Stingray Young Performers Program
Don’t Miss Future Folk Sensations – Or The Chance To Be One
Each year, the Winnipeg Folk Festival presents the Stingray Young Performers Program during the festival weekend showcasing young talent from across Canada, the US and abroad. The program hosts up to 35 multi-talented musicians aged 14 to 24 and offers mentorship and workshopping opportunities with festival performers who will share a wealth of knowledge about the industry, in addition to technical skills and songwriting tips. The participants will then showcase what they learned on Shady Grove stage in front of a festival audience.
We aim to nurture musicians in the community and provides career stepping stones so they may one day lend their voices to inspire a younger generation. The popular program started in 2000 and sees hundreds of applicants each year. A jury of industry professionals selects 35 to 40 promising young musicians annually. Young artists use the program as a springboard to launch their careers and many have gone on to play the festival as part of the main lineup; artists such as the Crooked Brothers, Del Barber, Sweet Alibi, Daniel Champagne and Brandy Zdan.
Participants spend their first day in sessions with mentors chosen from the festival’s lineup, crafting and perfecting their songs and the second day performing on stage in front of a Folk Fest audience.
This summer, the Crooked Brothers, Matt Epp, Jim Bryson, Dan Frechette and Laurel Thomsen will mentor the budding musicians. Click here for the application.
Past Mentors include:
Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas)
Ann Louise Genest
David Wax & Suz Slezak
Birds of Chicago
John K Samson
Luke Doucet & Melissa McClelland
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald
Michael Jermome Brown
Oh My Darling
Ruth Moody & Heather Masse (Wailin’ Jennys)
Sarah Lee Guthrie
Suzie Ungerleider (Oh Susanna)
The Stingray Rising Star Award
In 2010 Stingray came on board to support the program and honor a participant with their Rising Star Award. The award sets out to encourage, promote and champion new up-and-coming Canadian artists.
Each year the Stingray Rising Star Award is presented to a program participant who displays outstanding promise as an up-and-coming artist. In addition to receiving the award, the artist will have the opportunity to showcase throughout the year at Winnipeg Folk Festival events, including a spotlight at our annual Gala Fundraiser, Folk Fest in the City.
Past Award Recipients
2015 - Until Red (The Middle Coast)
2014 - Adam Hanney
2013 - Haley Carr
2012 - Micah Erenberg
2011 - Owen Steel
2010 - James Struthers
For more information on the Stingray Young Performers Program. Click here.