MI’KMAQ MARY ROSE-ANNA (TRAVERS) BOLDUC DIED-QUEEN OF CANADA FOLK MUSIC
La Bolduc was born June 4, 1894 in Newport, Gaspésie, Quebec. Her mother was of Mi’kmaq descent. Leaving home at 13, she learned to play the harmonica, violin, button accordion & jew’s-harp. In the 1920s, Bolduc began performing to help support her family. Conrad Gauthier of the Veillées du bon vieux temps hired her first as a violinist, but, in 1927, encouraged her to sing and compose. Her recordings of La Cuisinière & La Servante were hits in Quebec. In 1932, Bolduc formed her own troupe, La Troupe du bon vieux temps, touring Quebec, and French parts of Ontario & New England. Her career declined after a 1937 car accident & later discovery of a cancer. Mary died in Montreal. Considered Canada’s 1st folk singer-songwriter–her songs dealt with real life in 1930s Quebec. In 1994, Canada Post issued a stamp in her honor. In 2002, she was a MasterWorks honoree (Audio-Visual Preservation Trust, Canada). On February 20, 2016, Québec named Bolduc a person of historical importance.
Sources: Philippe Laframboise, “Madame Bolduc,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2/7/2006. Retrieved 4/27/2021, Madame Bolduc | The Canadian Encyclopedia “Madame Édouard Bolduc (Mary Travers), folk singer and songwriter (1894-1941),” Library and Archives, Canada. Retrieved 4/27/2021, Madame Bolduc | The Canadian Encyclopedia Photo: Famous Studio, Montreal, pre-1942. Public Domain.