'The Depression' Hits Calgary

Calgary Albertan
September 21, 1963

Canada's current folk-singing revival has swept the country and there's no more natural place for it than Calgary, says folk impresario John Uren.

The bearded Torontonian opened his basement coffee house, The Depression, this week.

"Western Canada is rich folk tradition," he says.

But why The Depression?

"Because it was such an interesting period," Mr. Uren replied, pointing to walls lined with Oct. 29, 1929 photostats of local newspaper front-pages, photos from the "dirty 30s," and battered posters.

"Folk singing In coffee houses is a healthy thing... young people want a change from the rut of school, college and business."

For a start, he is using Peter Elbing from London via Toronto's folk-shrine, The Bohemian Embassy, and a Saskatoon singer, Joni Anderson. Next month, local groups take over.

He's selling memberships at 50 cents which means members can roll up for hootenannies Sunday nights, or even poetry Thursdays.

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