Heritage Fair 2019

“Oldies but Goodies” London’s Music Heritage


What: 2019 Heritage Fair: Oldies but Goodies - London’s Music Heritage

Where: Central Library, 251 Dundas Street, London, ON

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019 9:00am – 3:00pm

In anticipation of JUNO Week coming to London in March 2019, Heritage Fair will turn up the volume on London’s musical past. Join the London Heritage Council and London Public Library on Saturday, February 16, 2019 for “Oldies but Goodies – London’s Music Heritage,” a one-day celebration of music in the Forest City.

The event will feature prominent speakers and musical performers, interactive activities, and a film screening, as well as an informative “Exploration Zone” featuring local arts and heritage organizations, all showcasing London’s love of music.

This annual event attracts over 500 visitors each year and kicks off Heritage Week in London. Each year the event is themed on a topic that is relevant to the community and is of interest to Londoners. The fair is an opportunity for visitors to get an in-depth knowledge and interaction with the heritage community in London. 

2 hours validated parking in Citi Plaza during library hours.

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Schedule of Events

Live Performances Wolf Performance Hall

9:30 AM — 10:00AM: Coming Up Roses

10:00 AM — 10:30 AM: Amabile Choir (Girls) 

10:30 AM — 11:00 AM: Amabile Choir (Boys)

11:00 AM — 11:30 AM: Fanshawe Chorus

11:30 AM — 12:00PM: New Horizons Small Band Ensemble

12:00 PM — 12:30PM: El Sistema of South London

12:30 PM — 1:00PM: Karen Schuessler Singers

1:00 PM — 1:30PM: Warrior Womyn

1:30PM — 2:00PM: London Symphonia

2:00PM — 2:15PM: Arabic Music

2:15PM — 2:30PM: African Drumming

2:30PM — 3:00PM: London Chorus of Sweet Adelines International

Speakers — Stevenson & Hunt Room

10:00 AM — 11:00 AM

James Stewart Reaney London's Music Scene Over the Years

LondonFuse contributor James Stewart Reaney covered everything from operas to Neil Young concerts to baseball's World Series in more than 30 years at The London Free Press. Born in Winnipeg in 1952, James moved to London in 1960 when his parents — the writers Colleen Thibaudeau & Jamie Reaney — decided to return to their London-region roots. He joins his sister, Susan Reaney, of Vancouver, in celebrating the legacy of their parents via the websites she helms — colleenthibaudeau.com & jamesreaney.com respectively.

He continues to champion the London scene on multiple platforms. James is a passionate supporter of the Forest City London Music Awards as a board member & advocate for its London Music Hall of Fame at 182 Dundas St. He is also an active member of the London & Middlesex Historical Society & helmed its three editions of The Great London Songbook, events matching local performers with hits associated with the Forest City's glorious musical history.

James spoke at the 2018 Heritage Fair about pioneering London writer Victoria Grace Blackburn. He is married to Susan Wallace. Their daughter, Elizabeth, is a teacher in Toronto.

12:00 PM — 1:00 PM

Mike Baker History of Sparton Records 

Michael G. Baker is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with degrees in history (1982) and education (1983). From 1985 to 1990, he was Collections Curator at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. From 1990 to 2007, he was Curator of Regional History at Museum London and in 2007 he moved to the County of Elgin’s Cultural Services Department as Curator of the Elgin County Museum. In 2017 he was appointed Manager of Museums and Archives for the County of Elgin.

He is the editor of Downtown London: Layers of Time (1999) and the co-editor with Hilary Bates Neary, of 100 Fascinating Londoners and Street Names of London – An Illustrated Guide, both published by James Lorimer of Canada. He is a former president of the London Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and of the Heritage London Foundation and a past President of the Elgin Historical Society.


2:00 PM — 3:00 PM

Bill Exley The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band

Bill Exley is a founding member of the Nihilist Spasm Band, and has been its vocalist since 1965. He and the Band have done eight tours of Europe and three of Japan. They have performed in ten American cities and throughout Canada.  Bill was there for the Band’s 2017 tour of five French cities, including Paris, as well as for a performance in Berlin, Germany at the No! Music Festival, opened by Pussy Riot and closed by the Nihilist Spasm Band. 

The title of his talk, “The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band” is taken from Zev Asher’s documentary on it, which had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2000.   

Bill was born in London, Ontario, and still lives here.  He was English Department Head at Elmira District Secondary School for 34 years. Today, he takes pleasure in hearing of the achievements of his former students; including, Malcolm Gladwell, the author of “The Tipping Point” and Roger Martin, the former Head of the Rotman School of Business.

Interactive Activity – Tonda Room

10:00 AM — 12:00 PM

London Children's Museum 
Try an instrument and hands-on musical activities

Film Screening – Lawson Foundation Room

1:30 PM — 3:00 PM

My Father & The Man in Black 
2012, 88 min.

