Town & Country

June 2016

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Country Town & MANITOBA Editor: Pat St. Germain – Saturday, June 18, 2016 FIRE AND WATER VOTED PROVINCE'S TOP FESTIVAL " THE FESTIVAL NOW OFFERS FOUR STAGES, WITH LOCAL MUSICIANS JOINING OTHERS FROM ACROSS MANITOBA TO PERFORM FOR APPRECIATIVE AUDIENCES. THIS YEAR'S LINEUP INCLUDES A SELECTION OF ROCK, FOLK, ROOTS, BLUES, COUNTRY AND MORE. W e beat out the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Dauphin's Countryfest and Minnedosa's Rockin' the Fields in the final round of voting," says Fire and Water Festival marketing director Cyndie Mitchell. "It's pretty exciting for us." This community-based festi- val began 10 years ago. Mitchell says founder Sheldon Sveinson proposed it as a tourist attraction for the town. "He likes big ideas to get people into Lac du Bonnet," she says. It grew steadily over the years. In 2015, about 10,000 people at- tended, with just under 1,000 pay- ing admission to the music stages. The festival now offers four stages, with local musicians joining others from across Manitoba to perform for appreciative audi- ences. This year's lineup includes a selection of rock, folk, roots, blues, country and more. "We want to bring in a variety of music. Things that are going to wow people," Mitchell says. Winnipeg's John Janzen and sons Simon, 15, on bass and drums, and Mick, 11 on mandolin, are looking forward to performing for the third time at Fire and Water. Janzen says he first heard about the festival from a fellow musi- cian who lives in Edmonton. After the first year onstage, he was impressed by the music and other festival activities, such as a night- time fire dance. "One of the main things I like is that the size of the festival is just right," Janzen says. "We like the local music." Mitchell says a large part of the festival is free, including a children's area with live perform- ers, face painting, games and large sand piles salted with buried "treasure" for little ones to uncover. She's anticipating that about 200 pieces of artwork, ranging from photographs to paintings to quilts created by artists and crafters in the Eastman region and other parts of the province, will be displayed in The Artwave Judged Art Exhib- ition. While the show isn't juried, prizes are awarded for the people's choice and the artistic director's selection of best in show. The Artisan Square Craft Sale and Trade Show is being organized by local resident Pamela Habing. With a variety of handcrafted items such as jewelry, art glass and decorative wooden signs, as well as vendors selling a selection of commercially- produced goods, Habing promises there will be plenty to choose from for festival shoppers. "I'm really proud of the diversity of our vendors," she says. The sale and show will run on Saturday, July 30 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, July 31 from noon-4 p.m. Local producers are also selling fresh fruit, vegetables and other items at a farmers' market. Habing says this is her second year as vendor coordinator, and her fourth year attending after her sister, who also volunteers, intro- duced her to the festival. "I was hooked," she says. "I loved it." Mitchell's daughter Skylor, 17, is also one of this year's main organizers, taking on the role of volunteer co-coordinator. She says about 150 volunteers are needed, and applications are starting to come in. Skylor also acts as the festival photographer, a job she really enjoys. "I get to go around and see all the activities and take photos. It's lots of fun." She says watching the children play and dance to music shows her the true spirit of the event. "It's got a real family-friendly feel." Skylor, her mom, Habing and the other organizers invite everyone to join the fun. "You will catch the bug and fall in love with the festival," Cyndie Mitchell promises. Weekend passes cost $60 for adults and $30 for youth. Friday night tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youth, with all-day passes for Saturday and Sunday each running $25 for adults and $12.50 for youth. Unserviced camping spots are located adjacent to the festival site, which is about a five-minute walk from Lac du Bonnet's downtown. For more information on the 2016 festival, see RESIDENTS OF LAC DU BONNET CAN BOAST ABOUT HOSTING ONE OF THIS PROVINCE'S BEST SUMMER FESTIVALS. THE ANNUAL FIRE AND WATER FESTIVAL, COMING UP JULY 29-31, WAS VOTED MANITOBA'S BEST SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL EARLIER THIS YEAR IN TRAVEL MANITOBA'S FESTIVAL MADNESS ONLINE POLL. MITCHELL SAYS A LARGE PART OF THE FESTIVAL IS FREE, INCLUDING A CHILDREN'S AREA WITH LIVE PERFORMERS, FACE PAINTING, GAMES AND LARGE SAND PILES SALTED WITH BURIED "TREASURE" FOR LITTLE ONES TO UNCOVER. Performers include Chicken-like Birds, Danny Michel, and Brock Zeman. OF THE THE BY ANDREA GEARY I L E D E S C H Ê N E S WILDLIFE HOSPITAL underway despite funding shortfall PG 2 S T E I N B A C H LOCAL CULTURE is focus at Main Bread & Butter PG 4 S T E I N B A C H STONE CREEK WESTERN SHOP is worth the ride PG 6 W H I T E S H E L L METEOR FEST is just one reason to celebrate in Whiteshell PG 7 S T - P I E R R E - J O L Y S FROG FOLLIES 47th Annual Frog Follies & Agricultural Fair PG 8

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