Ron Hynes RIP, winter office hours, Soweto Gospel Choir, Mavis! movie

Edmonton Folk Festival eNews – Nov. 20, 2015

It is with heavy hearts that we at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival heard about the passing of Ron Hynes. Ron was a well respected and much beloved singer songwriter whose contribution to the Canadian folk music lexicon is undeniable. He played the Edmonton Folk Music Festival several times over the years, and was always armed with brilliant songs and stories.

Tough, but open-hearted Ron Hynes wrote prolifically about hope and heartache in Newfoundland. He was also a mentor for many songwriters across the country, supporting and encouraging them in songwriter circles at festivals and in clubs, and personally on an ongoing basis.

Amelia Curran, a close friend of Ron Hynes, composed a lovely, heartfelt essay that includes the words:
“In Newfoundland, we are saying goodnight to a legend. And when we wake up in the morning, for songwriters like me, it will be a different sort of craft.
Newfoundland songwriters have always paid tribute to Ron Hynes. We have played his songs at kitchen parties and stood in awe of a particular turn of phrase or melody structure. We did impressions of him and laughed and laughed. But what’s more, we drank with him. We shared stages with him and we got to be lifted by his vote of confidence and berated by his sharp tongue and sometimes in the same breath….
From now on, we are telling you a story of us. Because every Newfoundland songwriter is after the legacy of Ron Hynes. And we have always known that. We have always been proud of that. Now, it is something a little weightier than before. Now, as a Newfoundland songwriter, it is a responsibility.”

Tributes and words of mourning have poured in from across the country.

Dave Gunning, a folk singer from Pictou County, says Hynes’s thoughtful lyrics raised the bar for musicians across the region.
“Anyone that really discovered Ron, or got into listening to his material, you couldn’t help but be moved by it, be inspired by it. It was unbelievably brilliant,” he said. “When I got to know Ron I just fell in love with him. He was so childlike, young at heart and soul,” he said. “He was also tortured, he couldn’t help but write. It was going to come out of him whether he wanted it to or not.”

We are truly blessed to have had Ron at the festival one more time in 2013, following his recovery after his initial cancer diagnosis.  We had hoped to have him back again next summer. A true folk troubadour who told the stories of Newfoundland and the common man in song – He will be missed.

Ron Hynes 1950 – 2015

There is currently a GoFundMe page for a new collection of Ron Hynes music – check out details here:



The Folk Festival Offices are lightly staffed at this time of year. If you need to stop by for something, please give us a call first so we can be sure someone is here.

The offices will be closed for the holidays between December 18th and January 4th.


Celebrate your holidays with an inspirational Gospel Show featuring Soweto Gospel Choir

Soweto Gospel Choir was formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music. The 24-strong choir, under the direction of Beverly Bryer, draws on the best talent from the many churches in and around Soweto. The choir is dedicated to sharing the joy of faith through music with audiences around the world.

“Dazzling and unified…..Soweto Gospel Choir was as much to look at as to listen to. The human spirit – this you couldn’t miss.”
-Los Angeles Times

MON, DECEMBER 14, 2015 at 8PM
Enmax Hall, Winspear Centre
For tickets CLICK HERE

Music Docs presents Mavis!
Her family group, the Staple Singers, inspired millions and helped propel the civil rights movement with their music. After 60 years of performing, legendary singer Mavis Staples’ message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.  Includes interviews with Levon Helm, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Cropper & Bob Dylan.
Tuesday December 1 at 7:00PM Music Docs – With live music performance by Conjure
Music at 6:30PM.  Film at 7:00PM
Music Docs is co-presented by CJSR and Blackbyrd Myoosik
Additional Screenings:
Friday December 4 at 9:00PM
Sunday December 6 at 1:15PM
Tuesday December 8 at 9:00PM
Wednesday December 9 at 7:00PM