5 things to see Sunday at Northern Lights Festival Boréal
Trying to decide what to see at a folk festival can be a bit like trying to decide between the items on a desert buffet. Ideally, you’d eat it all, or listen to it all as the case may be. But since that’s not an option, unless you’ve worked out a way to clone yourself, here are a few suggestions for what to catch at the Northern Lights Festival Boréal on Sunday.
Let’s Talk Science – noon on the Family Stage
I don’t know exactly what this is, but my mind is traveling back to my elementary school field trips to the local science centre, where we’d use static electricity to make our hair stand on end and explore oversized models of the human digestive system. And lets not forget the baking soda volcanoes we all built. This may not be your typical music festival fare, but in the town that’s home to Science North, I bet it’s going to be a winner. There are some things we never grow out of. Al Simmons is one. Playful science lessons are another.
Workshop: Blues Across Borders – 2 p.m. on the Canvas Cabaret Stage
The blues emerged in the American south, but it’s been exported all over the world, while also giving birth to rock n’ roll. This fascinating looking worskshop brings together artists from the Mississippi Delta, Canada and Australia – namely Tom Savage, Paul Dunn, Lloyd Spiegel and Angelique Francis, to compare notes on the genre’s evolutoin and engage in what the program calls and epic jam.
Ammoye – 3 p.m. on the Canvas Cabaret Stage
Having just raced over from Mariposa, where Bev Kreller had high praise for her performance, five-time Juno nominee Ammoye performs reggae fusion that incorporates old-school rocksteady, dancehall, dubstep, gospel, soul and R&B. Over at Mariposa, she covered Bob Marley, Toto and Randy Newman and performed some killer original numbers and had everyone on their feet.
The Awards Ceremony – 5:45 p.m. on the Main Stage
More festivals should have their own awards. The Ottawa Folk Fest had the Helen Verger Award for years until the festival folded. It was a great way to recognizes individuals in the folk community who had contributed significantly to the “scene.” Northern Lights has two awards: The Jackie Washington Award goes to a performer or individual who makes an outstanding contribution and embodies the spirit of the festival. Past winners include Ian Tamblyn, Valdy, Charlie Angus, Ken Whiteley, and Mark & Marichka Marczyk. The Bernie Melanson Award goes to individuals or groups who have made significant volunteer contributions to the festival.
The Mountain City Four – 7 p.m. on the Main Stage
If you don’t already know the story, the Mountain City Four was the band that gave birth to the McGarrigles. Well, ok, they’d already been born. They were adults when Jack Nissenson and Peter Weldon asked Kate McGarrigle to join their band, after which Anna soon followed. But the band helped launch Kate and Anna as performers. While touring with the ensemble during the ’70s, Kate and Anna began writing songs and eventually found themselves in Los Angeles, singing back-up for Maria Muldaur, one of the acts who had taken an interest in their songwriting. They recorded a few tracks at the same time. The producer sent it over to Warner Brothers, and the next thing you knew, Kate and Anna were way more famous than the guys who asked them to join their band. No hard feelings though. This is the original ensemble with – get this – Martha Wainwright filling in for her late mother.