Mariposa looks back at 50 years of folk fest

Music lovers and organizers of Ontario’s Mariposa Folk Festival are looking back at the history of the annual festival, which turns 50 later this month, wrote CBC News online July 5.

Just this week, York University in Toronto debuted an online archive of pictures, audio, programs and history related to the festival, which has hosted musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Gordon Lightfoot.

York University archivist Anna St. Onge said she included a clip in the archive in the hope that someone who sees it will recall who the unknown singer was. “We are open for engagement with the public and the fans,” she said.

St. Onge said York University has an archive of more than 300 boxes donated by the Mariposa Folk Foundation in 2007. It also acquired Ruth Jones McVeigh’s personal archive from Library & Archives Canada, as well as federal funding to digitize parts of the archive and make it available online.

The archivists have focused on digitizing audio recordings from the first 20 years of the festival that were on fragile quarter-inch tape, she said. There are workshops, musical performances and radio jingles among the audio files.

Also viewable online are photos, past programs and personal accounts of the festival experience.

“Part of the selection process was to document how spontaneous [it was] and the energy of the festival and how completely random things happened,” St. Onge said. “Artists that would never collaborate in any other circumstance from two different areas of the country coming together and jamming – the fusion aspects of live music.”

The major hurdle to digitizing Mariposa is getting copyright permissions from artists, St. Onge said. As the archive receives approval for the use of additional works – and fans and performers add their own memories – those will be added to the site.

  • The fact that the archives are at York University was also discussed on CBC Radio’s “Metro Morning” and “Ontario Today” July 5.

Release G20 ‘political’ prisoners, says group

The mass detention of people and widespread use of police force over the G20 summit weekend was a gross abuse of state power that demands an independent inquiry and the immediate release of “political prisoners”, a civil- rights coalition said Monday, wrote The Canadian Press July 6.

A group of York University professors also added their voices of condemnation about the “indiscriminate use of aggression” by G20 security police against peaceful protesters.

  • Lesley Wood, a sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, also spoke about the G20 arrests, on CP24-TV and Global Television July 5.

Osgoode student wins $3,000 essay prize

It’s safe to say that York student Neil Wilson never expected that his real estate law professor’s idea for an essay topic would land him $3000, wrote Canadian Lawyer Magazine July 5.

The Osgoode Hall Law School student’s essay, “Part performance: An invaluable tool in the practice of real estate law”, recently won the 2010 TitlePLUS essay contest. Sponsored by the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO), the contest promotes and recognizes outstanding legal scholarship in the practice of real estate law.

Wilson’s winning entry examines an aspect of real estate law wherein an oral agreement for the sale of land, which would otherwise be unenforceable, may be enforced if steps have been taken towards its performance. After considerable research and analysis, he concludes “the current lack of certainty leaves the issue open to arguments on both sides, and accordingly an appreciation of the doctrine of part performance will be invaluable to both vendors’ and purchasers’ counsel.”

Wilson gives much of the credit for his essay to his real estate law professor [Paul Perell]. The essay was originally written for that class, and had he not listened to the advice of his professor, he might have ended up writing an entirely different essay altogether. “I actually wrote the essay for my real estate class at Osgoode, and I had chosen another topic and gone to speak to my professor about it,” says Wilson. “He said that he didn’t think it was a very workable topic, and he’s the one who suggested the topic that I ultimately wrote about. There was a lot more to work with, and that’s what led me to write about it.”

Rivals jockey for Mammoliti’s votes

As predicted, the ranks are thinning in the campaign to be the next mayor of Toronto, and the latest candidate to take his name off the list is Giorgio Mammoliti, wrote the National Post July 6.

Mammoliti said he has not decided whom he will endorse for mayor, but asked that his seat at debates now go to York grad Rocco Achampong (LLB ’08), a 31-year-old lawyer who he said “needs to be heard.”

Who is this candidate?

Born in Tema, Ghana, Achampong immigrated to Canada at the age of 9. He graduated from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the bar this year. He said he wants to “sift through the nonsense” presented by other candidates and talk about the big issues, like limiting the city’s reliance on property taxes to pay for initiatives. According to his Web site, he would institute a two-year TTC fare freeze, he would add subways to Transit City, and double arts and culture funding. He said the question of whether or not to toll roads would be “resolved” during his mandate.

Legal centre gets federal cash infusion

For years the Northumberland Community Legal Centre has been helping the unemployed and disadvantaged residents of Northumberland County, wrote July 6.

Now the legal centre is going to get help in the form of an Osgoode Hall Law School graduate, 25-year-old Kulvinder Deol (JD ’10). For the next 10 months she will be representing legal centre clients at hearings, making presentations to the Landlord & Tenant Board, handling social assistance appeals as well as those dealing with the Canada Pension Plan and disabilities.

For her part, Deol says the new job is “a wonderful opportunity”. She realizes how important the clinic is to the community and says she is “grateful for the opportunity to put my education to use.”

Unlikely heroes star in Bumbletea show

Theft: A Miracle Play is the third production of Bumbletea Theatre, which consists mainly of Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School graduates and students, wrote the London Free Press July 6.

Background: It’s written and directed by York University theatre student Tyler Graham, a founding member of Bumbletea.

The Story: Colour, language and freedom are owned by a dictator. A pair of unlikely heroes sets out to save the imaginary from being erased. Meanwhile, Mary and Joseph must protect their unborn child from soldiers determined to make sure that a prophecy is not fulfilled.

Quote: “I wanted to tell an interesting story with interesting characters. I also wanted to make people laugh and think. While I think the audience will probably have a much better idea of what the play means than I do, what I hope is they walk away from the theatre thinking about copyright laws and how these laws hinder rather than help creative thinking.”

On air

  • David Wiesenthal, a psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Health, spoke about drivers and traffic safety, on Ottawa’s CBO-FM radio July 5.
  • A study on mortgage interest rates by Moshe Milevsky, finance professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, was cited in a discussion about the housing market in Alberta on Edmonton’s ACCESS TV July 5.