by Bonnie Kogos

As opposed to everybody being so busy in the daytime! Here’s a list of Cultural and Fun Actitivities For the Visitor and Native As Well.

Fishing, sailing, shopping, shopping, relaxing, hiking, biking and eating ice creams are the popular activites we adore on Manitoulin. But night time activities are less well-known. Some people consider them a well-kept secret, but Shelley Pearen, an Island Event Expert, is happy to share these secrets with me. And you!

Summer theatre can be a perfect evening outing and here are several intriguing possibilities: First of Shelley’s annual list is anything by the internationally famous De-Ba-Jeh-Mu-Jig Theatre Group. Even people who NEVER go to theatrical productions will enjoy seeing SKY, a native cross-cultural drama, which combines Ojibwe, Inuit and Salish native actors in a blend of modern and traditional dance and music. This production is held in the ruins of the former Holy Cross Mission School in Wikwimmekong. Campfires billow smoke, actors appear magically between the stones, and colorful native costumes capture the sight of young and old. The relationship between native traditional culture and their present identity in an electronic world is explored. And it’s fun! SKY runs nightly at 8PM until August 3rd.

PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE INDIANS is their second production in Manitowaning at the historic Burns Wharf Theatre, and shows from July 23 to August 9th. This production revolves around a pair of Indian statues who are visited by spirits. For booking, call 705-859-3560.

The Gore Bay Summer Theatre is showing THE AFFECTIONS OF MAY at their Community Centre. This romantic comedy revolves around May who, in an attempt to save her marriage, moves to the country. She’s soon abandoned by her husband but courted by two local men. MAY runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8PM until July 31, and Dylon Whyte, publisher of the new e-mail info Manitoulin Gazette, has one of the leads. For booking, call 1-800-529-5518.

Talking with Shelley by phone, she reminds me we first met six years ago, sitting next to each other, laughing and crying over Shirley Cheechoo’s powerful performance in PATH WITH NO MOCASSIONS in West Bay. “Bon, we shared the Kleenex, just sitting next to each other… After the play, you mentioned that you wanted to meet the scholarly author Shelley Pearen, who you thought was an 80 year old Auntie in Honora Bay… That was me!” “And you look like my younger sister!”

There are two more outings worthy of mention. In Kagawong, July 25th, the day is filled with activities followed by a fine Cold Turkey Dinner from 5 to 7 and in the Park Centre, a neat Magic Show by Christopher and a saxaphone duo featuring music from Beach to the Beetles. And outside, followed by Fireworks.

Please note– in Gore Bay, the Rotary Club’s Poker Rally at 10AM and Fish Fry this same day promises a novel way to explore Manitoulin. Shelley Pearen, who never tires of exploring Manitoulin, explains that participants collect poker cards at sites around the island, returning by 5PM for $800 in prizes. Rotary Club’s President Lutz Hermann says the proceeds go to Easter Seals and the Polio Plus Program. And don’t eat all day, to save up for the Manitoulin White Fish, corn, baked potato and ice cream Dinner for only $10 a plate. Yum! You’ll find her engrossing book, EXPLORING MANITOULIN, the 3rd edition, in Gore Bay at a wonderful gift and home boutique called AMPLE PLEASURES, down by the docks.

–Bonnie Kogos, Our Travel Editor, will soon be up on Manitoulin to sit on the Kagawong dock quietly, and continue her writing.

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