Monday, September 14, 2015

Festival of Friends Founder Bill Powell Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Festival of Friends founder, Bill Powell.  For over two and a half decades, he was the driving force behind the prestigious Hamilton event.  Our condolences to his family and friends.

His wife, Lynne, posted the following on her Facebook page: "It is with a heavy heart that I let all our Facebook friends know of Bill's passing today at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton. His death was unexpected, but peaceful."

Bill was a major part of the local arts community .  Along with organizing festivals, he was a painter and also managed the music venues Ebony Knight and Knight II Coffee House.  Other career highlights include running an indie music label, publishing art magazines plus working in the TV and film business.

There will be a celebration of his life at the Pearl Company on Sunday, September 27 from 1 to 4pm.

Click here for the Spectator story

A word from Lou, our blogger: "I had the honour of working for him at the Festival of Friends one summer.  I still talk about the wonderful experiences I had there.  I saw first-hand the passion and dedication he had to his work."

There have been many social media comments.  Here are a few quotes:

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger: Bill Powell. You have done much to promote festivals, music and events in Hamilton. You inspired me!

Festival of Friends Twitter: The Festival is heartbroken to announce the passing of Bill Powell, our event's founder and Hamilton icon.

Loren Lieberman (current FoF President): ""Sun down, sun down, they've taken all the tents down. Where have you gone, my handsome Billy? Sun down, sun down, the carnival train has left town. Where ya been, my darlin' Billy? Sun down, sun down, they empty out the Fairgrounds. Where are you gone now, my handsome Billy?" The Last Carnival - goodbye Mr. Powell, the City of Hamilton and I will remember all that you did for us."

Click here for the CHCH TV Report
Here is a video of Bill at Jackie Washington's memorial.  He was a close friend of the blues legend.

Video above courtesy of Michael Hampson

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