Elemental Festival taking place in Kagawong over October 1 weekend

The M’Chigeeng Lady Drums at the opening of the 4e Elemental Festival 2021. file photo

KAGAWONG—A performance of Ariadne is one of the many highlights of the fifth annual Elemental Festival, being hosted by 4elements Living Arts over the October 1-2 weekend at the Park Centre in Kagawong.

Ariadne is the classically trained collaborative of soprano Brooke Dufton with Rebecca Danard on clarinet. Inspired by the work of R. Murray Schafer, Ariadne creates site-specific productions that use water, rocks, trees, canoes, natural sounds, voices and instruments to create a meditative and mystical performance. The audience will sit on the beach (bring a chair or blanket) while the magic unfolds around them.

“Soprano Brooke Dufton and clarinetist Rebecca Danard are Ariadne, a classical duo who specialize in outdoor performance,” said 2022 Festival Coordinator Lou Hayden. “They will delight audiences with their magical performance at Sandy Beach in Kagawong on Saturday and Sunday mornings, where they will be performing from a canoe.”

“Brook and Rebecca present a sound musical performance from a canoe, with the music and sounds echoing across the water,” said Susan Snelling of 4elements.

“We’re delighted to be back again this year for our fifth festival, to bring you another amazing lineup of local and visitor performers and artists at the Kagawong Park Centre,” said Ms. Hayden.

The M’Chigeeng Ladies Drum Group will open the festival. On Saturday morning and again in the afternoon, the O’Schraves Ceili and Family workshop will take place.

“We’re delighted to be bringing the O’Schraves family to Kagawong this year, for what’s sure to be a great time for all, an afternoon ceili dance, concert and fun activities earlier in the day,” Ms. Hayden said. “They are an award winning, highly accomplished group of musicians, educators and community leaders from the Algoma region who play piano, bagpipes, whistle, flute, fiddle, cello and guitar.”

Also on Saturday morning, local Island dance artist and educator Candice Irwin will share her latest work ‘Water Body’, a development of her water-based work with local youth dancers earlier this year in which Georgia Hathaway was also a guest musician collaborator, added Ms. Hayden. Both events were present by 4elements.

On Saturday afternoon, “If you want to improve your confidence, public speaking skills, enhance creative thinking or sharpen performance skills by playing some silly game, come and try out improv,” said Ms. Hayden. Scott Florence, one half of Sudbury-based performance and community company ‘oddhawks,’ will be bringing fun to the festival with a beginners improvisation workshop for adults and youth 14 years of age and older.

Georgia Hathaway, 4elements’ artist-in-residence will be returning to Manitoulin to share her new songs and tunes.

No musical experience is necessary for this workshop that will help you find the delight in the feeling of grounded listening and sounding in community.

Ms. Dufton will also be sharing her expertise in vocalization techniques in natural outdoor settings on Saturday at Riverbend Stage, during her Listening Out Loud workshop inspired by the work of R. Murray Schafer. Learn to see the world afresh with your ears. Deep listening experiences in nature revitalize and inspire us, increasing our awareness of the beauty surrounding us everywhere. In this playful workshop, participants will explore both listening and sound making with exercises designed to “hone your attention, awaken your voice, and open your ears.”

Another Saturday afternoon event is a presentation by photographer and filmmaker Cassidy McAuliffe called ‘Women Who Break Trail.” Ms. McAuliffe combines art and storytelling in her project featuring little-known stories of trailblazing Ontario women: lumberjills, Indigenous women, frontier women, wilderness riders and gold rush prospectors.

Ms. McAuliffe and her sister, Caitlin, are the Woodland Sisters. They create work inspired by Northern Ontario, sisterhood, and social/environmental themes. You can catch Cassidy McAuliffe working around the festival this year as she captures some special moments on film for 4elements.

To round out the fabulous festival day on Saturday, Island favourites Elijah and the Backburners will get you up and out of your chair with their powerhouse blend of 50s and 60s rock and roll, rockabilly, and blues. Bring your dancing shoes and dance the night away!

Don’t forget to set your alarm for Sunday morning and bring your chair or blanket for Ariadne’s waterside show at Sandy Beach.

“I hope to see you all out at the festival,” said Ms. Hayden. “You can catch me, Lou Hayden, at the O’Schraves Family Ceili, calling some of the dances and of course, taking lots of photos.”

All events are free to attend but donations are welcome.