I was tricked into volunteering with Summerfolk.

It was spring 2013 when my friend Tara said, “Hey Kimmer, wanna manage a retail shop at a music festival this summer? You get into the festival for free with backstage access to hang with the performers ‘cause you sell all their merch!”  

It took me half a second to say “I’m in!”

The trick of it all was Tara didn’t specify what genre of music… Folk… Ugh… Who plays at a Folk Music Festival?  No one I’d ever listen to. But, I had committed; so I stuck it out. 


See, I come from a household where volunteering was a regular thing. Whether with organizations, churches, hospitals, food banks, community events, or school events. If you can name it, we likely volunteered for it. I’ve had a long-standing belief that it’s important to give back to your community to foster opportunities for growth so we can thrive together as a community. 

These days, finding time for community seems more limited than ever before. It’s forced us to be more selective in the areas of our community we can focus our time to.  There are many organizations within this community that I have either worked with or volunteered with and am happy to have contributed my time or services to them over the years. With my limited time, I’ve had to step back from a number of things and focus on the things that my heart most desires, where I’m the most comfortable and helpful; where I am having the most fun and exciting experiences; where I’m able to expand my networks and community connects both locally and abroad; where my areas of experience and expertise can be of the most help.

My heart loves music, arts, crafts, dance, celebrating cultures, hugging friends new and old, singing, drinking, and bringing these joys to others. This is why my heart continues to choose Summerfolk as my home base for volunteering.  

So, begrudgingly in 2013, I ran that retail shop at Summerfolk and expected music outside my preference to be played all weekend. As it happens, I listened to the music happening all around me at Kelso Beach Park and quickly realized that “Folk Music” wasn’t what I thought it was and, although named a ‘Folk Festival,’ I can confirm hearing rap, psychedelic rock, pop, country, blues, punk and gothic grunge throughout that weekend and in the years that followed. Yes, I kept returning year after year. I had found a summer tradition, and we hope you will too. 

We invite you to follow your heart to Summerfolk and volunteer with us.  There are so many opportunities to fill your heart with music, arts, crafts, culture and friends. 

Written by Kim Trombley

Photos provided by Georgian Bay Folk Society

Find more information about Summerfolk 2023 here.