Union Duke: A Mariposa Showcase Story

Union Duke: A Mariposa Showcase Story

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On April 15th, 2018, 1:00-4:00 p.m., at the Best Western Plus Mariposa Inn & Conference Centre, 400 Memorial Ave in Orillia., the Mariposa Folk Festival is hosting its annual Mariposa Showcase, this year with eight emerging bands and performers auditioning for three performance spots at the summer Festival.

Mariposa Showcase has been a launching pad for some great talent. This includes Union Duke, a Toronto based folk quintet that melds indie rock vibes with the absolute best parts of bluegrass and country. In 2014, they ‘showcased’ and ended up on a Mariposa stage. It was a great opportunity for exposure and a chance to perform for one of the best and biggest crowds you can find!

Union Duke recently wrote to Mariposa Folk Festival to say that Mariposa Showcase changed their careers, calling it a “huge milestone”. Mariposa was the biggest venue they had ever played. Their booking agent, Jim McDonald, who was in the audience says, “In a way we owe it to Mariposa for setting up years of work for us.”

According to McDonald, following their first moment in the Mariposa spotlight Union Duke has maintained a positive and ongoing relationship with the Festival. This allowed them to return to the Mariposa stage, bigger and more popular than ever! McDonald went on to explain that auditioning live at Mariposa Showcase was a blessing because the band’s energy and charm shines through in their live performances.

Union Duke has a jam-packed touring schedule across Canada this summer. Check out their show listings at unionduke.com.

Here’s to hoping that more artists like Union Duke get their careers launched at Mariposa Showcase 2018!

Byline: Jaina Kelley, guest blogger and Lakehead University student

Great Educational Opportunity – Workshops on Creative Expression at Lakehead University (Orillia) featuring Mariposa Folk Festival Artists

Great Educational Opportunity – Workshops on Creative Expression at Lakehead University (Orillia) featuring Mariposa Folk Festival Artists

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Enhance your Mariposa experience by joining in on the Mariposa Folk Expressions workshops produced by Lakehead University in partnership with Mariposa Folk Festival, and supported through a donation from the estate of Alan Mills, a Canadian folksinger, writer, and actor known for popularizing Canadian folk music.

Artists and performers will share their expertise and knowledge to guide you in your creative expression. Workshops include album cover design, songwriting, dance, guitar, and painting. You will also have the opportunity to learn about artistic direction, and how Mariposa’s artists are chosen.

Date: Friday, July 5th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (the day the Festival starts)
Location: Lakehead University, Heritage Place at 1 Colborne St. W., Orillia
$25 per session

9:00 to 10:30 am 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 pm
Songwriting Guitar
CD Art Design Painting
Artistic Direction Dance

CD Art Design: Michael Wrycraft
Michael is a Juno award-winning artist whose work has appeared in many galleries. With his impressive artistic talent, along with his great sense of humour, you can expect a totally entertaining workshop! Learn more about Michael here.

Songwriting: Jory Nash
Jory is an award-winning singer-songwriter and storyteller who blends elements of folk, jazz, blues, pop, and soul into his original sound. He has recorded six critically acclaimed albums, is a popular guest on dozens of CBC Radio programs, and makes regular appearances at some of Canada’s most popular folk festivals. Learn more about Jory here.

Guitar: Arthur Renwick
A celebrated photo artist, curator, academic and singer songwriter, Arthur Renwick is a modern day renaissance man. Playing the bottleneck slide on a Dobro and Cigar Box guitar with Robert Johnson-like alacrity, he’s been performing for years at festivals and venues across Canada and Europe, yet waited until 2012 to release his superb debut album, the highly acclaimed The Cigarbox Chronicles. Well worth the long wait, it captures the experiences of love, loss, liquor, hope, faith, birth and death in Kitamaat, the small fishing village where he was born and raised within the Haisla Nation. Arthur’s tunes range from bluesy swagger to county-roots that beckon the spirit of Hank Williams. Listen to his music here.

Dance: Beth McKean
Beth McKean will help you to find freedom and joy by encouraging and coaching your dancer self to shine, manifest and be liberated. It’s not just in some of us – it’s in all of us. Discover your authentic self on the dance floor through the love, compassion, care and passion that Beth brings to the experience. Your playful free spirit is waiting to be expressed and go on a journey of the heart. Beth is a gifted guide who will lead you through a creative exploration of the body, mind, heart and soul.

Painting: Travis Shilling and Will McGarvey
Travis Shilling’s paintings tell a story. A filmmaker and playwright, Travis’ work reflects a rich imagination and exceptional skill. Travis’ recent paintings juxtapose civilization and the animal world in a narrative dreamscape. His short film “Bear Tung”, featuring Gary Farmer, was a selection in the 2011 National Museum of American Indian in NYC as well as the Santa fe independent film festival in October. Travis was born in Rama, Ontario: the second of two artist sons of acclaimed Aboriginal artist Arthur Shilling. Travis has exhibited since age 21 in Canada, Europe and the US. He travels between a studio in Rama and one in Toronto.

Will McGarvey is an Orillia-based artist of national renown. His paintings have hung in a variety of galleries, and are coveted by art aficionados. He also happens to be the son of Pete

Artistic Direction: Mike Hill
Mike Hill is the current Artistic Director of the Mariposa Folk Festival. He has also served as the Festival’s organizing chair and has been working with Mariposa since it returned to Orillia in 2000. He is also a member of the board of directors of Folk Music Canada and has served in varied capacities with the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals and Folk Alliance International. Mike will share his experiences and offer insight into the processes behind organizing a festival, particularly from the artistic side.