Arthur McGregor named Canadian Folk Music Award's Unsung Hero

Arthur McGregorArthur McGregor, a highly-respected Ottawa-based community leader and founder of the Ottawa Folklore Centre, is the recipient of the Unsung Hero award for this year’s Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMA). The award will be presented at the CFMA Gala on Nov. 8 at the Citadel in Edmonton. Tickets to the gala event are $48 (plus $2 administration fee) and are available now via

Throughout his life, Arthur McGregor has tirelessly brought music and people together, motivated by the belief that *“*everybody has a right to play music.” As founder of the Ottawa Folklore Centre, an institution in the Ottawa music community for 38 years, McGregor ensured folk music was both accessible and affordable for music lovers of all ages. He has published songbooks, produced CDs, taught music lessons, and created camps and community choirs. Chris White, co-founder of the Ottawa Folk Festival, explains “[Arthur] has supported the music community in countless far-reaching ways and has inspired thousands of children and adults to discover the enjoyment and excitement of singing and playing music.”

In addition to the Ottawa Folklore Centre, Arthur has worked closely with and supported the Festival for the Folks, the Ottawa Folk Festival, the Canadian Folk Music Walk of Fame, Writer’s Bloc, World Folk Music of Ottawa, and Ottawa community radio station CKCU-FM. He was also integral in the creation of the Canadian Folk Music Awards and was part of the organization for 10 years.

McGregor’s support and dedication to the folk music community is felt across the country. Bowen Island, BC musician Shari Ulrich explains that “Arthur McGregor epitomizes the true spirit of folk music and someone who has made an almost unquantifiable contribution to Canadian culture.”

McGregor is also a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, performing solo and in the Celtic Rathskallions with Wendy Moore. His ragtime version of “O Canada” kicked off the Ottawa Folk Festival for 19 years.

This annual legacy category award recognizes the exceptional contribution of an individual, group, or organization to any aspect of the Canadian Folk music scene. Nominees must be perceived as an “unsung hero;” someone who has received little in the way of national and/or public recognition for their accomplishments. Previous winners include Toronto Publicist Jane Harbury (2011), New Brunswick Journalist Gerry Taylor (2012), Winnipeg Folk Festival Founder Mitch Podolak (2013), and Ottawa impresario and philanthropist Harvey Glatt (2014.) The Unsung Hero category nomination process opens suggestions publicly for submissions to this category each year and is judged by the board of the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Complete details are online at

The nominee announcement for the remaining 19 categories of folk music happen in Edmonton at City Hall at noon local time on Sept. 9, as part of the National Strum.

For more information, go to

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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