This episode of the Home Routes Podcast features an interview with Kate Ferris, who along with being an active musician, is also our Home Routes Ukulele teacher! Join Jaxon and Kate as they discuss dealing with Covid-19 realities pivoting to online classes, and more.

ABOUT KATE FERRIS: Manitoba musician Kate Ferris has been performing since – at the age of 5 – the bus she and her Ma were traveling in got stuck in a snowstorm and Kate proceeded to entertain the passengers (including 3 very nice Nuns) with her own songs and stories. (She would like to think that her material has improved greatly since then, but she DID get a chocolate bar from one of the Nuns, so who knows . . .)

After teaching Elementary Music in Thompson, MB for 11 years, Kate held her breath and quit her job to pursue her dream of performing. She’s been chasing that dream ever since – at concerts and festivals across Canada, on lanais in Hawaii, in pubs in the UK, and for an appreciative crowd in Puerto Rico (although none of them understood English!) 

She’s performed with groups as diverse as the Blarney Band, Critter Family, Rodeo Riders, Canadian Content Theatre, and folk trio Small Rooms. She’s played gigs that range from being the act right after the local fair’s pet contest to twice being guest storyteller with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, to opening for Valdy, Ritchie Havens, and performing for the Prime Minister of Iceland!

Discovering the mighty ukulele in 2003, Kate fell in love with this wonderful instrument and since 2012 has been the ukulele instructor for the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s Folk School.

Before retiring from almost 30 years with the Manitoba “Artists in the Schools” program, Kate conducted workshops in over 200 Manitoba schools, has appeared nationally on television, CBC Radio and as a guest artist on various recordings. As well, she is a popular MC for conferences and public events, using humour and songs written specifically for the occasion. 

Kate spent time in the studio working with award-winning producer Dan Donahue, and in September of 2015 was thrilled to release her first solo CD, “Marie’s Forest” to a sold-out crowd at The Park Theatre. (It only took thirty years . . .)

Now, one of the songs – “Prairie Girl’s Song” – has been illustrated by artist Mary Ann Tully and published by Friesen Printing as a children’s picture book.