joel_quote“My parents bought me my first acoustic guitar from the Folklore Centre in 1988. I took lessons there as a teenager when they offered them upstairs. Since then I’ve purchased a half dozen totally unique acoustic instruments from the shop, all of which I rely on in the studio and on stage. The Bruno I’m using in this picture was resurrected by Tom and is the greatest acoustic guitar on Planet Earth. Tom is an expert luthier and his work is always reliable. Every time I stop in there is another amazing vintage guitar I’ve never seen before. It’s become a dangerous place to go! Six and twelve strings, tenors, tiples, mandolins, banjos, lap steels… you name it. A world class shop in Halifax…don’t tell anyone!” – Joel Plaskett
Photo By Ingram Barss

guydavis“One of my favorite places in the world to perform, is Halifax, Nova Scotia. The first place I head to when I get in town is the Halifax Folklore Centre. They always let me play any of the guitars, banjos and mandolins that I see, many of which are antiques that’ve been hand restored by Tom. Though they should follow me around the shop with a bucket and mop to wipe up the puddles of drool I leave everywhere, they don’t. The very best part of this experience is watching the young kids come in and touch and play the instruments. That experience provides them with something they may not get during lessons, and that is “motivation”, if not “inspiration”.
Peace and Blessings”– Guy Davis


“The Halifax Folklore Center is a wonderful gift to the musical community of Halifax. With a very warm welcome, and a relaxed environment, they’ve always done their best to provide the customer with whatever they need. Be it a simple book or a high quality instrument, the Halifax Folklore Center charmingly delivers. Thanks for all the help over the years.”– Natalie MacMaster

garrett“No one knows (Vintage) guitars like Tom. Every time I go in there I learn something new. His repair work is so solid and reliable I can always depend on it 100%” – Garrett Mason

“I love the Folklore Centre. But it’s a dangerous spot for me. Even when I’m broke and have no real need for a new instrument I can walk in on any given day and find a deal I think is too good to pass up. Tom’s a master of restoring instruments and you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal on restored vintage stuff. My favourite guitar is a little Gibson L-OO I bought there last year. It’s from the 1930’s and was in three pieces when I first saw it. Magically, over a few weeks, Tom transformed it into a thing of beauty. I haven’t stopped playing it since.” – David Myles

jill“I found my perfect guitar at The Folklore Centre- a beautiful vintage Washburn parlour guitar, circa 1910. One hundred years old (!) and in great condition thanks to Tom’s expert refurbishing. He even skillfully converted it into a lefty for me. It always accompanies me on the road and gains admirers everywhere I go. I explain that it comes from the Folklore Centre in Halifax, NS, a fantastic resource for unique instruments and passionate, knowledgable staff. Showing few signs of world-weariness, it has many a story to tell. And if I am very lucky, I can still get a few songs out of it yet.” – Jill Barber

“Tom has helped me out of a few banjo nightmares and fixed me up and got me on my way and I’m really thankful for that.”
– Old Man Luedecke

rossburns“The Halifax Folklore Centre is an amazing place. There aren’t many other shops like it. In this dark world of big box stores and non-existent service it is a shining light. Tom taught me how to change my first set of strings (correctly!) when I was 12 years old and I haven’t stopped learning things from him yet. When you visit the store you can always trust that he and Marla will have something unique and irresistable to show you. Every acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tenor guitar, 5 string banjo and mandolin I own has come from the Folklore Centre and they are all characterful jems. And I would never dream of taking any of them anywhere else for service. I have had Tom do countless set ups and at least four major overhauls (complete re-frets, new finger boards, neck re-sets, etc.) and everything he lays his hands on comes out working its absolute best. I am even lucky enough to own an amazing acoustic guitar that he built in 1966! He is a wonderful craftsman who puts all his ample passion and vision and good sense into his work. As a customer and as an employee of the store (1999-2008) I have developed a huge respect for how the Folklore Centre operates: with love and integrity.”– Ross Burns (Gypsophilia)


Postcard from Greg Keelor (Blue Rodeo)


Halifax Herald article, “A musical fix that keeps time with the past,” July 16, 2012. Read full article

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Letter from Halifax MP Megan Leslie on our 40th Anniversary, July 25, 2012.

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