3PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom, DoubleTree Hotel

Eve Goldberg sings music that draws honey from the rock of life. A compelling writer and interpreter, Eve's watercolour voice and solid instrumental style (guitar, ukulele) has made her a favourite with audiences across Canada and the US. Her performances are intimate and relaxed, moving effortlessly from folk classics to original gems. Since 1990, she has performed her trademark mixture of folk, blues, country, bluegrass, old time, and jazz in venues across Canada and the U.S. ranging from small house concerts to the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Along the way she's earned the respect of legendary musicians like Peggy Seeger, Geoff Muldaur, and Penny Lang. She has released three solo CDs and is a member of the folk/roots duo Gathering Sparks.

hannah shira naiman

1:40PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, Doubletree Hotel

Named CFMA’s Traditional Singer of the Year for her album “Know the Mountain” (2017), this multi- instrumentalist/songwriter is celebrated for breathing new life into traditional music. She combines her prowess for songwriting with exquisite musicianship to craft exciting contemporary versions of the songs and stories she was raised on.


ida hellsten

12:00AM, Friday, October 14

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

Swedish folk singer Ida Hellsten has with a great frustration of society’s hardships excavated her inherited folk music treasure and found predecessors who had similar issues with society. She sings of angry and ignored farmers’ wives, 18th century Tinder, and songs begging to stop the obsession with material consumption. 

jenie thai

3:00PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Three time Maple Blues Award nominee, Jenie Thai is a songwriter/pianist that blends her love of classic R&B and American roots music. Her sound has a contemporary edge in tough but tender ballads and fiery house-rockers. Recent accomplishments include receiving standing ovations on stages such as Massey Hall, Mariposa Folk Festival, and the New York Jazz Forum Arts Festival. 


jeremy voltz

10:50PM, Saturday, October 15

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

Burned-out mathematician turned indie-soul artist, Jeremy Voltz’s music is inspired by thinking deeply about the people in his life and what he’d love to have the courage to say to them. With a powerful, haunting voice and heartfelt lyrics, Voltz's songs have been featured in film, television, and radio.


jess knights

12:10AM, Friday, October 14

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

With a renegade spirit and luminous voice, Jess Knights can traverse sultry ballads and raise-the-roof-off-the-church soul with ease. Her new album Best Kind of Light is rooted in revivalist soul and brings into focus the moody spectrum of her classically-trained voice. Knights is establishing herself as Canada’s preeminent soul-roots sweetheart; a captivating performer that is bound to leave an impression.


jessica pearson and the east wind

2:40PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Jessica Pearson's love for storytelling, drawing on folk, outlaw country, and Celtic traditions, is evident in her songwriting. Her long-awaited debut album On The Line was released on January 21, 2022 gaining over 260K streams and was nominated for album of the year at Faces Awards 2022.


jordana talsky

11:40PM, Friday, October 14

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

Jordana exemplifies innovation from a female perspective, both as a one-woman loop artist and songwriter who fuses jazz, soul and avant-pop into a distinctive sound. She has toured extensively and enjoyed widespread worldwide airplay of her earlier releases including her latest critically praised all-vocal-looping EP of originals, “Zahava”. 



10:30pm, Thursday, October 13 & Saturday, October 15

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

JOULES THE FOX is a singer, songwriter, producer but above all: a wanderer. These last years, she roamed through various countries playing over 200 stages, ships and shops, writing many a song and singing, ah well, all the time. Always accompanied by Guitar, Harmonizer and Looper, this One-Fox-Band will take you with her to places she has been to and been creating - some real some imaginary.
Joules’ musical journey surely is a wild hike through IndieFolkAmericanaPopYouNameIt - into the Woods where Words and Berries grow, into the dark of a closed Box of Paint, up the hill to the Burrow and down the Nowhere Road. Along the way you might find unearthly vocal choirs, cheeky chords, soothing strings and happy harp plings and you’ll be leaving the track with a song stuck in your ears, a smile on your face and Paint on your Hands. For Joules’ songs, stories and voice will stay with you like colour and sprinkles."

katherine fischer

11:00PM, Friday, October 14

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

Katherine Fischer’s unique folk confessionals are the medicine for when our hearts get sick, served with an eccentric dose of sugar to help it all go down. From coast to coast Katherine has played over 200 shows from festival performances at Winnipeg Folk Festival and main stage at Home County Music and Art Festival to living rooms with SOFAR Sounds. Her song ""I Choose You"" was featured on Amazon's ""Best of 2020: Folk"" playlist alongside William Prince and Kathleen Edwards, and song ""Memories"" on Spotify's New Music Friday.


