The Farrside Quartet: Far away but never forgotten

From left to right John Chapman, Dave Smith and Ian Farr. Thompson's famed Farrside Quartet folk music group - disbanded in 2002 - reunited Sept. 3 in Souris, Prince Edward Island for two concerts. This rare reunion of the group that was a cornerstone of the Thompson music scene for many years was held in Souris, as group founder Ian Farr and his wife Diane have lived there for the past decade. The group performed an evening of folk music - much of it with a Northern Manitoba flavour - at the Sheltered Harbour Restaurant. The second concert was held at the nearby Rock Barra artists' retreat. Although a quartet in name, the group really numbers three as Ian and Diane Farr's dog Scoop - long since gone - was once a fourth member of the Quartet. Both Ian and John worked for Inco, now Vale, and Dave was employed by the School District of Mystery Lake. They performed countless times at a wide variety of events in Thompson setting toes to tapping with such favorites as 'The Thompson Song' and 'The Hudson Bay Line.'

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John travelled to Souris from Pender Island, British Columbia and Dave and his wife Lark from Gimli. Several former Thompsonites, along with an audience of Islanders, cheered on the Thompson group including Bob and Mary Conway of Elmira, P.E.I. and Dan and Sandra McSweeney of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. This is the second time the group has held a reunion. The last gathering was in 2010 in Gimli, Manitoba where more than 200 people gathered from across Manitoba and Canada to celebrate their special connections with Thompson through the music of the Farrside Quartet.

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