Established in the early 1970's as a mecca for the thriving music scene of the HOME counties (Huron, Oxford, Middlesex & Elgin) the Home County Folk League has been host to the infamous "Home County Music and Art Festival" since 1973. Through the years, the festival has been an Ontario summer favourite. The 3-day festival is renowned for attracting our country’s best musical talent; as well as the most sought after craft artisans. For myself personally, the festival is a compass point to mark significant life events. When I met my husband Bill in 1991, he just so happened to be wearing a Home County Volunteer t-shirt; after having served as a stage volunteer for the festival that year. During our dinner date that night he talked about the experience and meeting the festival headliner - Michelle Shocked.
Fast forward to 10 years later; Bill and I are now married and we have a three year old son, Lennon. My mother has recently passed away and my father is having a very difficult time managing.....we decide to spend a day at Home County to get out of the house and try to re-engage with the world. I don’t recall any of the performers from that year but I do remember how it felt to see my father enjoy himself for the first time in a while. When he passed away in 2012, I made sure to keep the incense burner he bought that day.
A few more years have gone by and it is now 2016. My husband Bill now plays in a band, Broomsticks & Hammers, and the band is opening up the Saturday mainstage for the Home County headliner, The Northern Pikes. Our good friend and bass player Dave is beside himself, having been a lifelong fan of this band! My youngest son Fletcher is volunteering for the entire event and we have many friends and supporters around us to witness this very special gig. That honour is once again returned to the group in 2018 - this time they are opening for the Jim Cuddy Band.
Through the years, I myself have volunteered at the festival in a variety of roles. I have met some very outstanding people, and I have been wholeheartedly moved by witnessing the sacrifice and commitment of so many people before me who have built the Home County brand into something that truly represents the cultural and social fabric of Ontario’s southwest. For thousands who share a similar story to mine, Home County has been a place to grow as an artist and as a proud citizen who is committed to continuing this wonderful legacy for future generations. It has inspired countless musicians and artisans alike - who view an opportunity to be involved with Home County as a milestone and a mark of pride and success.
Thank you for reading this nomination and for considering Home County Folk League as a recipient of a donation from Lerners.
Learn more about Home County Folk League