Date: September 22nd, 2021
Time: 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Presented by the Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Arts Society, Folk Night at the Ship is St. John’s oldest continually running event (started in 1974!) and starts at 9 p.m. (yes, it really does!) with a one hour set from a featured performer, then a half hour open mic session and closes with a half hour final set from the feature act. Cover charge is $5 and seating is especially limited.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Fergus emigrated to Canada in 1967 and, while living in Toronto, became a founding member of the Irish folk band, Ryan’s Fancy. The group moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1971 and for the next fourteen years, Fergus toured extensively throughout North America and Ireland as part of the trio. They were featured on the CBC network series, Ryan’s Fancy, for five years, and on the Tommy Makem/Ryan’s Fancy show, which was syndicated throughout Canada and the world. Ryan’s Fancy was also featured in the CBC TV production of The Last Run, which is part of the Newfoundland curriculum for Music (Exploring Music) at the intermediate level.
Ryan’s Fancy recorded fourteen albums during its tenure and songs from these albums can still be heard on local and national radio playlists. As a solo performer, Fergus has performed on numerous anthologies and collections of folk music, and has contributed to recordings by Newfoundland artists such as Great Big Sea, Jim Payne, Minnie White, The Sons of Erin, and Christina Smith. He recently produced a double CD collection called Ryan’s Fancy: What a Time, featuring material culled from the Ryan’s Fancy vinyl recordings of the 70’s and 80’s.
In 1987 Fergus graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a degree in Education. Since then he has been bringing folk music to children both as a classroom teacher and a performer. He has developed a program of songs, stories and slides related to his native Ireland for use in schools and leads a series of initiatives around the province through the auspices of the St. John’s Folk Arts Society called Young Folk at the Hall, designed to get young people playing traditional music.