Duo Gowan Stam

Duo Gowan Stam

Quebec / Toronto

Alison Gowan is a musician, singer and theater artist from Lac-Saint-Paul QC who performs, composes and arranges folk and traditional styles from Europe and North America. Her main influence is neo-traditional folk music from central France.

Emilyn Stam is an Ontario-based fiddler, pianist and accordionist who creates, performs, records and teaches in folk, trad, and neo-trad styles from Europe and Canada. Her unique style is largely influenced by her mentor, the late Oliver Schroer, but also by her 4 years touring with Eastern European party-punk-super-band Lemon Bucket Orkestra, playing for “Balfolk” social dancing events with the Dutch band Té, classical piano training, and as a member of trio “Eh?! with Canadian fiddlers Anne Lederman and James Stephens.

Festival Schedule

Alison has been playing the hurdy-gurdy for 20 years and has been mentored by renowned hurdy-gurdy players. She currently performs with a number of duos, including Emilyn Stam, Élise Guay, Chanter la Pomme, L’Harfang and Birdbone Theatre. As a founding member of the Swamp Ward Orchestra, Alison has toured for 10 years, performing at notable venues including the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Calgary Folk Festival, the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, and the Flurry Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York.


Emilyn has toured throughout Canada, Eastern and Western Europe with The Lemon Bucket Orkestra, The Shoeless, Eh?!, Filippo Gambetta (IT), John David Williams, and Té (NL). She co-founded Balfolk Toronto, a new movement of social folk dancing in Toronto which hosts weekly drop-in dance evenings with live music. She regularly crosses over into other art forms, collaborating with improvising clowns, theatre groups, contemporary dancers and poets. In 2015 she completed the 2.5 week intensive Baby Clown course led by John Turner on Manitoulin Island, and in 2014 choreographer Suzette Sherman created a 3 movement dance piece to 3 of Emilyn’s compositions.

Emilyn has taught at various fiddle camps (Castlegar, BC Fiddle Camp, Goderich Celtic College, AlgomaTrad) across Canada, teaching both her unique piano accompaniment style and fiddle classes in ensemble playing, fiddle composition, Canadian fiddling, and Oliver Schroer tunes.