The Mariposa Folk Festival as a Reflection of Canadian Culture

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The Mariposa Folk Festival was established in Orillia, Ontario in 1961. It was one of the first festivals of its kind in Canada. Although organizers took inspiration from similar events in the United States—such as the Newport Folk Festival—the festival remained a distinctly Canadian cultural institution throughout the 1960s. This thesis argues that the development of the Mariposa Folk Festival throughout its inaugural decade reflected changes in Canadian national identity in this period, most notably in relation to reconsideration of English-Canadian culture as a core component of national identity. By responding to broader shifts in Canadian culture, Mariposa's organizers were able to curate a festival that was consistent with audiences' values and interests while also introducing attendees to music that they may not have previously had exposure to. This thesis explores the festival’s development in three phases, first looking into the period from 1961 to 1964, when the event's organizers primarily focussed on English-Canadian folk music. The festival’s next phase—1965 to 1968—demonstrated influence from the Canadian centennial celebrations taking place around the country at this time. Finally, the years 1969 to 1971 saw a shift towards multiculturalism at Mariposa, demonstrated through an increased focus on Indigenous art and culture and non-Western music.
Vadnai, D. (2023). The Mariposa Folk Festival as a reflection of Canadian culture (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from