Miramichi Folk Singer and Community Builder Susan Butler To Be Honoured at Summer Convocation on July 11
Published: Thursday, Jun 28, 2012
St. Thomas University will be honouring Miramichi folk singer and community builder Susan Butler at its summer convocation on Wednesday, July 11 at 7 pm.
“Our honourary degrees allow us to recognize and celebrate individuals of distinction who contribute to the betterment of society,” said Dawn Russell, President and Vice Chancellor of St. Thomas University.
“Susan Butler’s leadership in the New Brunswick arts community and her devotion to directing the Miramichi Folksong Festival for almost 30 years, as well as the time and effort she gives to volunteering for local, national and international causes are worthy of honour,” said Russell.
Russell noted that Butler is a committed volunteer, gifted performer and custodian of traditional music. She has organized and performed in countless benefit concerts and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable initiatives including local food banks, the International Society for Human Rights, the Canadian Red Cross, and relief for those affected by the Westray Mining disaster, Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake.
As the volunteer executive director of the Miramichi Folksong Festival, she has expanded its scope and relevance, inviting celebrated musicians to join local talent in performing traditional and contemporary folk music. Some of those guests include Frank Patterson, Rita McNeill, Buffy Saint Marie, Mary O’Hara, Wilf Carter, Tommy Hunter and Charlie Pride. As a performer, she has shared the stage with Frank Patterson, Carroll Baker and Men of the Deeps, and she sang for Pope John Paul II and an audience of 25,000 during the papal visit to Moncton in 1984.
Butler has been very active with St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Miramichi as a lector, fundraiser, chair of the Parish Council, catechist and director of the junior choir. She is currently chair of the Miramichi Chapter of the Tree of Hope and a member of the Miramichi Regional Tourism Association.
She has received numerous awards for her community work including the Paul Harris International Fellowship, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, the Order of New Brunswick and the Order of Canada.
Butler is also member of the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame and the New Brunswick Gospel Hall of Fame.