09 May Sharon, Lois and Bram to be Inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame
Sharon and Bram, two of Canada’s best-known troubadours, are retiring.
“Because it’s time,” said Bram Morrison. At an age well beyond the normal retirement age, the duo has finally decided that it’s time to pass the baton to younger musicians.
Sharon, Lois and Bram – this country’s best-known folk group “for families” – has had a remarkable career and lasting impact on Canadian culture. Over forty years ago the trio began touring Canada and the United States, sharing their wholesome and eclectic style of music with children, their parents and grandparents. They became a duo in 1999 when Lois, who passed away in 2015, retired from touring. By means of records, television shows and especially live concerts, the musicians spread their happy and positive gift of song to several generations. Sharon and Bram find that they are playing for multiple generations at their concerts: children, parents, grandparents and even occasional great-grandparents.
Their contribution to Canadian culture has not gone unnoticed. All three are members of the Order of Canada. They’ve received myriad awards and accolades, including Folk Music Canada’s Estelle Klein Award (named after the legendary artistic director of the Mariposa Folk Festival,) the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, numerous television awards and even Honorary Doctorates from Mount Saint Vincent University. They have played key roles with UNICEF, were honoured by a breakfast with Bill and Hillary Clinton at the White House and even have a playground bearing their names in Toronto.
Now the group will be honoured with induction in the Mariposa Hall of Fame this July at the Mariposa Folk Festival. Bram played the festival as a solo artist in 1966, 1973 and 1976. Sharon was a solo performer in 1963, 1965, 1976 and 1978. Sharon and Bram were part of Mariposa’s 50th anniversary roster in 2010 and Bram once again played as a solo performer in 2015. Both Lois and Sharon were key players in starting Folk Play, the children’s area at the festivals in the mid-seventies. All three were heavily involved in the spin-off Mariposa in the Schools program in the seventies and early eighties. Their influence on children (and parents) cannot be underestimated. It is axiomatic to say that they have touched thousands and thousands of lives in Canada with their positive messages and tuneful, eclectic brand of music.
As the duo of Sharon and Bram make their final musical tour, they will be ending it at Mariposa, where this incredible partnership started over forty years ago.
By Mike Hill