Black Walnut Folk Club

Acoustic Open Stage


About BWFC
Past Performers
Folk Club History

Open Stage Update

About BWFC

The BLACK WALNUT FOLK CLUB of Kitchener/Waterloo is a place for musicians to share, perform and learn music with each other. This is a highly supportive venue where everyone is welcome to perform or listen to acoustic music. We have adopted a Code of Conduct so that everybody knows what is expected to keep it that way.

The open stage format follows the 2 songs/10 minute guideline. Some months we have a featured performer  who will have an opportunity to do an extended set. Recently we have adopted some guidelines for performers .  The guidelines and some rules are summarized under “Open Stage Update” .

You are cordially invited to join our upcoming Open Stages. Feel free to bring an instrument and join in, or just come out to enjoy some of our local performers. Some evenings when we have a featured performer, they will start at 8:00 pm and do a ½ hour set. There is a sign-up sheet for all interested performers. Each performer on the list plays two songs. We are very pleased to have joined with the Cedar Hills Community Group in hosting the Folk Club. If you have an interest in hosting or helping out with the Folk Club in any capacity, talk to one of the organizers at the Open Stage or call (Jakki & Wayne (519) 742-2584) or post your question as a comment. Address: Mill-Courtland Community Centre, 216 Mill Street, Kitchener (See map below)
Enter at the back of the building.
When? Third Friday of Every Month, except July and August
Time? 7:30 pm to 10 pm

Admission? $3

Open Stage Details Update, posted October 4, 2011, latest revision was January 28, 2019.

Hi Black Walnut Folk:

This is an extra update on The club.  It has been more than a year since we tried some new ideas to have more fun and get more performers onto our open stage.  Mostly things are working out, with few cases where open stage performers can’t get to play because they were too late to get signed in on a busy night. Then most recently, we asked, and lots of folks replied saying that would like us to start earlier than 8 pm.

The main things that have changed since our last update for November 2010 are:
1. We don’t always have a feature performer every month. We will feature some outstanding performers from our open stage who have played fairly often and who have not done a feature set at our club for a long time.
2. We won’t have a mid-evening break when the open stage list is fully signed up because there isn’t enough time for everybody to get a maximum of 10 minutes or 2 songs.
3. We will start at 7:30 pm, with doors open and sign-up for the open stage at 7:15 pm.  We expect that we wil be finished by about 10 pm.

The things that you need to know if you plan to be a non-performing folkie are:

1. The door to the gym will not open until the sound-check has been completed. That allows the sound-check to be done quicker and better, without the noise and distraction of extra people moving about and doing other noisy, distracting stuff with their instruments and stuff. We will try to get that done by 7:15 PM.  The featured performer will still start at 7:30 pm unless there is an unexpected delay.

2. There may not  be a half-time break so people can still get up and move around, quietly between performers.
3. We will try to bring a little more variety of snacks.

For the featured opening set performers very little has changed at this time:
4. You need to be in the gym and set up for your sound check by 6:45 pm.
5. You still have a 30 min. long slot to play/sing up to 6 songs.  The clock starts at 7:30 pm and we really must complete your set by 8:00 pm.

For all performers:
6. The sign-up for the open stage does not start until the sound-check is finished and the door to the gym has opened. The facilitators who want to pick slots will do that before the door opens.  If you want to help out, talk to one of us in advance so that we can book you to be there at 6:15 pm on the night when we need you. There are still no phone-in registrations.  You still need to sign yourself in for the open stage.
7. There is still a 2-song 10 min limit for your performance.  That includes the time that it takes you to get in place and start your songs, including anything you have to say about your day and the songs that you still haven’t started to play.  You don’t have to wait to be announced to get in place. There will be someone to assist you. We insist that you tune in advance,  know exactly what you are going to do and how you are going to make sure that you can finish on time.  If you aren’t tuned-up and ready, you should pass your turn on to the next performer.
8. We will probably not let you know how much time you have left after you finish your first song, unless you ask.  If you have less than 3 minutes left you probably should not start another song. To help you out with this, understand that if your songs are each more than 4 minutes long, you probably won’t have time for more than one song, because it always take at least a minute for you to get on-stage and ready to start your first song.

