Community Programs

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.

Click here for the application

The mentors for the 2017 Stingray Young Performers Program are... JD Edwards (The Small Glories), Cara Luft (The Small Glories), Joey Landreth, Aoife O'Donovan and Chris Luedecke (Old Man Luedecke)!

Past Mentors include: 

Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas)
Alexa Dirks
Amelia Curran
Amy Rigby
Andrew Whiteman
Andrina Turenne
Andy Stochansky
Andy White
Ann Louise Genest
Annick Bremault
April Verch
Brandy Zdan
Cara Luft
Carolyn Mark
Catherine MacLellan
Chad VanGaalen
Christine Fellows
Damhnait Doyle
Dave Bidini
David Wax & Suz Slezak
Dustin Bentall
Fred Penner
Greg MacPherson
Heather Bishop

Birds of Chicago
Brandy Zdan
Grant Davidson
James Keelaghan
Jason Collett
Jason Ringenberg
JD Edwards
Jenny Scheinman
Jeremy Fisher
Jill Barber
John K Samson
John Mann
John Reischman
Johnny Irion
Justin Rutledge
Kendel Carson
Kim Barlow
Kinnie Starr
Leonard Podolak
Luke Doucet & Melissa McClelland
Mae Moore

Mark Berube
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald
Michael Jermome Brown
Natalia Zuckerman
Nathan Lawr
Oh My Darling
Oliver Schroer
Oliver Swain
Paul Thorn
Rani Arbo
Rick Fines
Royal Wood
Ruth Moody & Heather Masse (Wailin’ Jennys)
Ruthie Foster
Sacha Daoud
Sarah Lee Guthrie
Shannon Johnson
Stephen Dudash
Stephen Fearing
Steve Dawson
Suzie Ungerleider (Oh Susanna)
Tannis Slimmon
Tim Williams
Tony Dekker

For more information on the Stingray Young Performers Program. Click here.


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Our Winnipeg Folk Festival community has been building over the past four decades. It has strong roots in Manitoba but stretches across the globe.

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Submissions to perform at the 2017 Winnipeg Folk Fest are closed