Peter Chaisson spoke to CBC earlier in the day. At the time, he said he was stressed, trying to find 200 chairs to add seating to a barn after rain had driven the festival indoors.
Less than 20 minutes later, there was a commotion in the barn, and bystanders said someone inside was suffering a heart attack.
CBC reporter Jessica Doria-Brown witnessed paramedics arrive 10 minutes later and perform chest compressions. The man was loaded into an ambulance, where he died.
People at the festival confirm the victim was Chaisson, 72. They described him as the patriarch of the festival, which is now it its 39th year. The family recently put the site up for sale and were looking for someone to take it over.
The festival announced on its Facebook page that there would be an open jam session Sunday night in the ceilidh barn to honour Chaisson.