Who is Ma Fletcher?
(musician and more) began as a member of the early scene, when the 60's and
70's were the era of experimentation with claims of new freedom in a
modern society. Music was one aspect of that journey in Canada and in Toronto
it had a lot of its beginnings in the folk music scene. It spawned Joni
Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn and Stan Rogers.
part of those beginnings, and brings with him a ton
of experience playing folk music rooted in the acoustic guitar.
With a background of seven years in each of classical piano and
violin, Ma quickly picked up the folk guitar, while getting his degree
the University of Toronto and later studied classical sitar for 2 years
with Shambhu Das, an advanced student of Ravi Shankar.
At that time he also joined forces with one of Canada's top "folk"
the Perth County Conspiracy, living with them and performing at the
Swan Coffee House in Stratford, Ontario.
He supported himself, variously as entrepreneur wine-maker, guitar
and later as an early para-medic at the Rochdale Free Clinic in
before courses for para-medics even existed.
"I have always felt a need to
involved with people, to give to others: to do my best at whatever I do
honesty and integrity whether treating people, performing or teaching."
While working as a para-medic, he also joined the
group of a dozen folk musicians
called Cedar Lake, which included such greats as Stan and Garnet
and Willie P. Bennett. After moving to Edmonton in the late 70's, he
a portrait photographer for 2 years, at the same time becoming "The
Man". This was his weekly instructional newspaper column on playing the
the Edmonton Journal, Edmonton's largest newspaper.
Ending his photo portrait period, he started teaching guitar to 6
in his home basement. Within 4 years, he turned 6 students into 2,000
around and in Edmonton, teaching introductory to advanced folk guitar
included blues, fingerpicking, flatpicking and open tunings),
instruction and more, at Ma Fletcher's School of Guitar.
When CTV invited him to audition for the
role in the national children's series, Storytime, Ma's career came to
major fork in the road. He made the audition and wrote all of the
songs he sang on the show, which had never happened in the 5 years of the
When the show ended, Ma decided to take two of the most important
in his life, music and dogs, and use them to entertain children
The songs he wrote and performed for the CTV show
gave him international
status, when 26 countries showed "Storytime" on TV. He
eight shows for kids and families. They have been performed in
British Columbia, the North West Territories and the Yukon, and have
attended by total audiences of more than 100,000. Despite his large
presence as a children's performer (with sometimes a little magic),
Golden Retrievers inevitably steal the show. These Golden Retrievers are the most famous
in Canada, performing in over 1,000 shows and on TV with Ma.
Their touring has taken them to over 90 festivals and fairs, as well as schools, community halls, curling rinks,
children's festivals, music festivals and agricultural fairs across western and northern Canada.