FHOF – Nominations


  1. Eligibility
  2. How to Nominate
  3. Guidelines for Judges
  4. Selecting New Inductees
  5. Honouring the Inductees
  6. Inquiries
  7. Sample Nominations — the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Who is Eligible?

Any person, group, or organization, whose contribution enriches filk music or the filk community, is eligible. This includes organizers, tapers, performers, songwriters, archivists, people who host house filks, people who listen and make an audience.

The contribution must have occurred at least five years ago or (if ongoing) must cover a span of at least ten years. This ensures that the contribution is truly of enduring value.

How to Nominate

Hall of Fame Nominations must mention the reasons why the person, group or organization should be in the Hall of Fame (see the Citations or the sample nominations below for ideas). The more detail about the contribution, the better. A single, very detailed nomination carries more weight than many with a single brief reason. No nominees are obvious or self-evident. Nominations do not need to be written in elegant language. Point form is fine. Nominations must be made in writing or by e-mail. They are not valid unless the nominator’s name address and current contact information is included. If a nominee is not chosen for the current year, they remain eligible and all nominations are retained. Remember – it’s not the number of nominations, it’s the detailed reasons behind them.

Nominate using the Online Form or use the printable or emailable form page

Guidelines for Judges

Consider the nominee’s body of work.  This would be the nominee’s contributions over the long term. It is not necessarily doing big things, but also doing little things continuously.  The contributions could be in almost any area.  Some examples:

Community building Performing
Concom Producer
Dealing Recording
Encouraging Supporting
Engineer Teaching
Inspiring Volunteering
Listening Web site
Mailing list Writing
Motivating Zine publisher

Please note whether the time factor has been considered: five years in the past, or lasting ten years if ongoing.

Is the nomination about filk music or the filk community?  Contributions outside filk are not relevant.

What is the impact of the contribution(s) on the filk community, either local or at large?  Has this nominee helped to spread filk to others, or draw others in?  Has it had a strong internal influence on the filk community?

Read a few of the citations.  This may assist you in making your choices.  You can also read the speeches, given by Barry and Sally Childs Helton at their induction. Their comments highlight what the Filk Hall of Fame represents.

Selecting the Hall of Fame Members

The nominations are critically reviewed by the Jury, which includes one member of the FKO concom plus one representative from each of the other filk convention concoms since the last FKO. The jury is directed to make selections based on the quality and detail of the “evidence” (information in the nominations) as received from the community and not on personal information they may have. They are reminded that contributions to filk music and the filk community, of a lasting value, are important. Each jury member selects several potential inductees. Those selected by the most jury members are the inductees for the year. There is no additional review or screening by FKO once the jury has come to a decision. All of the jury members have noted that this is a very difficult task as there are many wonderful potential inductees. When Dave invites the jury members he tells them it won’t be easy. They usually remember that when they send in their selections.

Honouring the Inductees

The nominees selected are contacted by the administrator. The nominations are collated and made into a citation by the citation writing committee and sent to the inductees for review. The new members of the Filk Hall of Fame are inducted at the FilKONtario banquet. There, members of the committee read the citations (which are based on the nominations) and present the new inductees with their plaques (as seen on the Hall of Fame intro page). Their names are added to the Filk Hall of Fame cumulative plaque.

They are also honoured in song, at the Hall of Fame Concert.


Email the administrator (a non-voting member of the jury): Dave Hayman at (hofdave2014 AT gmail DOT com) Or phone: 905-574-6212 (before 10 pm EST please).

By request only to Dave, you can be sent a list of who has been nominated but not inducted.

If you wish, you can use the Online nomination form.

Sample Hall of Fame Nominations — the Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Over the years we’ve received many wonderful nominations for the Filk Hall of Fame. Sometimes a little confusion arises about just how to nominate. Or people think they have to be brilliant writers to make a nomination. So, here are a series of nominations for one “Phrancois Philquer.” Only the “reason for nomination section” is included, since that seems to be the challenge. Each example is followed by a comment about what’s good and what’s not so good about the nomination.

Example # 1

For over fifteen years, Phrancois has made sure that filk lives here in Tuktayaktuk. He routinely invites us all over to his home for house filks. Any filk that Phrancois is at is sure to be a great one. He remembers ALL of us, makes sure that newcomers get a chance, and generally contributes to the air of frivolity. He cheers everyone on.

