Coming up in August is the 7th annual Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival. Co-founders Linda and Mitch Omichinski, and the festivals Artistic Director, Josh Wright, recently attended the Folk Alliance International Conference in Montreal, Quebec. While partaking in the four-day conference, artist, musicians, presenters, and other industry types were brought together. "...with the goal of supporting folk music internationally," outlines Mitch Omichinski. Linda notes they all took a lot from the conference; including ways to seek out potential talent for the Whoop and Hollar. She adds, they participated in workshops that taught them about festival growth, networking, and organization. Omichinski notes, there was a considerable focus on not only the acts but the festival experience as a whole.

International Folk Music AwardsFor Wright, he left the conference inspired in many ways.

"Bringing more indigenous acts to our festival from Portage la Prairie and beyond would be one of my priorities," says Wright. "As well as more cultural diversity, and gender parity, meaning representation of both women and men on the stage. It was a refreshing experience to be exposed to a whole variety of music and art forms. Folk is an expression of people, their cultures, and beliefs of how they see the world and how they come together and share that in a welcoming setting." 

The conference was made up of 3,000 people from all around the world and also consisted of a festival, and music camp. Now, back on home soil, the three are busy gearing up for the 2019 Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival. This year it will take place from August 23rd - 25th. Linda notes, they're seeking volunteers for the festival, and billeting acts that are performing while touring through. She adds billeting acts was something she learned at the conference.

If you'd like to volunteer, you can email