The only inside look at 'bad boy' Johnny Cash, as seen through the eyes of his longtime manager, Londoner Saul Holiff. Directed by Holiff's son Jonathan, this "fresh angle on the Cash mythology" (Guardian) won many awards, including the Edinburgh documentary Film Festival's Best Feature.

Exploration Zone — Hudson's Bay Passageway

9:00 AM — 3:00 PM

1st Hussars Museum will highlight a regiment bugle that was used at the Battle of Vimy Ridge as well as their regimental march, bugle calls for maneuver tactics, and the regiment’s link to the famous 1918 song “K-K-K-Katy”.

Amabile Choirs of London will highlight the historical accomplishments of the choirs, their alumni and artistic staff, through a photo montage, posters, and recordings.

Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, London Region will highlight some of London's most notable heritage performance arts venues from past and present.

City of London, Planning Services will highlight heritage venues designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, including the London Music Hall, the Centennial Hall and Aeolian Hall. A Heritage Planner will also be present to answer questions. 

Don Wright Faculty of Music Western University will have a visual display with historical images and information on their current programming. They will also highlight the 200+ members within the community-based program New Horizons Band, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2019.

Eldon House will share digitized images and the social history of pre-confederation sheet music from the 1830s to 1860s. They will also exhibit a recent collection item, a Regina Music Box from 1893, as well as hands on musical artifacts.

Fanshawe Chorus London will display a digital historical retrospective of the choir’s history, with copies of photos, concert programmes & news articles for their 50th Anniversary. They will also highlight the 50th Anniversary events planned for the year.

Fanshawe Pioneer Village will explore the musical roots of London’s early settlers in the 19th Century and how music evolved in London and Middlesex County into the early 20th Century.

Forest City London Music Awards & London Music Hall of Fame will showcase past inductees including Garth Hudson, Tommy Hunter, the Lombardo family, Denise Pelley, Sheep Look Up, and Kittie and Don and Priscilla Wright.

Home County Folk League will feature photographs and memorabilia since its beginnings in 1974, and illustrate the history of London's longest running summer festival.

Karen Schuessler Singers will highlight their 25th Anniversary Season (2017-18) and the history of the Karen Schuessler Singers with photographs, articles, videos and various artifacts.

Kiwanis Music Festival of London will highlight the Rose Bowl winners, featuring those who went onto a professional music career. They will also demonstrate the significant number of KMF graduates currently performing in local non-professional music organizations.

London Big Bands will highlight the evolution of the big band format, with photos and information about representative bands from throughout the 20th Century.

London Black History Coordinating Committee will feature traditional instruments and provide information relating to the history and culture of some of their local arts communities.

London Chorus Sweet Adelines International are celebrating their 65th Anniversary as a chartered chorus by recognizing the support received from the London community and
highlighting the occasions they have represented London at Regional and International competitions.

London Musician Association will have members from their executive board present with photographs and a PowerPoint presentation featuring local music history, such as Big Band dance halls and their past and present members.

London Muslim Mosque will showcase music and instruments from the Muslim faith, including the 'duff', a hand drum instrument utilized in spiritual songs, and also highlight songs from traditional celebrations.

London Police Services will highlight the London Police Boy Band. Anita Christopher-McCallum, who wrote Boys to Men: The story of the London Police Boys Band will be there to interact with visitors. Visitors will also have an opportunity to learn more about the Police Pipes and drums.       

London Regional Children’s Museum will display a variety of musical artifacts and historic instruments from all over the world. Visitors will also have the opportunity to try their hand at different percussion instruments such as drums, tambourines and clappers.

The London Room will feature local musical memorabilia such as early concert programmes, Guy Lombardo, the London Community Concert Association and sheet music produced locally.

London Symphonia features some of Canada's most gifted musicians, and presents a diverse offering with well-known symphonies, new compositions and collaborations with some of Canada's finest singer-songwriters.

LondonFuse will be onsite to distribute and discuss their monthly publication, Short Fuse, which features London's musical heritage, including notable past artists, important scene-building venues, and those making history today.

Museum London will feature artifacts and archival material from the collection that illustrate London's musical heritage, and highlight both their current and upcoming museum exhibitions in celebration of the upcoming Juno awards in London.

Museum of Ontario Archaeology will showcase items from their new display, which is a feature exhibit from January through June on the Archaeology of Music.

The Royal Canadian Regiment Museum will highlight the music and bands associated with the Canadian military and The Royal Canadian Regiment with artifacts, instruments, and a hands on activity.

Secrets of Radar Museum will highlight the Clinton Base Band, and showcase the close relationship between radar, radio, and television technologies, particularly Sparton of Canada. 

Serenata Music will present highlights of their concerts over the years and current music available in London. They will also showcase the 28 Juno nominees and winners who have been on their stage, including Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, performing in London on March 2, 2019.

Western Archives will highlight London’s musical heritage with archival documents from their collection, including photographs and musical scores.

Photo: 1910 London Musicians, courtesy of London Public Library Ivey Family London Room.

Photo: 1910 London Musicians, courtesy of London Public Library Ivey Family London Room.