Happy Birthday Buffy

In honour of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s 75th birthday tomorrow (February 20) I thought I’d take the opportunity to recall one of my most cherished memories, seeing and hearing her perform at the 1964 Mariposa Folk Festival.


Buffy Sainte-Marie at the Mariposa Folk Festival, 1964

There were other performers there as well who made it very, very special: the young Gordon Lightfoot, and the then recently re-discovered blues legend Mississippi John Hurt.

Let me set the scene first. That year’s Mariposa festival was held in Toronto, in Maple Leaf Stadium. Located on the waterfront, beside the grain elevators east of the Canadian National Exhibition grounds, it was a classic, 20,000-seat, baseball stadium. At the time it was home to the Toronto Maple Leaf, Triple-A baseball team, then in its International League-dominant heyday. Unfortunately Maple Leaf Stadium, a heritage-building gem if there ever was once, was torn down long ago. Continue reading