We are a friendly, informal association of filkers living mostly in Southern or Eastern Ontario
Sadly, all in-person circles were paused in March 2020 and have not yet resumed. Maybe in the summer of 2023?
The in-person circles were replaced by frequent Filk Bytes/Friends of Filk circles on Zoom, thanks to the joint efforts of Cecilia Eng, Ken Lalonde, Peggi Warner-Lalonde and Sally Headford. They also run the annual 24-hour New Year’s Eve filk. Join the Filk Bytes Facebook group if you can, and/or the Emerald Forest Filk newsletter (at friendsoffilk.org). You can join the UFO list too; I send out updates on filk events – sometimes last minute by the time I get the links. I try to include bigger filk events like the Festival of the Living Rooms too.
The next Filk Bytes/Friends of Filk circle will be April 1, 2023, 11 am to 7 pm Eastern.
Making music with friends is good for our mental health! We don’t have to be socially distant, even while physically distant, given our international network of filk friends.
Once in-person events start again, remember that we welcome visitors from farther away. If you are a filker “from away” planning a visit to the greater Toronto area, please get in touch as soon as you can and we will try to welcome you. Event details are distributed by e-mail, and you are requested to RSVP to the host. There is also a Facebook page for United Filkers of Ontario that has been inactive but will start up again soon.
In the meantime, remember that filkers who earn a living through music were hurt financially when all in-person gigs were cancelled, with also reduced their chances to sell CDs. If you can, please buy their music on Bandcamp or wherever they sell, and support those who have a Patreon account. Here’s an example: https://www.patreon.com/lesliehudsonmusic. Bandcamp has been running Friday specials where they give their share to a charity or forego their share so the artist gets the full amount paid.
Whether or not you can afford financial support, please promote and attend online filk concerts. It keeps performers’ spirits up to have a good audience and lots of comments. Do the same for your non-filk favourite musicians.
Please get in touch if you would like to host after restrictions ease. First date choice goes to Chris Clarke since his March 2020 HubFilk had to be cancelled. It’s desirable to have space for at least 14 people, including some guitars and drums, arranged roughly in a circle. While we try to have at least half of the circles in the GTA, locations in 2019 included Niagara Falls and Midland.
Join our Announcement List
Our list is an announcement-only list, about upcoming events or other items of interest to local filkers and potential filk visitors to southern Ontario.
The list is now at https://groups.io/g/UnitedFilkersofONtario. Please go there to ask to join.
You may post to the list if you have information of general interest to filkers specifically in southern Ontario. It is moderated by Jane to keep traffic low.
We don’t have dues, and we don’t have anyone in charge. Various regular attendees who step forward and ask for dates host the house filks with a volunteer who coordinates it all and makes sure you all hear about it. Come sing and play with us! Or listen – we love having an audience for our songs. Bring acoustic instruments if you wish.
When we aren’t in lockdown, we hold house filks about once a month. They usually run from about 2 to 10 p.m., with people dropping in when they can. They include an order-in or potluck dinner. Munchies and beverage contributions are always welcome. Some of our locations are reachable by public transit and some are more difficult without a car. Filkers with cars give rides when space permits. Many of the host locations have pets so let the host know if you are allergic, especially to cats.
Should you wish to contact anyone on this list, or let us know about your visit to the Toronto area (once travel and visiting resumes), please contact Jane: jane at (replace with @ and remove spaces) garthsonleadership.ca.