9. Black Walnut, the Mill Courtland Community Centre are family friendly.  Some performers have slipped some offensive language and subjects into their songs and it  does get us a bad response from people who need to let us know how offensive that is. They are right to complain.  Choose appropriate material, always.

10. At 9:30, if we have more than 3 performers left we may limit the last performers to one song and no more than 5 min.
11. We will aim to finish at about 10:00 pm.
For everybody:
12. The Mill Courtland Community Centre is unlicensed and peanut free, so don’t bring any peanuts or alcoholic beverages.
12. We will all have fun!
TTFN – Wayne Cheater


Past Feature Performers

2015 – 2019 MILL COURTLAND

February 2019 – Crossgrain: Doug Peterman, Shane Purdy & Mike Ryan 
January 2019 – Rein Rutnik and Keenan Reimer-Watts
November 2018 – The Pluckin’ Cutlers
October 2018 – The Fair Wind
June 2018 – Gord
March 2018 – Paul Rempell

December 2017 – Markus Michelucci

June 2017 – DJam
May 2016 – Onion Honey
March 2016 – Eightfold

December 2015 – Neil Light
September 2015 – Rescue Junction
Other months were “All Open Stage” nights

2013 – 2014 MILL COURTLAND
September – Josh Peidl
January – Ever Lovin’ Jug Band
une – Edward John Barrington
Other months were “All Open Stage” nights

2012 – 2013 MILL COURTLAND
February – Dan Kearney
June – “Fiddle and Swing”
April – 
Peter F. Light . with Gwen Potter on fiddle

Other months were “All Open Stage” nights

2011 – 2012 MILL COURTLAND
December –– Scott Abrams
January – Tom Massiah
April – Don Sawchuk
Other months were “All Open Stage” nights

2010 – 2011 MILL COURTLAND
September – K. Lynn
October – Barry Cull
November – Ruth Jenkins
December – Al Parrish
January – John Stroud
February – n/a all open stage
March –  n/a  all open stage
April –  Shenanigans
May –  Jakki Annerino
June –  n/a  all open stage

2009 – 2010 MILL COURTLAND
September – David Maranta
October – Suzanne Doyle
November – Jack Cole
December – Jack Cooper
January – Paul Shultz and Bob MacLean
February –Jay Moore
March –  Randy Ouilette
April –  Sylvia Chapman
May –  Terry Golletz
June – Brad and Robert Nelson

2008 – 2009 MILL COURTLAND
September – Amy Campbell
October – Mr. Jack
November – Debbie Moon
December – Cancelled due to Foul Weather (first time ever)
January –
Tina Dionne
February – Phree Beer – Jim Ellerman, Ralph Boegli, William Morrison,
Brian Westwood, Wayne Cheater
March –  Farmington State
April –  Brian Gordon
May –  Kris Miles
June – Far From Rich

2007 – 2008 MILL COURTLAND
September – Ezeduzit
October – Union of lanterns – Tom Scott and Darren Watts
November – Jon Brooks
December – Sweet Grass – Amanda Brewer and Warren Muzak
January –
Jim Galway
February – Dan Hergott
March –  Jenn Ryan
April – Andrew Kerth
May – Jakki Annerino
June – Sam Nordquist

2006 – 2007 MILL COURTLAND
September – Rich Burnett
October – Julie Corey
November – Zubrivka
December – Ed Barrington* & Joe Forster*
January – Dan McQuade* & Randy Oulette
February – David Marantha’s Band
March –  Jack Cooper,s Band
April – Yael Wand
May – Brian Crozier’s Band
June – Don MacIntyre

2005 – 2006 MILL COURTLAND
September – Debbie Moon *
October – Michelle Hart
November – Barrie Davis
December – Michael Kelly
January – Scott Deneau
February – Jay Collins
March – Terry Krentzkamp
April – Rob Morris
May – Dave Carmichael & Melissa (Halifax)
June – Bob McLean*

