had his first experience hearing filk music in 1976, and the combination of science fiction and his long-standing enjoyment of folk music made filk a natural fit.
At the Toronto area’s monthly science fiction get-togethers, he became known as the person who would welcome you into filk, explaining what it was and sharing songs from his steadily increasing binder, something that he continues to this day.
He began by singing along but, as he began to perform more solo, it became apparent that he has a rather nice baritone voice. Since then, Howard has developed a large repertoire that includes many of the old filk songs, no longer often performed. As a percussionist, he began with a tambourine, then learned to play bodhran. He is often asked to provide back-up to filkers and is always ready to teach, or give tips to anyone who expresses an interest in his chosen instrument.
Filk does not have an award for “Iron Con-Runner”, but surely being a founder of FilKONtario, and the only person who has served on the ConCom every year thereafter, he is as close as someone can come to earning one. This demonstrates a level of craziness that is quite exceptional. In his devotion to making the convention a wonderful experience, he gives of his time as well as his preternaturally bright mind.
He has headed Operations for many of those years. Howard made the original commitment to keep FilKONtario’s events running on schedule, and his continuing efforts as “master timekeeper” have helped establish this aspect of FilKONtario’s reputation. Besides Ops, he has filled several other positions on the FilKONtario Concom with credit, including two stints as conchair. He is also the most meticulous proof-reader a convention could ever want. He keeps calm and rational, which helps reduce the drama around him, and is well known for dropping a horrendous pun into a Concom meeting that is going nowhere.
Howard has promoted filk to fandom and potential filkers through innumerable outreach filk panels and circles at both general conventions and in the filk community. Most recently, he co-created the “Earth to the Moon” multi-media concerts that have been hits at six different events.
Because of his reserve, Howard can be hard to know well. He is a quiet friend, never forgets birthdays, and is always prepared to lend a sympathetic ear. He works tirelessly and if he says he will get something done you can count on him. The filk community is richer for his steady presence.
For these contributions to filk music and the filk community, Howard Scrimgeour is inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame this second day of April, Two-Thousand and Eleven.
Photo credit: Walter Korynkiewicz