Folksteps Music Conference

International Aboriginal Music

Zion Lutheran Church

August 4, 2016

Dr_Ronald Labelle

In 2010 the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society decided to include a one-day traditional folk music conference as part of the festivities for our 25th annual festival. Called Folksteps, the conference aimed to stimulate interest in traditional folk music through a day-long educational event.

The first Folksteps conference was organized by Clary Croft, and proved so successful that we decided to continue and in the future to organize around a theme.

The aim of our annual Folksteps conference is to stimulate interest in traditional folk music.  Each year, the conference offers a tremendous educational opportunity for audiences to explore a particular, vibrant facet of this music, and to further understand its relevance to the music of today.  Our conference includes expert presentation as well as performance and discussion.  The format is fairly loose, providing opportunity for fun and learning and audience participation.

[Previous Folksteps conferences focused on Ballads (2011), Celtic Connections (2012),  Acadian, Cajun and Quebecois (2013), African Nova Scotian Folk Traditions (2014) and Work Songs (2015).]

The theme of our 2016 conference is International Aboriginal Music.

Catherine MartinCatherine Martin, mi’kmaq filmmaker and current Nancy’s Chair of Women’s Studies at Mt. St. Vincent University, will act as host throughout the day.
A member of the Millbrook First Nation in Truro, Nova Scotia, Catherine is an independent film producer, director, writer, facilitator, communications consultant, community activist, teacher, drummer, and the first woman Mi’kmaw filmmaker from the Atlantic region. Catherine’s many award-winning documentaries tell the stories of her nation and include the animation film Little Boy Who Lived with Muini’skw (2004), the NFB film The Spirit of Annie Mae (2002), and Spirit Wind (2000). Her contributions to film, television and digital media in Atlantic Canada were recognized this March with a WAVE Award from Women in Film and Television Atlantic. Catherine has contributed to the development of many programs to advance the education of Mi’kmaq and Aboriginal women and youth, including the certificate in community health at Dalhousie for women in Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Innu, and Inuit communities; the Indigenous Black and Mi’kmaq Law Program also at Dalhousie; and the Indigenous Women in Community Leadership program at the Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University.  As an alumna of the Mount’s Master of Education program, Catherine has a longstanding connection with the Mount, currently serving on the Aboriginal Advisory Committee.  (Read more here>>)
Alan-SyliboyAlan Syliboy, our keynote speaker, is a well known Nova Scotian mi’kmaq artist, writer and performer.  He was born and raised in Truro, Nova Scotia.  Living in the Millbrook First Nations community, he journeys through his life with a demeanor of strength. Alan has built an ever growing list of accomplishments throughout his lifetime, although many people are most familiar with his beautiful and unique works of art that captivate and inspire us.  Please follow this link for a more complete biography>>


Folksteps takes place from 9:30am to 4pm on the first day of the Festival.  The Folksteps conference is totally integrated within the Festival and therefore is included in the Full Festival Pass.  Single day passes are also available for the conference.   Delegates are on their own for lunch with time to explore beautiful, historic Lunenburg.

The conference will offer a tremendous opportunity for audiences to explore a vibrant facet of traditional folk music, and to further understand its relevance to the music of today.


9:00     Registration

9:30    TBA

The full day conference is included in your Festival Weekend Pass; or you can purchase a day-pass for the Conference and Evening Concert; or you can purchase just the conference ticket.  To see prices, follow this link to the About Festival Tickets page.

Folksteps is supported by SOCAN, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada.  We also acknowledge the financial support of FACTOR, The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings and Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.


We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.



Supported by a grant from:

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