ken whiteley

2:40PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

A master of folk, blues and gospel, he’s recorded 32 albums, written over 400 songs, appeared at well over a hundred folk festivals all over North America, received a Canadian Folk Music Award, 7 Juno nominations, 18 Maple Blues nominations and Lifetime Achievement Awards from Mariposa and Folk Music Ontario.


kid vicious

12:00AM, Thursday, October 13

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

With self-reflecting lyrics and dreamy synth hooks over heavy hip-hop beats, Norrköping local Kid Vicious deals with themes of self-discovery, nostalgia & relationships.

It’s a project focused on having fun, dressing up, feeling pretty and putting on great live shows. We see this in Kid Vicious ability to effortlessly mix and try out different genres and even switch between both English and Swedish while singing/rapping.

This makes Kid Vicious a playful project not taking itself too seriously while the lyrics have a lot of heart.

kyla tilley

1:20PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Newfoundland & Labrador's Kyla Tilley is a singer-songwriter known for intimate and emotionally turbulent live performances, her gymnastic guitar playing, and her fabulous shoe collection. Using melody, dissonance, and her signature chaotic finger picking, Kyla regales audiences with tales true and tall of fantastic exploits, mundane tasks, and moderate misadventure.


last birds

12:45PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Last Birds is the offspring of Canadian Folk Music Award nominated artists, Lindsay Arnold and Mike Davis. Their sound harkens back to the early days of country folk music while exploring dilemmas of the modern day. The couple delivers haunting vocal harmonies that blend into single voice, a product of their 14-year marriage. Last Birds’ time-travelling lyrics of aging love and other hardships are layered thoughtfully over interwoven acoustic guitars. The duo’s live, "two voices, two guitars", style allows for bittersweet storytelling to shine through while their on-stage banter reflects the playful humour and small town informality infused in their relationship.


Lauryn MacFarlane

4:30PM, Friday, October 14

Developing Artist Program Showcase - Ballroom Stage A, Doubletree Hotel

Somewhere between, Alt-Country, indie pop and Singer/songwriter, emerging artist Lauryn Macfarlane’ is paving her own path in todays music industry.  As a rising Canadian artist and songwriter, Lauryn has garnered attention across Eastern Canada, through a rigorous show schedule and an unwillingness to waver from her roots.  

leah holtom

11:45AM, Saturday, October 15

Developing Artist Program Showcase -Ballroom Stage A, Doubletree Hotel

I am a folk/country artist based in Toronto, originally from Brampton! I am 22 years old and aspire to bring people together through my music! I love creating stories and sharing authentic experiences


11:45AM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage B, Doubletree Hotel

Lunar Bloom is a Toronto based trio rooted in the folk tradition whose original songs feature complex vocal harmonies and intimate storytelling. They embrace harmonic tension, and rhythms that challenge expectations, creating the story of each song through musical devices as well as poetic lyrics.


lynne hanson

4:45PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Lynne Hanson is a two-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner, a recipient of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, winner of the Blues and Roots Radio International Song Contest, two-time Folk Music Ontario Blues Award winner, a two-time Indie Acoustic Project Alt-Country album of the year winner, and a two-time Kerrville New Folk finalist. She is an international touring artist, having performed at festivals and venues across Canada, the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. 


maggie's wake

11:30PM, Thursday, October 13

Fanshawe College - 137 Dundas St.

Maggie's Wake is a Canadian Roots band combining traditional Celtic instrumentation with a contemporary approach. United in their passion for fiery tunes, soaring vocals with rich harmonies, meaningful stories and beautiful melodies, Lindsay and Tara are taking the foundation laid during the Rant Maggie Rant period and building an exciting, new sound. With influences ranging from classical to cajun, traditional celtic tunes and folk songs, latin rhythms and jazz fusion, Maggie's Wake is all about adventure.


matt zaddy

11:10PM, Thursday, October 13

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

With a sound that seamlessly blends folk-rock and Rhythm & Blues, there’s something for every music fan to love about singer/songwriter Matt Zaddy.  A storyteller at heart, his music is filled with tales of live, love, hardship and redemption.  As someone who has shared stages with a diverse array of artists including K’Naan, Francesco Yates, Tom Cochrane Jim Cuddy, The Trews and more, Matt Zaddy’s intention is to connect with as many listeners as possible, regardless of any genre restrictions.


