STINGRAY Young Performers Program

Don’t Miss Future Folk Sensations – Or The Chance To Be One


Each year, the Winnipeg Folk Festival presents the STINGRAY Young Performers Program during the festival weekend showcasing young talent from across Canada. The program hosts up to 35 multi-talented musicians aged 14 to 24 and offers mentorship and workshopping opportunities with festival performers who will share a wealth of knowledge about the industry, in addition to technical skills and songwriting tips. The participants will then showcase what they learned on Shady Grove stage in front of a festival audience.

We aim to nurture musicians in the community and provides career stepping stones so they may one day lend their voices to inspire a younger generation. The popular program started in 2000 and sees hundreds of applicants each year. A jury of industry professionals selects 35 to 40 promising young musicians annually. Young artists use the program as a springboard to launch their careers and many have gone on to play the festival as part of the main lineup; artists such as Brandy ZdanCara Luft, Crooked BrothersDaniel ChampagneDel BarberRichard InmanSweet Alibi.

Participants spend their first days in sessions with mentors crafting and perfecting their songs and the final day performing on stage in front of a Folk Fest audience.

Applications will open in the spring!

Past Mentors Include

Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas)
Alexa Dirks
Amelia Curran
Amy Rigby
Andrew Whiteman
Andrina Turenne
Andy Stochansky
Andy White
Ann Louise Genest
Annick Bremault
Aoife O'Donovan
April Verch
Brandy Zdan
Cara Luft
Carolyn Mark
Catherine MacLellan
Chad VanGaalen

Christine Fellows
Damhnait Doyle
Dave Bidini
David Wax & Suz Slezak
Dustin Bentall
Fred Penner
Greg MacPherson
Heather Bishop
Mark Berube
Michael Bernard Fitzgerald
Michael Jermome Brown
Natalia Zuckerman
Nathan Lawr
Oh My Darling
Oliver Schroer
Oliver Swain
Paul Thorn

Rani Arbo
Rick Fines
Royal Wood
Ruth Moody & Heather Masse (Wailin’ Jennys)
Ruthie Foster
Sacha Daoud
Sarah Lee Guthrie
Shannon Johnson
Stephen Dudash
Stephen Fearing
Steve Dawson
Suzie Ungerleider (Oh Susanna)
Tannis Slimmon
Tim Williams
Tony Dekker