The Western Manitoulin Folk’s Fair

The peoples of the First Nations living on Manitoulin Island in the mid 1800’s agreed to co-habit the island with the settlers. These early settlers were the pioneers as we know them, and by self-motivation were able to survive those harsh years by working together to establish themselves as a community. During the early times the farmers, fishermen, and bushworkers, along with their wives and children, lived harmoniously with the indigenous people of the Island. The communities supported each other in most endeavours, resulting in an increase in morale and business for the area. For a century or more, the people of this island have been known affectionately as “HAW-EATERS”, because of the wealth of hawberries that grew wild here, and eaten by settlers.

The program consists of 4 venues that take place at the same time during the event. The 4 Venues will be:





The Music is Bluegrass and Traditional Country, with an equal opportunity for Native performers to introduce their cultural traditions to the audience. The Arts and Crafts will encourage all ages to artistic self-expression. The Children’s Program shall be complete with all the attractions that our catalogue of professional performers can produce. The Food consists of locally-caught fresh fish and corn-on-the-cob that will be prepared by recipes common to the area. Locally-purchased produce will ensure all participating merchants will receive the benefit of business.

These events are complimented by workshops available to the visitor during the scheduled programming. The focus of this annual event is on the residents and relatives of Manitoulin Island, with an opportunity to meet people who live elsewhere, but who vacation here and even call Manitoulin their home away from home. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the wind up of the summer holiday: one last good time before school and work commence.

The controlled accessibility is established by having local off-season school buses act as a shuttlebus system running continuously to site. Due to the present situation with the lack of accommodations the visitors will have tenting and parking made available to them with the shuttle free to assist them to the festival site.

The future of this event will be determined by the success of each annual event and with the proper planning and control, we will be working towards future annual events as each year unfolds. So to paraphrase a message from a friend:

Music can heal wounds,
Music can give you strength.
Music makes our daily lives more meaningful.
Music may not be able to change the world,
But it can help us to make the attempt.
To give music the chance to calm,
Heal, inspire and energize us once again
And produce a program!

Working together, we will make sure that all the venues be more memorable for the visitor. By creating this event in a setting of paradise– the gentle presence of forest wildlife, brilliant sunshine, thickets of cedar, water so clear and blue, invigorating fresh air– audiences will wonder if they haven’t been changed by it all.

The process that we have learned as co-ordinators is that how well we succeed in making an event work is very much dependent on how well we are able to integrate with the communities for which it has been created.

By formally bringing these venues on-line, we will give to all who take part and believe an opportunity to fully enjoy
The 6th Annual Western Manitoulin Folk’s Fair.

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