Summer in Canada is the time of music festivals and one of the earliest held was Mariposa at Oval Park in Orillia. So what does this have to do with the labour movement you ask? Well – many folk singers of the past and still today focus on social justice issues, many of these focus on workers’ struggles and gains.
The Travellers, best known for their rendition of a Canadian version of "This Land Is Your Land" with lyrics that reference the unique Canadian geography was the closing act at the famous Mariposa festival 54 years ago.
Formed as a result of singalongs at Camp Naivelt, a Jewish socialist vacation community that is operated by the United Jewish Peoples' Order located west of Toronto. For a generation the group sang across the country and at a number of union halls and labour conventions. As past member, Helen Grey put it “The Travellers were formed to bring the message of peace brotherhood and the importance of working people through song.”