Congratulations to Trent University student Mary-Kate Edwards on being chosen the the Peterborough Folk Festival emerging artist for 2017. Ms. Edwards had the incredible opportunity to both open the festival and open for the legendary Buffy Sainte-Marie at a special Showplace Performance Centre Friday (August 22nd) night concert -- truly a once-in-a-lifetime gig. Her soaring vocals -- as well as her stellar guitar and keyboard playing -- filled the theatre and won her many new fans.
Edwards also played sets on the Saturday and Sunday (August 23-24) of the festival as part of an incredible line-up that featured no shortage of Canadian talent, including an-all female powerhouse Saturday "Solar Stage" line-up of Jenn Grant, Hannah Georgas, Cat Clyde, and Kirty. Other festival artists included Donovan Woods, The Wooden Sky, Fast Romantics, The Sadies, and many more.
"Before the Buffy Sainte-Marie show, I was waiting for it to sink in," admits Edwards. "The excitement and pressure and everything was a lot to deal with. But two weeks later, it still hasn't really sunk in. It's weird to think about because it's all so sudden. My early shows 7 years ago at high school coffee houses feel so recent, and the nerves and anxiety do too. It's hard to see progress sometimes because I'm rather one track minded and focused on the present -- especially when it comes to music. So opening for Buffy just made me feel like 'who am I to be doing this?' And 'how did it happen?'"
She sees the Peterborough Folk Festival as a major part of Trent culture, with a tremendous history of showcasing student and alumni songwriters and musicians.
"The Folk Festival is absolutely huge for Trent students and alumni," noted Mary-Kate. "Its the weekend that everyone comes back to town -- it's a homecoming."
Edwards was also just named a recipient of an Ontario Arts Council Music Creation grant -- meaning that she'll be spending the next two months writing and recording full time. She is currently working on her full-length album debut.
Edwards was born and raised in Peterborough. As the child of a piano teacher and a storyteller, weaving together keen narrative and evocative music is instinctual to her. Her music is dynamic and emotional, with lyrics that capture feelings so often too difficult to describe.
She released her debut EP, Blueberry Pie in March 2017. It is available on iTunes, Spotify and more.