mattie leon

12:10AM, Thursday, October 13

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

Mattie Leon is a singer/songwriter hailing from Hamilton. A craftsman with a guitar, Mattie refuses to leave the past behind. His sensibilities are informed by the songwriting of the sixties and seventies. His voice, whether soaring or soulful, is his own. The result is a fresh take on a classic form; familiar but unmistakably new.


michael darcy & the atlantic tramps

11:50PM, Friday, October 14

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

After releasing his impressive solo debut 'Simple Drop of Rain', Irish singer-songwriter Michael Darcy returned to the studio with his band ‘The Atlantic Tramps’ for the eagerly-awaited follow-up album, 'Down to the Roots'. This scheduled Summer 2022 release promises to be a whirlwind of folk traditions – where greengrass meets bluegrass.


mikayla menzies

2:00PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage A, DoubleTree Hotel

Mikayla Menzies is a dreamer who has been through her share of struggles. As tragedy stirred around, she found refuge in the sound of electric guitars, poetic lyricism, and documenting her reality through music which speaks to mental health, grief and the dark twists of being a misfit.

mimi o'bonsawin

10:20PM, Saturday, October 15

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

Mimi O'Bonsawin is an award winning singer-songwriter. Her songs are heavily influenced by her Abenaki & French-Canadian roots and flow through a centre of love and creativity.  Her release ELLE DANSE is a self-produced french EP that has been gaining momentum with placements on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music curated playlists. ELLE DANSE was in ELMNT FM’s top 10 Best Albums of 2020 and it was recently nominated for two prizes at the TRILLE OR Awards. Mimi's newest release is an Instrumental Album "Fiddleheads & Ferns".



mitch jean

2:30PM, Friday, October 14

Ballroom Stage B, DoubleTree Hotel

As a Franco-Ontarian artist from small-town Ontario, Mitch Jean makes music with strong roots. Since he first picked up a guitar at the age of twelve, he has explored many different musical styles, but has found his sound in the sweet spot between modern country and rock. Drawing inspiration from 80s guitar legends like Def Leppard, and the story-telling songwriting style of country artists like Eric Church, Mitch Jean has carved out a musical edge that is unique to him. He is a Canadian country rocker with stories to tell.


11:20PM, Saturday, October 15

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

Visionary, Marc Merilainen, better known as Nadjiwan has been transforming the sound of Indigenous music by blending traditional with modern from the very beginning of his music career, and his prodigious output has been recognized by many, including numerous award nominations and accolades.


nizo alimov

10:40PM, Thursday, October 13

London Music Hall of Fame - 182 Dundas St.

A 17-year veteran of renowned Balkan brass band Kocani Orkestar, trumpeter Nizo Alimov brings energy and virtuosity to every stage he plays. Included in the line up is Nizo's son Nazir on saxophone, while his wife Bergen often leads traditional Romani dances and youngest son Serchuk joins on percussion from time to time. An experienced and generous teacher, Nizo loves to share his culture and traditions in workshops.


njacko backo and kalimbas at work

11:50PM, Saturday, October 15

The Richmond Tavern - 370 Richmond St.

Juno-nominated Njacko Backo and Kalimbas At Work weave together the sweet sounds of kalimba (African piano) and ngoni (African harp) in unique configurations anchored in traditional Cameroonian rhythms. Njacko’s lyrics emphasize the importance of love, togetherness and respect, and his masterful animation creates joyful memories for audiences of all ages.


noah derksen

12:30PM, Saturday, October 15

Ballroom Stage B, DoubleTree Hotel

An American-citizen raised in the heart of the Canadian prairies, 2021 CFMA's Emerging Artist of the Year roots / Americana singer-songwriter Noah Derksen writes with the groundedness of harsh Manitoba winters mixed with the failed optimism of the American Dream. He currently lives in the West End neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba.



Oisin Hannigan & George Crotty


sam baardman

sandra bouza

sarah beatty

sarah hamilton

sarah hiltz

scott mackay

shawna caspi

Sofia Duhaime



sultans of string

T. Nile

tania joy

Taylor Abrahamse

tennyson king

the allen family reunion

the barrel boys

the canadian arabic orchestra - Jazzy Arabia

the honeyrunners

the light of east ensemble

the macqueens



tragedy ann

travis jordan

we wander

willow switch

Zack Elliott