Kagawong Summer Fest kicks into high gear this weekend

Billings Fire Department was on hand to hand out goodies to kids. Volunteer firefighter Jim Chambers helps this young man put on “bunker gear.” Looking on are Tom Imrie and Andrew Preyde.

KAGAWONG—This year’s edition of Kagawong Summer Fest, stated Councillor Barbara Erskine, “is just the first wave of Canada 150 events in Billings. The weekend of July 15 and 16 will be jam packed with fun, family-oriented activities and entertainment with a heritage and cultural twist.”

An incredible quilt show will take place at the Kagawong Park Centre all weekend with some displays at St John’s Anglican Church at the waterfront.

Over 1,000 quilts will be on display, including national award winners. This year’s theme will be red and white, displayed in wall hangings, quilts and table runners. Traditional quilts and fibre arts quilts will also be on display, some of which will be for sale. As volunteer groups, both guilds create quilts for victims of fires for many social agencies such as Ronald McDonald House and also donate quilts to local groups for fund raising efforts.

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“In fact, most of the Summer Fest events will take place at the waterfront in our big tent starting with the opening ceremonies at 11 am,” the councillor noted.

“As part of Billings’ Canada 150 project,” shared Councillor Erskine, who also acts as chair of the Billings Recreation Committee, “this event is both a celebration and an opportunity for learning. We are honouring early cultural influences with a focus on indigenous, francophone and anglophone cultures. People can experience the beauty and grace of the big canoes used by Metis people and enjoy traditional songs and music of French-Canadian and English settlers on July 15. Children can play the ‘old fashioned way’ in games and activities from 150 years ago. Even some of the food offerings will be based on heritage themes.”

On Sunday, July 16, people can stimulate their minds by attending a special talk by Alan Corbiere on ‘Manitoulin Treaty History’ at 1 pm in the big tent.

Mr. Corbiere is an internationally respected historian and recently co-curator of a new show at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto entitled ‘Anishnaabeg: Art and Power.’ Culture, history, food and fun—they all come together at Summer Fest in Kagawong.

A free concert featuring Fagroongala, a Celtic/Francophone trio will take to the stage at 7 pm. Refreshments will be available for sale.

Don’t miss an hour of Francophone music by Kagawong’s own Marcel Beneteau from 3:45 to 4:45 pm.