Shady Grove Folk Arts was established on October 16,1986 as Shady Grove Folk Arts Productions, Ontario Corporation Number 667585, with objects, among others, of “To advance knowledge and appreciation of, and to stimulate interest in, music, drama and dance, and particularly folk music and dance, by performance, workshops and otherwise.”
The corporation was granted charitable status by the Government of Canada and given the official registration number of 0784710-22. The status has been maintained continuously since 1988.
In its earliest years Shady Grove brought performing folk arts to children’s Summer camps in Ontario through its KIDFEST program. Groups of professional childrens’ entertainers traveled to camps throughout Ontario engaging the children in workshops and concerts of theatre, music, dance and games such as string games. Following its motto, which was KIDS ARE THE STARS emphasis was placed on involvement and participation, rather than performance.
Recognizing the need for small viable venues, Peter Sussman, the Artistic Director, began to present house concerts from the outset. Beginning with David Amram, American composer, these concerts have continued to the present with famous performers such as Lorena McKennitt, Chris Smither and Alice Artzt joining many other artists to fill what is presently a monthly event.
When there has been the opportunity, Shady Grove has awarded small stipends to worthy individuals/organizations in furtherance of its purposes, an activity which will, hopefully, expand in the future.
As of Spring, 2011, a full monthly concert schedule was in place, and concerts have continued sporadically until the Summer of 2018.
As of March 1, 2013 THE SHADY GROVE DANCE BAND had been formed with the express purpose of playing for dances called by Peter Sussman. The band had been engaged to play at The Vancouver Island Music Fest July 12-14th, and the Vancouver Island Folk Festival July 26-28th.