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Canterbury Folk Festival attracts top-notch folk performers who enjoy a more intimate experience with their fans

By Heather Rivers, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

East Coast Entertainer of the Year Lennie Gallant, with Patricia Richard, at the Canterbury Folk Festival on July 8, 2017. (HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW)

East Coast Entertainer of the Year Lennie Gallant, with Patricia Richard, at the Canterbury Folk Festival on July 8, 2017. (HEATHER RIVERS/SENTINEL-REVIEW)

Newfoundland modern indie folk trio The Once has played concerts the world over.

During their performances singer Geraldine Hollett said she seen distracted audiences not pay attention or lose interest in the twice JUNO-nominated band.

But, she said, at Ingersoll’s three-day Canterbury Folk Festival that is just not the case.

“People put their heart into listening,” she said.

The band, who performs next weekend at London’s Home Country Music and Art Festival before moving on to Thunder Bay, loves to perform at smaller venues such as the free Ingersoll festival.

“It’s intimate and fun and people want to come out,” she said. “You reach people you wouldn’t normally reach and people genuinely love the music.”

Fellow musician and East Coast Music Awards 2017 Entertainer of the Year Lennie Gallant said he was pleased to be able to perform in the Canterbury lineup alongside “very well known established entertainers."

Returning to his native PEI after his performances Friday and Saturday in Ingersoll, Gallant, who is also a recipient of the Order of Canada, described the atmosphere as having “a very buoyant feeling.”

“I wish I could hang around a little longer,” he said Saturday.

In Summerside, PEI, Gallant will return to work at his multi-media hit musical Searching for Abegweit.

“It’s a show about PEI through songs and stories over the course of my career,” he said. “I wrote a number of songs about the cultural, legendary and current-day aspects of PEI.”

A collaboration with his artist sister Karen Gallant, the show also features hundreds of her paintings.

Gallant said he never gets tired of hearing how one of songs affected or moved someone.

“It’s a mystery to where the songs come from and how they take a life of their own,” he said. “Or where they are going.”

During his short trip to Ontario, Gallant also performed at National Arts Centre in Ottawa on July 6.

HRivers@postmedia.com