The Folk Through Three Decades

1538 WordsFeb 14, 20177 Pages
This essay, by Sija Tsai, demonstrates in a historical chronology how the WFF (Winnipeg Folk Festival) changed its suggested definition of the folk through three decades. She explored this topic by exploring media coverage and administrator beliefs on the subject of the folklore presence at these festivals. The festival was inaugurated in 1974 and was originally designated to celebrate Winnipeg’s centenary. However, with its success, the festival because an annual celebration of folk. At its beginnings, the WFF featured mostly Anglo North American and Irish “folk” singers. the musical acts would feature “performances (often vocal) of traditional material (often ballads) and original material (often highly politicized) by mostly young…show more content…
The outcome of the pluralization of the WFF performances had mixed reviews. Some participants thought that the festival was betraying their folk value due to the implementation of more popular and “world” artist and others argued that it was a good change and that it supported a diversity acceptance narrative. The pluralization of performances in the WFF’s continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s. During the 1990’s there was an apparent fusion of traditional and popular idioms which further blurred the lines between its suggested binary. During the early 2000 there were questions addressing the political issues of the program such as the apparent absence of aboriginal performances. In conclusion, the change in performance seen in the last three decades of the WFF shows that the idea of the “folk” is tangible and is subject to change. One of the principle reason that its definition changes is because of the underlying idea that folk music is music which features exoticism from the “normal” repertoire which constitutes a Canadian identity. Therefore, while in the 1970, the English ballads were considered different, as the performance frequency of the English ballads were growing, its integration into the Canadian sound/music identity was being solidified. Hence, the three decades of folk festival shows that this continuous search for the exotic and fusion is due in part of a
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