James Keelaghan, A Student of History

Gil’s Hootenanny 2022 will feature Canadian singer-songwriter extraordinaire James Keelaghan as the headliner for its 13th Annual May Day sing-along.

James Keelaghan photo by Jen Squires
James Keelaghan photo by Jen Squires

Keelaghan is one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters, with numerous Juno and Canadian Folk Music awards and nominations to his credit. A student of history, he is on a perpetual search for unique storylines with universal themes. Many of Keelaghan’s songs concern social justice, inspired by people and events from Canadian history. His songbook includes Hillcrest Mine, Jenny Bryce and Kiri’s Piano, songs that combine exceptional melodies with memorable lyrics that instantly connect with audiences. Keelaghan’s distinctive and remarkable voice, song-writing prowess and on-stage persona have made him a celebrated international artist.

Born in Calgary, Keelaghan now resides in Perth, Ontario where he recently hosted a February “Month of Sundays” series of streamed concerts from his home. Besides performing his songbook at music venues around the globe, Keelaghan also works as the Artistic Director for the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario, which has given him a “new passion for programming”. Keelaghan has been active in the fight for fair pay for musicians and does numerous fundraisers for worthy causes across the country. He is scheduled to perform at the Mariposa Folk Festival in July.

This year’s Hootenanny will be held on Sunday, May 1st at 2pm in Clark Hall at the RA Centre, 2451 Riverside Drive. Staffed by UNIFOR members, the RA Centre is accessible, has loads of parking and is well serviced by OC Transpo.

Tickets ($10, kids free) are now available online and can be purchased (cash only) at Octopus Books, 116 Third Avenue. For additional information and tickets, visit www.gilshootenanny.ca & Facebook.

Vaccinations and masking are encouraged at this year’s Gil’s Hootenanny and Clark Hall will be occupied to less than capacity.