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The association LocarnoFolk is created in 2014 with the intention of spreading and promoting folk music in Canton Ticino.

It all begins in 2012 thanks to Barbara Knopf and Pietro Bianchi who give life to the LocarnoFolk Festival, a summer event held in different locations in Locarno, such as Piazza S. Antonio and for three years the theatre Teatro Paravento.
In 2016 the Festival moves to the suggestive setting of Parco di Orselina, its program having meanwhile gotten rich with movie projections, as well as with music and dance workshops.

Since 2015 the association also proposes a program between winter and spring; concerts dedicated to folk music in its different shapes, also in a more modern one, the LocarnoFolk Events; in 2017 the musical offer of this program, as well as the one of the festival, widens, even more, when the LocarnoFolk meets folk dances and starts offering dance concerts as well. These events are born thanks to the collaboration with Michela Porru, who introduced Balfolk courses in Ticino.

At present, the LocarnoFolk Events take place in two different locations: the concerts at Osteria La Fabbrica, in Losone, and the bals at Spazio Elle, in Locarno.


Barbara Knopf

Raised in a French-speaking environment, she graduated in musicology, French literature, and media science at the University of Zürich, where she also attended ethnomusicology seminars. At the same time, she studied transverse flute and the piano at the Zurich Conservatory. Her interest in traditional music led her to work as an editor, producer and chief editor of popular music programs at the swiss german radio station SF DRS, and to regularly write articles on the subject for the Winterthur newspaper "Landbote".
She then trained as a journalist and worked for the Swiss telegraph agency (ATS) and the romando newspaper "Les Temps" and put her experience in communication to fruit, working as an advertiser and PR manager for the Bach Collegium Zürich. She has been living in Ticino since 2009 and in 2012, together with Pietro Bianchi founded the LocarnoFolk Festival. For many years they also played together the popular music of Ticino and Insubria (flute, bagpipes, voice), together also with Carlo Bava and Diego Orelli.
Trainer and interpreter, she teaches German and French and has been a collaborator of the Intercultural Interpreters Association, the INTERPRET. She plays the musette (bagpipe from central France) in La Piccola Banda di Cornamuse led by Gabriele Coltri. Thanks to Michela Porru in 2016 she approached French Balfolk.


 The executive committee is composed by:


Michela Porru, president

Coming from artistic-pedagogical studies, she come across folk dances in 2010 and has since then never stop researching its vast world. She is a dance teacher and holds classes on french Balfolk and international folk dances in Ticino, working for the diffusion of this repertoire. In the spring of 2017, she starts collaborating with the association, for the organization of the dance concerts at first and then on the preparation of the LocarnoFolk Festival too. She is passionate about folk music and its culture, she strongly believes in the high value of art as a form of expression and of human interaction, as well as in the great power of music and dance of creating solid bridges between people and different cultures.


Vanessa Lanni, vice-president

Born and raised in Ticino, she moves to Zurich to follow a professional and personal path which will lead her to conclude her studies as a social worker in healing pedagogy and, later on, as a Kundalini Yoga teacher. She currently follows a professional generative counseling training at the Istituto di Ricerche di Gruppo, in Lugano. She loves traveling and encountering different cultures. In 2016 she approaches folk dances and music, discovering a great passion for its world. She greatly appreciates how music can one hand be a transmitter of tradition and culture and how it can also arouse emotions.


Elena Mora, treasurer

Born and raised in Lugano, but originally (and proudly) from Valle Camonica, she is formed as a social worker in 2010 and currently works in a center of expertise for the recovery of drug addicts. Passionate about music in all its forms, she ventured into the study of musical instruments such as classical guitar and Indian tabla. In 2015, fate makes her meet the LocarnoFolk association. She decided to first collaborate as a volunteer, during the summer festival, and then join the executive committee as of December 2015. In 2016 she discovers Balfolk and becomes fascinated with its genuine and familiar spirit. She firmly believes that in this individualistic era, the only forms of salvation are music and dance, true universal languages among peoples.


Maura Ugolotti, secretary

Her fascination for all craft works and her manual skills lead her to work with woodcraft in the past and in the construction sector. She starts attending the folk dance scene in Turin, her native city, fifteen years ago. She collaborates with the association Escarton for the diffusion of traditional dances from Piemonte, Occitan and French dances and gives her contribution to the creation of the dance group Balastorie, which mainly deals in the teaching of historical dances, under the supervision of Beatrice Pignolo.. Later on, she becomes passionate about the remaking and manufacture of historical clothes and accessories, sewn and embroidered by hand. From 2016 she lives in Ticino and works at the Grotto Zendralli, in Roveredo.