Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jul 11 2015, Page 79

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - July 11, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE D8 folk fest D8 cover SATURDAY, JULY 11, 2015 2 RIGHT: The crowds — there would be the guy with the funny sorta hat, maybe a nuclear physicist, you know, kind of dressed down for the weekend and he’s sitting right next to a surgeon who does heart surgery, sitting right next to the garbageman who is also sitting there in the crowd. “ That’s exactly what that felt like back then. That kind of real sociological mix in the audience of every kind of person you could imagine.” BELOW: Podolak says many of the early acts were complete unknowns. Andy Cohen, Podolak’s friend and an expert on the blues, introduced Podolak to Blind John Davis ( below), who most had never heard of in Winnipeg. “ I was just blown away by this man. He blew away the audience when he came here. He was an old guy, you know. Real taste.” RIGHT: “ That is my wife of 44 years, Ava Kobrinski, who used to run every single stage — at about 26 or 27 years old, couple years after we got the festival going. She was the only one with a job when we first started, and she supported both families. Without her there never would have been a Winnipeg Folk Festival.” ABOVE: Mimi Farina “ was one of the fine, kind and decent people of the folk community,” Podolak says. Farina, who died of cancer in 2001, created an organization called Bread and Roses, a charity that took music into prisons and elderly- care homes. “ One of the saddest moments I’ve experienced — when Mimi was gone. She was a great person. She loved the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and she was here for the first bunch of them and really built our reputation. A very important person in the history of the festival.” LEFT: Sylvia Tyson, along with husband Ian, made up the Canadian folk duo Ian and Sylvia. They later divorced in 1975. “ I think Sylvia’s one of the great artists of the country. She’s in her 70s now and is still active. She sings in a band called Quartet. She played the mainstage of the folk festival a whole number of times.” ‘ I think Sylvia’s one of the great artists of the country. She’s in her 70s now and is still active. She sings in a band called Quartet. She played the mainstage of the folk festival a whole number of times’ David Landry collection, Archives of Manitoba ( Photos taken 1975, ’ 76, ’ 77 folk festivals) D_ 08_ Jul- 11- 15_ FF_ 01. indd D8 7/ 9/ 15 4: 38: 16 PM

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