John Harris is the 2019 Musician-in-Residence at McDougall Cottage Historic Site.

Born in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, John had an early start in music, beginning with the saxophone at age 5. During his childhood, he became fascinated with his father’s record collection, and absorbed a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Dixieland jazz, Classical, American and Canadian folk music, and began singing at local school and community functions.

During this time, he also discovered the guitar, and began his exploration of that instrument. A career in documentary film put John in touch with the world of film music, and gave him the opportunity to work with such noted Canadian composers and musicians as Moe Koffman, Hagood Hardy, Al Cherny, and Bruce Cockburn. This led him to pursue a program of education in music composition at Carleton University in Ottawa. He has subsequently written numerous scores for both documentaries and animated features. He also has had an active career in education, teaching music and conducting workshops for Carleton University, the Ottawa Folklore Centre, Mohawk College, and the Brantford Music Centre.

Since leaving Nova Scotia in his childhood, John has come full circle, back to his roots as an active member of several Celtic ensembles, and enjoys a busy career performing and teaching.


St. Patrick visits McDougall Cottage - Wednesday, March 20, 7 to 9 p.m.
In the aftermath of St. Patrick’s Day festivities, come and celebrate the long and historical connection between Ireland and Scotland. Bob MacLean (Celtic guitar) joins John for an evening of songs celebrating both Irish and Scottish heritage. 

Spring Has Sprung - Wednesday, May 15, 7 to 9 p.m.
The saying goes “Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the birdies is?” John and long-time musical companion, Andrew Rock, present songs of love (and lust!) in a concert paying tribute to the sentiment of the season.

An Evening of Story and Song - Thursday, September 26, 7 to 9 p.m.
In the “good old days” people would gather to share their stories, songs, poems, and news of the day. Tonight, John is joined by guest, Michael Williams – “a storyteller of compelling skill” for an evening of story and song in the intimate setting of McDougall Cottage. 

Haul Away!  - Thursday, October 24, 7 to 9 p.m.   
John is joined by guest Ian Bell for an evening of Sea Chanteys and Nautical Songs. 

Farewell Concert - Thursday, December 12, 7 to 9 p.m.
John is joined by guests Dave Jensen and Cyndi Devereux to bid us a fond farewell with a musical tribute to the East Coast.  Tickets $15 in advance.