KAGAWONG – Next week marks the 2019 edition of the Elemental Festival in Kagawong, hosted by 4elements Living Arts, and with it a star-studded list of acts throughout the four-day event.
The festival will kick off on the evening of Thursday, September 26 at the Old Church on the Hill at 7 pm with opening ceremonies featuring the M’Chigeeng Ladies’ Drum Group and featuring a concert by Ansley Simpson, a Toronto-based Anishinaabe singer-songwriter. Ms. Simpson has been nominated for two 2018 Indigenous Music Awards and won in the category of “Best New Artist.” Her music has been described as having “lilting vocals, clear melodic sensibility, and intricate guitar playing.”
On Friday, September 27, the Elemental Festival gets underway at the Park Centre with a Manitoulin Writers’ Circle workshop with Ella Jane Myers of the Northern Initiative for Social Action which includes a guided walk of the Billings Connection Sculpture Trail. The trail includes six juried sculptures, which can be seen in the vicinity of the Bridal Veil Falls trail, and 32 historical plaques found throughout Billings Township.
The energy will continue into the night with Sean Ashby who will be bringing his eight guitars on stage for an evening of his original music starting at 7 pm, also at the Park Centre. Mr. Ashby’s musical CV spans decades, and as one of North America’s go-to guitarists for in-studio recording and touring bands, readers have probably heard him play already on their radios without ever knowing his name.
Saturday, September 28 is a busy day at the Kagawong Park Centre. The Festival begins at 10 am with a kids’ turtle art workshop with Mishiikenh Kwe followed by Play, Learn Think! art and science activities with Pierre Harrison at 11:30 am until 1:30 pm.
Saturday afternoon marks a musical showcase at the Old Church on the Hill beginning at 1:30 pm with a magic show by Manitou Magic, Ashley Manitowabi, followed by the musical stylings of Duncan Cameron, Robbie Shawana and Evangeline Gentle.
The main event for at the Park Centre stage on Saturday night is Fagroongala, a trio from Sudbury playing Celtic and French-Canadian music. They also draw inspiration from classical music, funk, and other popular styles. Fagroongala’s songs, many of which predate Canadian confederation, are adapted with modern instrumentation, rhythms and harmony.
The next day, Sunday, September 29, the Elemental Festival will be hosting an all ages art workshop and drum performance with Veronica Johnny from 10 am to noon.
At 12:30 pm, the all ages vocal workshop will be offered by Everett Levi Morrison. Both workshops will take place at the Park Centre.
The fun then moves to the Old Church on the Hill at 1:30 pm with another musical showcase featuring the talented Ethan Theijsmeijer, Everett Levi Morrison and Voices North with young singing phenom Ellie Maxwell.
The Elemental Festival is a ticketed event and pre-registration is required. For more information, or to book your tickets, visit 4ElementsLivingArts.org.