16 May Owen McBride to be Inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame
Born in Ireland, Owen McBride arrived in Canada in 1963. Literally, within a matter of days he was performing at folk clubs and coffee houses in Toronto’s booming folk scene. As luck would have it, Estelle Klein, the artistic director of the Mariposa Folk Festival, saw Owen perform and was immediately captivated by the young musician/storyteller. From 1964 until the mid-eighties, he was a perennial performer at Mariposa, experiencing its moves from Maple Leaf Stadium to Innis Lake to Toronto Island and even to Barrie Molson Park. Then, in 2010 Owen returned for the fiftieth anniversary of the festival and appeared again 2011, 2016 and 2017.
Owen also appeared at the other major festivals around North America. His rich voice, traditional repertoire and genial personality both on and off-stage helped to make him a key figure in North American folk circles. In 1970, the New York Times called his Irish and Scottish ballads at the Philadelphia Folk Festival “sentimental and boozy.” (In a good way, we assume!)
He is also an accomplished storyteller who has appeared on CBC and various story telling festivals in Canada and the USA. Owen’s contributions to folk music – and to Mariposa Folk Festival specifically – are reason enough to endorse his induction into the Mariposa Hall of Fame this year. Owen will be inducted along with The Travellers and Sharon, Lois and Bram.