Listed below are some of the questions that are asked most frequently about the FMO conference. If you can’t find the information that you need here, feel free to call our office at 1-866-292-6233 (or 613-560-5997 in the Ottawa area), or email Jennifer Ellis.

General Conference

Where is the conference in 2016?

The 30th anniversary conference will take place at the Delta Ottawa City Centre in Ottawa, ON.  The hotel address is 101 Lyon Street N.

Who can attend the Folk Music Ontario conference?

Anyone! Musicians, agents, festival planners, representatives of related organizations, and music lovers may attend the conference.

Where do I go when I arrive for the conference?

When you first arrive, head to the Registration Area, which will be located to the right of the Delta Ottawa City Centre’s front doors.  You’ll pick up your delegate bag and badge there.

What should I bring with me?

You don’t need anything special to get your badge; just give your name to one of the FMO volunteers at the Registration Area.  You can bring your instrument to the conference; even if you don’t have a showcase booked, you’ll find people jamming throughout the weekend in various areas of the hotel.

What happened to the gala dinner?

Due to feedback from our delegates over the past few years, we decided to try something new beginning in 2014. Instead of having 2/3 of our delegation attend the gala dinner, we are now offering breakfast items to anyone who is present each morning (while quantities last). This frees up some time in our schedule, allowing us more flexibility for conference planning. Awards that were previously presented at the gala dinner are now handed out at the Awards Brunch on Sunday morning.

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Conference Registration

Do I need to be registered for the conference before I arrive?

You’re better off to register in advance, as the registration rates increase at intervals leading up to the conference (June 1, September 1). However, you are welcome to register at the conference – just go to the Registration Area and the Ticketpro representative there will help you.  You can pay for your registration with cash or credit card.

I am no longer able to attend the conference.  Can I get a refund for my registration?

Refunds (minus a $30.00 processing fee) are available up until August 31, 2016.  After that, we are happy to apply a full credit to your account, to be used on a future purchase from Folk Music Ontario (membership renewal, conference registration, etc.).

I already paid to register for the conference, but now I’m eligible for a lower registration rate. What can I do?

Contact the office at 1-866-292-6233, or email Jennifer Ellis at jellis@folkmusicontario.ca.

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What kinds of showcases take place at the conference?

There are three types of showcase:

  1. Official
    • Chosen by jury
    • 36 showcase slots available
    • Application period is April 1 – May 31
    • Selections made and published by June 30
  1. Sponsored
    • Typically hosted and paid for by provincial music industry organizations, record labels, agencies, etc.
    • Full production provided by Folk Music Ontario
    • Feature host’s choice of lineup
  1. Private
    • Late-night
    • Held in regular hotel rooms
    • Acoustic only
    • Hosted by anyone who applies and pays to host
    • Feature host’s choice of lineup
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Official Showcases

What is an Official Showcase?

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening of the conference, Folk Music Ontario presents artists who have been selected by a jury. In 2016 there will be 36 Official Showcases, 2 Family Showcases and a Youth Showcase.  Click here for more information on the jury process.

How can I be considered for the Official Showcase?

The 2016 official showcase applications will be accepted from April 1 – May 31, 2016.

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Private Showcases

What is a Private Showcase?

Private Showcases are performances that take place in specified hotel rooms on Friday and Saturday nights after the official showcases (11:00pm – 3:00am).  All private showcases are acoustic.

How much does it cost to host a Private Showcase?

Private showcase hosts pay an administrative fee of $80.00 plus HST/night for each of two nights (Friday and Saturday), plus the regular hotel room rental rate plus applicable taxes. Hosts must be registered for the full conference, and are eligible for a special rate of $210.00 plus HST, with FMO membership valid through at least October 31, 2016.

How do I apply to play in a Private Showcase?

There is no application form to play in private showcases. You just need to be registered for the conference, and to make arrangements with one or more private showcase hosts to be included in their lineup. A list of Private Showcase presenters looking for artists will be available on the Conference Showcasing page. You may also reach out to other artists by posting on the FMO Facebook page or through Maplepost.

How much does it cost to play in a Private Showcase?

At least one person from each band appearing in a Private Showcase must be registered for the full conference (and is eligible for the special Private/Sponsored Showcase rate of $210.00 plus HST), and must have a Folk Music Ontario membership valid through October 2016 ($49.72/year). Other band members performing in a private showcase are also eligible for this pricing, or may register at the reduced “Side player” rate of $131.25 plus HST. Side players paying this rate will have access to showcases only and no other conference events.

Private showcase hosts occasionally ask the artists appearing in their showcases to pay a small fee to help offset the host’s costs. This is completely up to the host and the artists to negotiate.

I am only playing in a couple of Private Showcases. Do I really have to pay to register?

Yes! Everyone who attends the conference in any capacity has to be registered.

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Travel and Accommodation

How can I book a hotel room at the conference group rate?

Folk Music Ontario has negotiated at group rate for conference attendees. More information will be published soon.

Do I have to book a hotel room to attend the conference?

No. You are welcome travel from home if you live in the area, stay with family or friends, or book accommodations elsewhere. If the Delta Ottawa City Centre sells out of rooms, FMO will provide information on overflow hotels.

Is parking included?

Parking is not included at the Delta Ottawa City Centre. Parking rates in its underground garage are:

  • $18.00/day (no in/out privileges)
  • $24.86/day (in/out privileges)
  • $30.51/day for valet parking (in/out privileges)

There are also outdoor public parking lots located along Lyon Street which have various maximum daily and nightly rates on weekdays, and some of which are free on weekends.

How do I get to the hotel from the Ottawa airport?

Delta Ottawa City Centre does not have an airport shuttle. Taxis are available at the airport.

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How do I become a volunteer?

To be become a volunteer you must apply online through the Folk Music Ontario website.

When will volunteer applications be launched?

Volunteer applications will be available in mid-summer 2016.

How much time/ how many shifts do I have to sign up for?

You must commit to volunteering for 12 hours (three 4-hour shifts), and to attending a mandatory orientation session before your first shift. Orientation sessions will be held each morning.

What are the different roles/positions available for volunteers?

You can download the volunteer job descriptions and requirements (PDF), and the specific instructions for registration area volunteers (PDF) and room monitors (PDF).

Do I get to attend conference events for free when I am not volunteering?

Yes, you may attend the conference events when you are not scheduled for a volunteer shift.

Can my time at the FMO conference be counted for high school volunteer hours?


Who can I contact if I need to change or cancel my shift?

Please send email to Jennifer Ellis.

Will Folk Music Ontario provide food/snacks/accommodations for volunteers?

Coffee and tea will be available to delegates and volunteers during the day on Friday and Saturday.  FMO is a not-for-profit organization, and does not have the budget to provide any other food, snacks, or accommodations to volunteers.

Do I really have to go to the volunteer orientation?

Yes! All volunteers must commit to attending an orientation session which occurs before their first scheduled shift. The orientation sessions will be offered at various times throughout the conference. The volunteer orientation will equip you with the knowledge you will need for the rest of the conference and allow you to provide better customer service.

I’ve been scheduled as a “floater”. What am I supposed to be doing?

Folk Music Ontario schedules various volunteers on “floater” shifts during the conference. Floaters may be asked to fill in for another volunteer who did not make his/her shift, or to help out anywhere that an extra volunteer is needed. If you are scheduled as a floater, check with the volunteer coordinator before your shift starts to see if there is a specific place that you are needed.

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