2004 – 2005 MILL COURTLAND
September – Robin Wight
October – Thomas Scott
November – Wayne Cheater
December – Loretta Cline
January – Archie MacArthur
February – Joe Forster
March – Norman Liotta
April – Bob Mino
May – Beth Lowry
June – Roger Schmidt*

2003 – 2004 MILL COURTLAND
September – Andrew Kerth*
October – Terry Golletz*
November – Flat Rapids
December – Brian and Sharon Crozier
January – Jake Willis
February – Paul Schultz*
March – Jakki Annerino*
April – Rob Thorpe
May – Robin Jones and John Campbell*
June – Dave & Jessica Maranta & Nigel*

2002 – 2003 MILL COURTLAND
September – Russel l Scott
October –Tom Nunn
November – Jack Guest
December –Ezeduzit
January – Denis O’Regan
February – Don Mac Intyre
March – Jay Linden
April –Jim Galway
May – Bob McLean*
June – Tom Massiah

2001 – 2002 MILL COURTLAND
September – Roger Schmidt*
October – Carolyn Wiles
November – Andrew Kerth*
December – Jack Cooper*
January – Bev Miller and Clive Domingo
February – Jay Vetro
March – Jack Cole
April – Paul Schultz*
May – Deb Moon
June – Dan McQuade and Gavin

2000 – 2001 MILL COURTLAND
September – Bob Rogers
October – Dave Maranta*
November – Pat Pepper
December – Jeremiah
January – Ed Barrington
February – Cam Kemp*
March – Jakki Annerino*
April – Gordon Jr.
May – Alfie Smith*
June – Paul Rempel*

1999 – 2000 U OF W
September –Doug McLean
October –Robin Jones and John Campbell*
November – Bob McLean*
December – Margaret Jackson*
January – Chad Barnes and Andrew
February – Midnight Clear
March – Randy Smart
April – Deb Jones
May – Matt Osborne
June – Spooky Moon

1998 – 1999 U OF W
September –Jack Cooper*
October – Geoff Lewis
November – Chris Lobsinger
December – Andrew Kerth*
January – Greg Upshaw
February – Terry Golletz*
March – Mary Ann Epp
April – Alfie Smith*
May – Rose Morris
June – Paul Shultz*

1997 – 1998 U OF W
September – Ed Barrington*
October – Terry Golletz
November – Cam Kemp*
December – Jakki Annerino
January – Paul Rempel*
February – Jack Cole
March – Dan Hergott & Jack Cooper*
April – Deb Moon*
May – G.K. Eckert
June – Committee

*These performers have hosted more than once.

Club History

The Black Walnut Folk Club was started in the fall of 1994 by the late singer/songwriter Robin Bruce Ward and Annie M.  It originally met at the Waterloo Regional Arts Council Office in Kitchener. In February, 1995 the club moved to Gerrit’s Village Tavern for 6 months and then moved once again in July of the same year.

Jester’s Court (the current Boathouse) in Victoria Park was the home of the Black Walnut for the next two years. During this time the club acquired a sound system which it has upgraded over the years.  In September, 1997 the club relocated to the Laurel Room at the University of Waterloo for 3 years.

The current location at the Mill-Courtland Community Centre became the club’s home in September, 2000.  The Black Walnut Folk Club meets there in conjunction with the Cedar Hills Community Group.  As of March, 2000, more than 225 different musicians have sung and played  before a Black Walnut audience.

We announced at our June 15, 2012 Folk Club that starting immediately our monthly music event will no longer be called the “Black Walnut Folk Club”. The new name is (drum-roll please) the “Black Walnut Acoustic Open Stage“ Really this is not a change.  We have not had any definition of what is folk music for several years ,if ever.  The biggest change that has happened is that we no longer have a “featured performer” every month.  That way we get more time for the open stage performers.  We will still occasionally “feature” a performer who has made a strong impression as part of the monthly open stage.