Each year, the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) honours the work of an individual or group that has made significant contributions to Ontario’s folk music community. The award is named after Estelle Klein, a long-time advocate of Canadian folk music and one of the early founders of the folk festival scene in this country.
The 2012 Estelle Klein Award recipient is Arthur McGregor.
Arthur has been organizing folk music all his life…so far. His first folk foray was the Eve of Destruction Cafe at the school of the Canadian Airforce base in Baden Soellingen in 1967. He organized it and played as part of a folk band called ’1917, a name that went over big in Cold War Europe! Later, he organized folk nights at his high school, ran The Pit Coffee House at Sarnia’s YMCA, and helped organize Sarnia’s first folk festival. Upon his move to Ottawa’s Carleton University, he quickly started Rooster’s Coffee House and ran it for three years. Organizing music lessons at Le Hibou opened the door to the Ottawa Folklore Centre in October 1976. Arthur plays and teaches a bunch of musical instruments (jack of all trades) and performs solo as well as with his wife’s children’s show, The Celtic Rathskallions. He plays a mean ragtime version of O Canada to open every Ottawa Folk Festival. He’s a founding director of the Canadian Folk Music Awards. He writes with a fountain pen and is much too busy.
Arthur will be presented with the Estelle Klein Award at the gala dinner during the 26th Annual OCFF Conference in Mississauga, ON, October 11-14, 2012.