MOOSEFEST to Celebrate 5 Years of Roots Music Canada

The event takes place June 4 at the Tranzac Club in Toronto.

Manus Hopkins
May 19, 2023

Canadian artists to mark Roots Music Canada’s fifth anniversary during one-night festival June 4th, called MOOSEFEST. Hosted by original co-founders David Newland and Andy Frank, the event will celebrate the five years that new owner/managing editor Heather Kitching has devoted to artists and festivals across the country, via Roots Music Canada. The festival takes place at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick Avenue, TORONTO, ON with special performances from David Newland, KUNLÉ, Meredith Moon, Noah Zacharin, Tannis Slimmon with Lewis Melville, Tragedy Ann,  Lynn Harrison, Hannah Shira Naiman, So Long Seven, and The Memberz. Doors at 6:30 pm and show at 7pm. Tickets are $20 at the door and at Eventbrite

 For more information please visit the website

Canada’s online home for Canadian roots music will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its rebirth on June 4 with a one-night music festival at the TRANZAC. 

Moosefest salutes five years of Roots Music Canada ( with a 10-act showcase of the outstanding Canadian talent the website exists to serve.

Hosted by the original founders of Roots Music Canada, David Newland and Andy Frank, the show is named for Gordy the Moose, the site’s mascot and homage to Canadiana. 


7:00 p.m.: Popular singer-songwriter, MC, outdoorsman and Roots Music Canada co-founder David Newland, whose work is inspired by the Canadian landscape and the natural world.  

7:25 p.m.: Acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter KUNLÉ whose stirring music bridges contemporary styles with west African rhythms and stories. 

7:50 p.m.: Distinctive old-time artist Meredith Moon, who brings punk rock and contemporary folk influences to her unforgettable music – and who just released her sophomore album, Constellations, at the end of March.

8:15 p.m.: Master guitarist and riveting singer-songwriter Noah Zacharin, sometimes likened to James Taylor and David Wilcox, who is currently readying the release of his new album, Points of Light. 

8:40 p.m.: Veteran singer-songwriter Tannis Slimmon (with partner Lewis Melville), whose angelic voice and warm personality earned her the Estelle Klein lifetime achievement award from Folk Music Ontario.

9:05 p.m.: Exciting contemporary folk duo Tragedy Ann, whose award-winning songs touch on pressing social issues such as climate change, poverty and abortion access and invite us to consider how we choose to live our lives. 

9:30 p.m.: Gifted singer-songwriter and Christian minister Lynn Harrison, whose uplifting songs remind us what’s important in life. 

9:55 p.m.: Clawhammer banjo player and CFMA Traditional Singer of the Year winner Hannah Shira Naiman who puts a contemporary spin on the traditional music she grew up with.

10:20 p.m.: Folk-jazz supergroup So Long Seven, featuring JUNO Award winner and tabla virtuoso Ravi Naimpally whose music references traditions from India, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

11:10 p.m.: Toronto Reggae outfit The Memberz, whose music draws on the energy of the Jamaican-Canadian cross-cultural experience and features Roots Music Canada writer Paul Corby on guitar.

“Honestly, I’m in awe and so humbled by all of the incredible artists and supporters who have come together to pay tribute to Roots Music Canada,” said the site’s current owner and managing editor Heather Kitching.

“We exist because of the support of the roots music community, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the group that has come together to create this show, including event producer Bev Kreller, who I cannot thank enough.” 

David and Andy originally launched Roots Music Canada on Nov. 17, 2009, Gordon Lightfoot’s 71st birthday.  It quickly became a destination for members of the folk-roots community and at times featured a video interview show called The Woodshed Sessions and even a streaming radio station.

However, it slowly folded between 2014 and 2015 as Andy battled colon cancer and David welcomed another child into his family.

Then, in 2017, Heather Kitching, at the time an independent music publicist in the Canadian folk and world music scenes, grew concerned with the loss of mainstream media support for niche genres like roots. She arranged to buy the assets of the site from Andy and David and relaunched it on April 3, 2018 as a meeting place for roots artists and fans.  The site crowdfunds to pay its bills and sells advertising to pay honoraria to its regular writers.  But it remains a largely volunteer effort.


7:00-7:20 David Newland (also MC) + Andy Frank MC

7:25-7:45 KUNLÉ 

7:50-8:10 Meredith Moon 

8:15-8:35 Noah Zacharin 

8:40-9:00 Tannis Slimmon and Lewis 

9:05-9:25 Tragedy Ann 

9:30-9:50 Lynn Harrison 

9:55-10:15 Hannah Shira Naiman  

10:20-11:05 So Long Seven 

11:10-11:45 The Memberz

Manus Hopkins

Manus Hopkins is the Assistant Editor of Canadian Musician