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The Newfoundland Folk Festival

“The Branch Crowd,” as they were known around Newfoundland, performed set dances known as the Lancers and the Branch Set (a square set associated with the Cape Shore). This quartet included Dermot Roche, Lucy Nash, Mary Power, and Anthony Power (Lucy and Mary were Dermot's sisters-in-law). They were often joined by others from the Cape Shore—like John Joe English, who sang and performed recitations and dialogues. Or people like Patsy Judge and Gerald Campbell, who played music and sang, and Bride Judge, Jack Mooney, and Eta Nash, who were/are fine traditional singers. Their performances took them across Newfoundland to various folk festivals, and even as far away as the Mariposa Festival in Toronto.

Throughout the 1970s, Aidan O’Hara featured The Branch Crowd in his broadcasts and on stage in St. John’s—including at the very first Newfoundland & Labrador Folk Festivals in 1977 and ’78, respectively. This gallery features photographs taken at the 1st and 2nd Annual Newfoundland Folk Festival. It depicts many of the performers who appeared on stage, as well as the crowds that they attracted.