It’s with a great deal of sadness that I pass on the news that Rosalie Goldstein, one of the architects of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, died on the morning of Christmas Day, December 25, 2010. Rosalie died of congestive heart and liver failure; she was 73. She leaves three children — Sid, Josh and Judith — and her husband Marty.

Rosalie came to the Winnipeg Folk Festival as the assistant to the founder of the event, Mitch Podolak, and became artistic director in 1987 — a job she held through the 1991 festival.

She was tough, feisty, as funny as hell; a firecracker of a woman who helped build the festival, and introduced a greater degree of world music — and sometimes downright quirky music — to Winnipeg audiences. She cared about the arts generally — she had come to the festival from Winnipeg’s contemporary dance scene — but most of all she cared about the audiences. She wanted to surprise them, engage them, make them dance and think and laugh and sometimes cry. Her choices of artists, her programming skills, and her warmth made her ideal for the job.

It seems particularly notable to her old friends that she died of heart failure, because she had the biggest heart of all. Now that it’s been stilled, the folk community in Canada has lost a real champion.

Read Alison Mayes’ tribute to Rosalie Goldstein ‘Queen of chutzpah’ was innovative force at folk festival from the Winnipeg Free Press.

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1 comment

  1. avatar
    Linda McRae 27 December, 2010 at 14:54

    It was so sad hearing about Rosalie’s passing. I’m sure you’ll be organizing many more amazing events. Look at some of the characters you’ll be bumping into again! Thank you for all your inspiration and words of encouragement over the years Rosalie! I’m going to miss you very much!

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