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Friday, July 22, 2016

Pow wows a 'wow' event; summer cultural and heritage festivals in Ontario



   One-Tank Trip for July 16-16

      (c) By Jim Fox

   Pomp and pageantry with a big nod to native traditions can be experienced at the colourful spectacle of a pow wow.
   Many are happening throughout the summer across Southern Ontario including the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow near Brantford.
Wearing his colourful regalia,” a dancer at the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow.
    In its 37th year, the event takes place July 22 to 24 in Ohsweken on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve and is one of the largest in North America with 400 dancers.

   “The open-air, First Nations’ cultural event promotes a rich arts heritage by showcasing Six Nations’ pride in music, dance, arts and crafts,” said Constance Jamieson of Six Nations Tourism.

   First Nations’ dancers and singers from across North America perform in the competition at the event at Chiefswood Tent & Trailer Park on the grounds of the former estate of Mohawk poetess Pauline Johnson.


   Dancers and singers representing every major North American native cultural group will be dressed in their “finest regalia.”


   Prize money is given to those dancers and singers deemed to be the “most agile, astute and exciting.”
   “The forum for this expression in the arts has been coined a pow wow and is always presented with the utmost dignity,” Jamieson said.
   It takes place outside during the afternoon, while in the evening it’s under the stars and lights.
   The pow wow opens with a free concert and entertainment with 30 native food trucks and 100 craft vendors on July 22 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
   Gates open on July 23 at 10 a.m., with the “grand entry” of dancers at noon, with dancing and singing exhibitions and contests until 5 p.m. and then from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
   There is a similar schedule on July 24, except that the pow wow ends at 5 p.m. with the prizes given out and the naming of the “Champion of Champions.”

   If you go:
   Chiefswood Park is at 1037 Brant County Highway 54, 13 kilometres east of Brantford and a similar distance west of Caledonia.
   Daily general admission is $10; $2 for children, six to 12; $15 for a weekend pass.
   Rain site is the Gaylord Powless Arena in Ohsweken. grpowwow.ca; (519) 751-3908

Some of the winning dancers at the Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow.
   Other upcoming pow wows
   - There is also the annual Native Harvest Festival and Pow Wow on Sept. 17 and 18 at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, 1600 Attawandaron Rd., in London. archaeologymuseum.ca
   - Wikwemikong Annual Cultural Festival & Pow Wow is on Manitoulin Island, July 30-Aug 1.
   - Saugeen First Nation Pow Wow, Southampton, is Aug. 6-7
   - Rejuvenation of the Spirit Pow Wow is in Leamington on Aug. 12-13
Dancers add colourful pageantry to Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow. (Andrea Hamlin photo)
   - Chippewas of Rama First Nation Pow Wow, Rama (near Orillia), is Aug. 20-21
   - Akwesasne International Pow Wow, Cornwall, is Sept .10-11

   Culture and heritage fests
   Make this the summer to “experience the sights, sounds, beauty and taste of global diversity,” says Nichole Fogarty of Festivals & Events Ontario.
   “Learn about another country without having to leave Ontario,” she adds, providing the following list of events.
   - Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto, now through July 31, for “great food, arts and crafts, entertainment and fun.”
   - Heritage Sunset Ceremonies, now to Aug. 31, in Kingston at Fort Henry every Wednesday evening for a “spectacular display of living history.”
   - Festival Kompa Zouk, July 14-Aug.1, Toronto, to discover the Creole islands of Haiti and Martinique with spicy foods, music, dance and mascots.
   - Kapuskasing Lumberjack Heritage Festival, July 22-24, is a “celebration of local culture and heritage.”
The tall ship Empire Sandy at the Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival.
   - Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival, July 29-Aug. 1, Port Colborne, along Ontario’s South Coast with tall ships, cruises, concerts, vendors, kites and cars.
   - Jambana, One World Festival, July 31-Aug. 1, Markham, has music from villages of the Caribbean and African Diaspora with food, culture and entertainment.
   - Mississauga Italfest, Aug. 20, for everything Italian including entertainment, food, activities and festivities.
   - Muslimfest, Aug. 27-28, Mississauga, to “celebrate the best in Muslim arts, culture and entertainment.


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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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