Artistic Director who wears many hats on the Committee, Mayor Ted Comiskey reported that this event has grown over the years. While singing at the Home County Folk Festival in London in 1999, Ted Comiskey thought Ingersoll could host such a festival. Along with four others, Carolyn French, Mark and Roberta Nith and Cathy Canon, the Canterbury Folk Festival was created fifteen years ago. What started out as a small one day venue grew to two days then eventually to three days. The intent was to run it for five years. However, Mayor Ted Comiskey stated that “we are in a 15 year of a 5 year plan.”
The first year had ten artistes who performed to close to 800 people on a Saturday. Over the last few years the Canterbury Folk Festival brings in big names like Ashley MacIsaac in 2012 and Natalie McMaster who was the closing act last year. Records from the police, crowds were from 3500 to 4500. Mayor Comiskey stated that the festival has been free and as far as he is concern will always remain free. He went on to report that there are great companies, industries, and the community and Ingersoll residents are very supportive.
Always thinking of the environment, food from the pig roast was served on reusable plastic plates that were washed on-site. A dedicated volunteer, who did not want to be mentioned, stated that Transition provided plates to prevent trash from going into the landfill. President of Transition to Less Waste Emily Cude explained festivals generate a lot of waste. As a result, for twelve years Transition to Less Waste, founded by Emma and her father Mike Farlow, have attended the festival to help with a recycling program.
Last year a grant from TD Friends and the Ingersoll Council helped to purchase 1000 plates and volunteers build a homemade sink for dish washing. In keeping to safety standards set out from the Oxford County Board of Health, water needed to be heated to a certain temperature to wash the dishes. As a result, Transition to Less Waste has a portable solar-powered dish-washing station that was used to wash the many dirty dishes used for the pig roast at the Canterbury Folk Festival. The Ingersoll Paper Box donated bicycles so volunteers could ride around to collect the plates for washing. They even provided free drinking water from cups to prevent the use of bottled water.
Then there were spectators who have attended all 15 years of the Canterbury Folk Festival like Ingersoll residents and friends Lesley, Karen and Lia.
Spectators enjoying the Canterbury Folk Festival