Though not widely known as a performer Phrancois has written a few memorable filks, like “Got Those Whale Blubber Blues” and “Dreaming of a Kayak to Mars” that are performed fairly widely. He is a willing accompanist and good friend.

He also edits a local zine, mostly for filkers, called “Out Here on the Berg”

Priscilla Penguin

This nomination cites time (since 10 years is a qualifier) and location. It mentions specific things that the nominee has done and how that influenced his local community. It notes his personal contributions to music. It’s not an outstanding nomination on it’s own, but has the right kind of information.

Example # 2

  • Involved in filk for over fifteen years here in Tuktayaktuk
  • invites us all over to his home for house filks
  • hosts a great filk
  • remembers ALL of us
  • makes sure that newcomers get a chance
  • very supportive
  • is a real fun guy
  • has written a few filks, like “Got Those Whale Blubber Blues” and “Dreaming of a Kayak to Mars”
  • accompanies people who can’t play
  • friend to all of us
  • edits a filk zine “Out Here on the Berg”
  • Poppy Penguin (Priscilla’s cousin)

This one gives exactly the same information but without the flowery language.

Example # 3

Frank is a good guy. We really think he should be in the Hall of Fame and don’t know why you haven’t taken care of that. It’s really obvious why he should be there, so get with it.

Sammy Sealwit

This is an example of the kind of nomination that arrives far too often. We need specific examples and evidence. Sure we may know of the person and even agree with the nominator, but we don’t make up the nominations.


Example # 4

I can’t say enough about Frank. It’s his fault I got into filk because he knew I liked SF and music and dragged me out to a couple of cons. He gave me my first guitar lessons too and listened while I massacred my first ten or twelve songs. Gave me good advice too.

When I moved to California, Frank kept in touch. My first concert and my first GoH spot, there he was in the front row. Did a great job on backup for my first two CD’s. He loaned some of the money for the first one. He’s a lot better performer than he lets on. He’s pretty shy about his “accent” so he doesn’t like to sing except in front of friends. But he’s always there in the background laying down a lead line or backup. And as a cheerleader he just can’t be beat.

When I go home for a visit, Frank is always there, organizing a little home sing, that feels so comfy, because that’s the kind of guy he is.

I owe it to Frank that I found and fell in love with filk music and this insane wonderful community. Frank isn’t just a good member of the filk community, he’s a helluva friend.

BNF Polar Bear


This is a totally different nomination. It shares some information with the first and second nominations, but adds a different perspective. The fact that it comes from a BNF isn’t all that important, but gives insider information about something that Frank apparently doesn’t brag about. The writing isn’t fancy, but the feeling and content are very much there. It specifically includes information about being a filk gardener: mentoring and supporting.


Example # 5

  • Phrancois is an excellent filk organizer.
  • He has kept the local group active because he works at setting up local events. He even got us into the paper once.
  • Every time he goes away to a con, he shares out the tapes he makes, so we all can hear and learn new material.
  • He’s really good about helping people fit in with our group.
  • Wrote some pretty good songs
  • Good guitarist but has a funny accent, so he doesn’t sing much. His voice is really okay.
  • Thomas Ptarmigan, Esq.

Doesn’t Thomas sound like a stick?? Again the writing isn’t fancy, but adds more bits of information and again comes from a different perspective. And it gives more information about contributions to the community.


Example # 6

Phrankie deserves this Hall of Fame think like you wouldn’t believe. He’s the union steward at the local fish packing plant. He’s organized some really cool events there, and laid on the entertainment. He’s a pretty good guitarist. The way he does that trad folk, and Stan Rogers stuff makes a man want to cry. Last contract he stood on the line with us for two weeks singing protest songs. Made the company back off it did. Did you know he’s done a few gigs down at the local tavern? The Bear Bar has him in regularly to sing, and he’s really getting better.

Wally Whale

We get a lot of this kind of nomination as well. No doubt the achievements cited are worthy ones. Where are the “contributions to filk music and the filk community” that is what the Hall of Fame is for? Contributions to other areas are wonderful, but they must extend into the filk community to be recognized by the Filk Hall of Fame.


Looking at all the nominations and thinking about what Phrancois (Phrank, Frank, etc) has contributed, he sounds like a pretty good nominee and future inductee for the Hall of Fame.

Now try it yourself!