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 Hawai`i, 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.
Just retired from almost 30 years with the Manitoba "Artists in the Schools" program, she's conducted workshops in over 200 Manitoba schools, has appeared nationally on television, CBC Radio and as a guest artist on various recordings. As well, Kate 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 was thrilled last fall to release her first solo CD, "Marie's Forest". (It only took thirty years . . .)
Now, one of the songs - "Prairie Girl's Song" - has been illustrated by artist Mary Ann Tully and is soon to be published by Friesen Printing as a children's picture book.
"Marie's Forest"; “Small Rooms Live” - live CBC recording; “Across The Western Ocean” - The Blarney Band; “Around The World With Kate & Martin”; “S’kiddle Bits Bop & Rock” with Joey Gregorash; “Folks Like Us” - benefit album for Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, plus appearances on albums by Bob King, Hugo Torres-Cereceda, Jennifer Clarke and more.
“Ferris may well be Winnipeg’s best singer in any genre, and her timing and delivery...would do any comic proud.” - Winnipeg Free Press
“She has a warm, welcoming presence that captivates kids...and her invitation to children to participate can’t fail...” - Calgary Herald
“The entire family will be charmed...” - UPTOWN (Winnipeg)
“She’s a really fine singer, a great artist.” - Mitch Podolak, founder, Winnipeg Folk Festival
“...a beautiful presence at this year’s Sun Dog Storytelling Festival.” - SunDog Storytelling Festival – Winnipeg MB