Manitoulin festivals receive over $100,000 in funding

Canada 150 Logo Winner - design by Wes Newburn from Kagawong

ONTARIO—Festivals across Manitoulin have received over $100,000 in funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport through the Celebrate Ontario 2017 program.

The 50th annual Little Current Lions Club’s Haweater Weekend, August 3 to 6, in Little Current is being provided $22,170 in funding.

“It is fantastic news that we will be will be getting funding for Haweater Weekend,” said Little Current Lions Club President Bruce Burnett. “The funding will be going towards children’s entertainment, enhancing this year’s fireworks and new entertainment for the 12-16 age group.”

Manitoulin Country Fest, August 10-12 in Little Current, has been given $100,000 in funding through the program, while the Elemental Festival 3, September 28 to October 1, hosted by the 4elements Living Arts in Kagawong, has been given $10,325.

“The Elemental Festival is a multi-day outdoor event that brings together artists, both local and visiting, and community members to engage with and enliven the local landscape,” explained 4elements Curator and Cultural Programs Coordinator. “It marks a very special year for the festival: not only is it 4elements’ 15th anniversary, but it will mark the unveiling of the Billings Art and Heritage Trail, which is being built over the next year. The trail will see an additional seven permanent public artworks and 40 heritage plaques installed across Billings Township, including one sculpture which will be collaboratively designed by local community members. The trail is supported by a generous grant from Canada 150 funding.”

“Both the trail and the festival aim to make space for conversations about land, land-use history and reconciliation to occur and to make more visible multiple historical narratives,” added Ms. Mader. “Participating artists have been asked to respond to the historical context of Billings, thinking about the role of creativity in imagining a new way forward; ‘learning from the past, creating a shared future.’ The weekend will have live music including Melody McIver and Nick Sherman, workshops, the unveiling of the permanent works as well as artists creating non-permanent works along the river. The Elemental Festival is supported by multiple funders this year including grants from Celebrate Ontario, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario 150 fund. Without the support of these funders, a cultural gathering of this kind, with such a diverse group of high quality artists participating alongside community members and tourists, would never be possible. We kindly thank them all.”

“We are thrilled that we were chosen to receive funding,” said Country Fest organizer Kelly Timmermans. “We will be using the funds for some venue enhancements such as a video wall and fencing. It will also help offset some of our artists cost.”

This year’s line up so far includes two-time Grammy Award winner Dwight Yoakam and Joe Nichols, along with Michelle Wright, Corb Lund, Washboard Union, Crystal Shawanda, Meghan Patrick, Chris Buck Band, Western Swing Authority, The Lovelocks, David James, The Abrams, Nicole Rayy, Mikaila Cooper and Jessica Pearson and The East Wind.

Ontario is supporting a record number of festivals and events this year, 304, to showcase the province as a vibrant place to live and visit during Ontario’s 150th anniversary.

“Festivals and events bring local communities together, commemorate our heritage and celebrate the vibrancy of our province, which is especially important as we celebrate Ontario’s 150th anniversary this year,” said Eleanor McMahon, minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport in press release. “I am thrilled that our government continues to make important investments through the Celebrate Ontario program that create good local jobs and draw people from around the world to discover all that our province has to offer.”

“Many event organizers are enhancing programs to their festivals and events this year in celebration of Ontario’s 150th birthday,” added Kathrin Delutis, chief executive officer, Festivals and Events Ontario. “Support from the province through Celebrate Ontario provides festivals and events with the ability to continue to provide exciting ways for visitors and residents to experience Ontario. Festivals and events are a major contributor to the economy in Ontario. With hundreds of festivals taking place, they not only drive tourism but support tens of thousands of jobs each year.”