The founders of Women’s Music Weekend—Linda McLean, Jane Lewis, & Katherine Wheatley—have decades of experience writing songs, performing, touring, and facilitating workshops for people of all ages. Together they’ve created a weekend that encourages you in a safe and nourishing space to play, break through any barriers you have to exploring your music, and have fun. Different weekends may have a guest facilitator (or two!), bringing their own skills and areas of expertise to share with the group.
Geologist-turned-folk singer Katherine Wheatley is one busy musician. In addition to her solo performing singer/songwriter career, she’s half of the duo “Wendell and Wheat,” a third of the trio Boreal (with Angie Nussey and Tannis Slimmon), and is one of the founding members of the Toronto All-Star band “Betty and the Bobs.” Her song “Hallelujah” won a 2009 Porcupine Golden Quill award and has become a standard in sing-along circles. Her 2010 solo show in Charlottetown was selected “Performance of the Year” by the Guardian. Two of her songs were selected for the new Rise Again songbook (30th anniversary publication of Rise Up). She writes and records songs with kids through her Youthsongs program and has produced over 30 CDs with schools across North America. She works as a singer/zodiac driver on board the ship The MS Expedition as it plies the seas of Antarctica and the Norwegian Arctic. When she’s not on tour, Katherine presents songwriting and choral workshops in her home town of Guelph, Ontario.
“It is rare that one can find a singer/songwriter who nails guitar licks while at the same time dazzles you with emotive songwriting and perfectly pitched vocal prowess.”—Todd MacLean, THE GUARDIAN, Charlottetown, PEI
Singer-songwriter Jane Lewis is a strong believer in the power of music and singing to bring people together. She founded the All Together Now workshop series in Guelph, and leads workshops on harmony singing, finding your voice, vocal meditation, vocal improvisation, and more. Jane is a published author, and she harbours a deep fascination for words and poetry. Her debut album Stay With Me was released in 2014 to critical reviews. She performs as a solo artist and in the folk duo Gathering Sparks, which was nominated for a 2014 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year. Their new album All That’s Real will be released in October 2019 with Borealis Records.
“Everything about this record from the gorgeous songs, crisp lead vocals, stunning harmonies, creative arrangements, the stellar band accompaniment and its production are top drawer…. Sure to be one of the best albums of 2014.” — Jan Hall, Folk Roots Radio
Award-winning, critically acclaimed singer songwriter Linda McLean has released four albums to rave reviews across Europe and North America. Her vocal stylings and finely crafted tunes are compared to Joni Mitchell, Lucinda Williams among others, and our own CBC said she’s part of the holy trinity of Canadian songwriters, a trio that includes Kathleen Edwards and Sarah Harmer. She won the Atlantic Writer’s Award in Creative Non-Fiction in 2016 and a recipient of the WFNS Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program. Linda has a Masters Ed in holistic arts learning, a professional background in theatre, and is a certified yoga instructor. She was Festival Director and co-owner of Muskoka Sound Music Festival, and founder and host of Muskoka Song Night. In her spare time, she moonlights as lead singer in the rockin’ Linda McLean all star Band. A major talent with songs that both entertain and challenge an audience, McLean justifiably finds herself bracketed alongside the very best of today’s singer songwriters. Currently Linda is currently working on her non-fiction book, “The Importance of Being Important.”
“…these tunes have the ache and retrospective wisdom of a dame in her prime, and McLean’s unafraid to root her writing in specificity or add political heft…”—SL, Music Writer, Toronto
Guest Facilitators in 2019
Special Guest – September 2019
A Saskatoon native transplanted to the Niagara Region of Ontario, Suzie Vinnick is the proud owner of a gorgeous voice, prodigious guitar and bass chops and an engagingly candid performance style.
Suzie was nominated for a 2016 Mapleblues Award for female vocalist of the year; achieved finalist status in the solo/duo category at the 2013 international blues challenge in Memphis, TN and was awarded the 2012 CBC Saturday Night Blues Great Canadian Blues Award. Suzie has won 10 Maple Blues Awards, 1 Canadian Folk Music Award, and is a 3X Juno Nominee. She has also twice won first place in the International Songwriting Competition – blues category.
Suzie’s latest album is entitled Shake the Love Around.
Special Guest – May 2019
Guelph songstress Laura Bird draws inspiration from a mosaic of musical influences, including early folk roots, contemporary bluegrass and old jazz standards. Writing with a painter’s eye for lush images, her songs are compassionate and heartfelt. Audiences from house concert to festival stage embrace her warm stage presence, finely honed guitar work, and distinctive, sultry voice. Performing since 1990, Laura has released two critically acclaimed albums (Dreamwalker, 2000; The Water In Between, 2008). She has served on both the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (now Folk Music Ontario) and ArtsCan Circle Board of Directors; co-founded the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award established in 2002, and co-founded the Headwaters Acoustic Music Society in Orangeville 1998-2008, serving the final 2 years as Artistic Director of the “Live! At the Opera House” concert series. In addition to performing, Laura is a freelance graphic artist, painter and interior design consultant.
Special Guest – May 2019
Eve Goldberg sings music that draws honey from the rock of life. A compelling writer and interpreter, Eve’s watercolour voice and solid instrumental style (guitar and ukulele) have made her a favourite with audiences across Canada and the US. She has brought her intimate and relaxed performances to venues ranging from small house concerts to the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She has released three CDs and is a member of the folk/roots duo Gathering Sparks. In addition to performing, Eve is an in-demand teacher who leads music classes and workshops for adults in community settings across North America.