Huntsville Announces Free Concert For Indigenous Peoples Day

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Graphic courtesy of the Town of Huntsville

The Town of Huntsville has announced a free public concert in River Mill Park for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, which marks the longest day of the year and the start of summer in Muskoka.

Thanks to funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Juno award-winning musical group Digging Roots, made up of Raven Kanatakta, ShoShona Kish and their band, will perform a range of musical styles from folk and rock to blues and hip hop. The free concert is suitable for all ages and everyone is welcome. John Rice, Zahgausgai/Mukwa, 3rd Degree Midewiwin will act as the Master of Ceremonies. Wasauksing’s Little Spirit Singers led by Deina Bomberry will perform at 6:30 pm followed by Digging Roots on stage from 7 to 8 p.m. at River Mill Park, located in Downtown Huntsville on Dara Howell Way.

“I have a lot to learn about original people and perspectives,” said Teri Souter, the town’s manager of Arts, Culture and Heritage. “I hope that everyone will come out and enjoy this opportunity to experience a little bit of Indigenous cultures presented by current performers.”

Digging Roots won the Canadian Aboriginal Award for best group in 2007 and Kish recently won the Spirit of Folk Award at the International Folk Music Awards. Kish also became the first artist in Canada to receive the WOMEX Professional Excellence Award in April 2019.

River Mill Park will not be licensed for alcohol or cannabis consumption and there will be no vendors in the park for the event. Concert attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic, a blanket or a folding chair, and to dress for the outdoors. Organizers hope that people will “pack it in and pack it out” to create a zero-waste event. Guests are welcome to get food and beverage from area restaurants, or bring their own.

“We are hoping for an excellent outdoor community celebration,” Souter said, “and we are prepared with a rain location (Algonquin Theatre, doors open at 6pm, capacity 400), if needed.”

The town wants to thank the Department of Canadian Heritage for their investment as well as volunteers from the Huntsville Festival of the Arts and staff from the Algonquin Theatre for their assistance in organizing the concert.

For more information, visit the Town of Huntsville website or contact teri.souter@huntsville.ca.

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