Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Helen Verger Award

Mike Regenstreif receives the Helen Verger Award from Mark Monahan.

I was humbled and honoured this past weekend to be this year’s recipient of the Helen Verger Award from the Ottawa Folk Festival.

Named in honour of the late Helen Verger, the founder of Rasputin’s Folk Café in Ottawa, the award is presented annually to “to an individual who has made significant, sustained contributions to folk/roots music in Canada.”

Year after year at the Ottawa Folk Festival, I’ve seen the Helen Verger Award presented to an incredible collection of folks and, every year, I’ve thought to myself what great choices each was for the award. Almost all of them have been people I know – including many friends. In the Weavers’ version of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” they sing, “We are travelling in the footsteps of those who’ve gone before,” and, indeed, it is such a great privilege to see my name join theirs in the list of Helen Verger Award recipients:

Murray McLauchlan (1995); Colleen Peterson and Sylvia Tyson (1996); Bruce Cockburn (1997); Ferron and Ian Tamblyn (1998); Chopper McKinnon (1999); Garnet Rogers (2000); Kate & Anna McGarrigle (2001); Buffy Sainte-Marie (2002); Jane Siberry (2003); Jackie Washington (2004); Willie P. Bennett (2005); Arthur McGregor (2006); Penny Lang (2007); Chalmers Doane (2008); Paul Mills (2009); Harvey Glatt (2010); Gene Swimmer (2011); Chris White (2012); Lynn Miles (2013); Mike Regenstreif (2014).

Thank you so much to the Ottawa Folk Festival, to Mark Monahan and to Ana Miura, for this tremendous honour.

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--Mike Regenstreif

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