Summer is a great time to really enjoy Northern Ontario. I would not want to be anywhere else in the world at this time of the year because although it gets hot for a few weeks, mostly the temperature is bearable and it is very easy to get into the wilderness and to a wonderful, cool northern lake. Most other parts of the world and in particular in cities it is terribly hot and many people actually die of heat related health issues. We are the lucky ones.
This summer there are so many things to do up here in the north with all kinds of Pow Wows and music events. You could be on a summer tour and travelling every day and it would still be almost impossible to attend all of the great gatherings and celebrations up here.
If you are interested in attending a traditional Pow Wow this summer here are some northern ones that are easy to get to. Rainy River First Nation (FN) Pow Wow near Emo, Ontario happening June 14 -16; Rabbit Island Pow Wow Prairie Point, Wiikwemkoong is June 15-16; Dokis FN Pow Wow in between Sudbury and North Bay runs June 29-30; Sheguiandah FN Pow Wow on Manitoulin Island is July 6-7; Beausoleil FN, Christian Island, Georgian Bay runs July 6-7; Sault Tribe Chippewa Indians Pow Wow, Sault Ste. Marie happens July 4-7; First Nation & Aboriginal Advisory Committee at French River Visitor Centre Pow Wow is July 5-6; Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Pow Wow, Heron Bay, Ontario happens at Pic River Pow Wow grounds July 5-7: Temagami FN Pow Wow, Temagami FN happens July 13-14; Mississauga FN Pow Wow near Blind River is July 20-21; Opwaaganasiniing Pow Wow at Lake Helen Reserve, Hwy 11 and 17 is July 19-21; Pays Plat FN Pow Wow near Rossport Ontario runs July 26-28; Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Pow Wow, Whitefish Lake FN near Sudbury happens July 27-28; Thessalon FN Pow Wow near Blind River is Aug. 3-4; Wiikwemkoong Cultural Festival at Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island is Aug 3-5; Chapleau Cree FN Pow Wow at Fox Lake Reserve is Aug. 9-11; Genaabaajing Jintamek Pow Wow at Serpent River FN (Cutler Lake) is Aug. 9-12; Whitefish River FN Pow Wow on Birch Island is Aug 17-18; Shawanaga FN Pow Wow near Parry Sound is Aug. 17-18; Wahnapitae FN Pow Wow near Sudbury and Capreol is Aug. 17-18; Ketegaunseebee Pow Wow at Garden River FN near Sault Ste. Marie is Aug 16-18; Zhiibaahausing FN Pow Wow on Manitoulin Island is Aug 24-25; M’chigeen FN Pow Wow on Manitoulin Island is Aug. 30-Sept. 1; Nipissing FN Pow Wow near North Bay is Aug. 31-Sept 1; Mattagami First Nation Pow Wow is Sept. 14-15.
There are lots of music events also and you should try to get to Timmins Rock On The River running July 26 and 27 at the Mountjoy Historical Conservation Area (Participark). The event will headline the Sheepdogs and Theory of a Deadman as well as The Trews, Red Sun Rising, Everlast and I Mother Earth. Visit Kirkland Lake for the city’s 100 Anniversary to participate in all kinds of fun events for all ages from June 14 to July 7. The Crash Test Dummies and Serena Ryder will be playing June 28 and Blue Rodeo will be headlining along with Stompin Taw Connors on June 29. My friends the song writing duo of Lee Holmes and Alana Pierini have produced a song to help promote the event and you can find their music video by searching for Lee Holmes Kirkland Lake on Youtube. Travel to Iroquois Falls and you can experience Porquis Rock N Blues, one of the best music festivals in the north on July 19-21 featuring Eric Ethridge, The Downchild Blues Band, Coldwater, Gary Cain Band, Kickback Track11, Jake and the Fundamentals, Cory James Mitchell, JW - Jones and the David Gogo Band. A friend of mine Matt James from Mattagami First Nation is a rising star in country music and hopefully you will be able to catch him at performances in northern Ontario this summer. To follow Matt James go to Matt James Entertainment on Facebook.
The most amazing thing about all these opportunities involving long running Pow Wows and world class music performances is that the cost is so reasonable. You can even camp at many of these events or find affordable accommodation and you don’t have to fight bumper to bumper traffic to get to the venues or stand in line ups for hours.
Remember Pow Wows are alcohol and drug free so respect that. If you are looking for more information on any of these events simply go to Facebook and you will find all the details. Meegwetch to all the hard working volunteers who make these events happen and to those who step up to sponsor them. So enjoy the wilderness vistas on the road, breath the fresh air, swim in a clean northern lake, celebrate culture, take part in traditions, listen to great music and visit a Pow Wow or festival with friends and family in Northern Ontario this summer.