Folklore – Get Set to Travel the World in 48 Hours

The Thunder Bay Folklore Festival gets under way at Fort William Gardens in May
The Thunder Bay Folklore Festival gets under way at Fort William Gardens in May

Dancing on the main stage at Folklore during the opening ceremonies - Photo by Mackenzie
Dancing on the main stage at Folklore during the opening ceremonies – Photo by Mackenzie

THUNDER BAY – Folklore Festival 2017 is just around the corner. This year’s Folklore Festival promises to be a HOT one. From the grace of our First Nations Dancers, the new Syrian dancers, the heat of Panamania Latin Street Dancing, the resounding sounds of the Kaminari Wan Taiko Japanese Drummers, the return of our Thai Dancer , the high flying Ukrainian dancers, the Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay, the Le Stelle Alpine Italian Dancers, the beauty of Scottish Highland dancers, Flamenco dancers, and the Kiikurit Finnish Folk Dancers are just a few of the incredibly talented artists that will grace the Folklore stage.

Munzeroy doesn't miss a beat dancing while sharing his culture.
Munzeroy doesn’t miss a beat dancing while sharing his culture.

Enjoy tantalizing international foods, wines & beers, and Feast on Mexican, Columbian, Argentinian, Caribbean, Indian, and Mediterranean foods.

Try Filipino shiskababs, Ukrainian pyrohy, Portuguese, Lebanese, Burmese cuisine, and traditional favourites from the Aboriginal Arts & Heritage of Thunder Bay (The Bannock Lady).

Welcome back our Finnish Booth and so much more. Top this off with a glass of imported Italian wine, a Red Stripe beer or an Espresso.  Visit the exhibits and “shop-the-world” booths surrounding the Main Stage, the local visual artists on site, and enjoy a superb Children’s area packed with FREE activities including the Children’ s Inflatable, courtesy of Tbaytel.

Carribean Chicken at the Folklore Festival
Carribean Chicken at the Folklore Festival

Let’s get HOT!!  Saturday Night our Feature Entertainers, the very popular band, “21 Gun Fun” will heat up the Folk.lore Stage. Dance, rock & enjoy Music from Canada & Around the World as Folklore Festival celebrates Canada 150! Remember the Food Court with International Beers and Wines is open until 11pm.

“Travel the World in 48 Hours” at the 44th Folklore Festival 2017, May 6th and May 7th at the Fort William Gardens in Thunder Bay, Ontario presented by the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association. Tantalizing international foods, incredible entertainment , “shop-the-world” booths, exhibits, an activity-packed Children’s Area, and local artists on site await you.

The Region’s most colourful event of the year will take visitors on a “Trip Around the World” in two fun-filled days allowing them to experience the magnificent sights, sounds and flavours which the various ethno-cultural and Indigneous communities share with all of us.

The Festival showcases the diverse cultural heritage of Thunder Bay.

More than 20 regions of the world are represented by no less than 40 different ethnocultural and Aboriginal groups. Arriving visitors are greeted by Goodwill Ambassadors in traditional costumes and the majestic fanfare of flags of the World waving above the arena, leading to our Folklore Festival main stage, the largest in Thunder Bay, where culture and traditions will be brought to life in full and intricate colour and excitement. Imagine the spectacle as the Thunder Bay Chinese-Canadian Association opens the Festival with its traditional Lion Dance.

In the hours and days that follow, many hearts will be stolen during performances by junior groups like the little Le Stelle Alpine Italian  Dancers, and Morgan’s School of Highland Dancing.  The richness of our First Nations people will be shared with visitors through impressive and meaningful dances.

You are sure to feel the rejuvenation of your own youth as you enjoy the presentations by the Chaban, and Zorya Ukrainian Dance companies, the Celtic Rhythms Irish Dancers, the Filipino performers, the  new  Syrian  dancers,  and the  heat of Panamania  Latin Street  Dancing.   The beauty of the Middle  Eastern Belly Dancers, India Canada performers, and the Kiikurit Finnish Folk Dancers will enchant visitors. You will marvel at the resounding sounds of The Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay, and the traditional Japanese Drummers, “Kaminari Wan Taiko”. The World Dance Collective will take us on a dancing journey around the world and these are only SOME of the incredible entertainers who will grace the Festival Stage.

Displays and exhibits circle the stage and surrounding areas allowing visitors to “shop the World” and see traditions come alive as they view costumes, artifacts, video displays, visual artists working on site, and meet the people who proudly share Canada’s heritages. Local artists including Kevin Belmore, young artists from Neechee Studio, to name a few, will share their works of art, and exhibitors will have treasures from Africa, India, Ecuador , Thailand and beyond for visitors to purchase and take home.

Tantalizing aromas call visitors to the Curling Club where the temptations of Filipino shiskababs, Indian curries, Ukrainian pyrohy, Italian favourites and the returning Finnish Booth await you.  Feast on Mexican, Columbian, Argentinian, Carib bean, and Mediterranean foods. Try Portuguese, Lebanese, French, and Burmese cuisine,just a few of the many culinary delights visitors can savour in the Food Booth area. Traditional favourites from The Aboriginal Arts & Heritage of Thunder Bay (The Bannock Lady) and Thunder Bay Chinese-Canadian Association can be topped off with a glass of imported Italian wine, a Red Stripe beer, an Espresso, or a host of international favourites. There is just time enough to gather together your exotic feast before heading back to the main stage area to experience the amazing leaps of the Ukrainian dance ensembles, the incredible talents of entertainers of all ages and the wonder that is Folklore Festival.

Our Saturday night Feature Entertainers “21 Gun Fun” will heat up the Folklore stage with HOT music from Canada and around the world in true Canada 150 spirit. Dance, rock, enjoy this great versatile band! Why not try International ” Dinner and Dancing ” for the best prices in town (the Food Court with International Beers and Wines is open until 11pm).

Canada’ s wealth lies in the richness that our Aboriginal and ethnic communities bring to our country. The traditions, the dances, the songs, the foods have made the Canadian mosaic a treasure, which will long endure. The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association warmly and proudly invites everyone to be part of this Annual Canadian multicultural celebration.

Festival hours are Saturday, 12 noon to 11 pm and Sunday 12 noon to 7 pm. The Festival is fully accessible. A Pre­ Festival display will be at Intercity Shopping Mall April 21-23 with the Folklore Festival Press Conference.

Entertainment held on Saturday April 22 at 1:30pm also at Intercity. Programs including the Sponsors, Entertainment Schedule, Food and Exhibit Booths will be distributed.

Our website www.folklorefestival.ca operates year round promoting the Festival and our Sponsors. Opening Ceremonies, with our “Parade of Nations”, dignitaries , the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association Board of Directors , and Sponsors, will be held at 2 pm Saturday May 6th on the Main Stage.

More than 1,000 volunteers assist in planning, and preparing the site decorations, stage, food and exhibit booths, the Children’s Area, promotion and organization. Because of these special people,

Festival visitors have the unique opportunity to experience this exquisite multicultural mosaic , the largest presentation in our Region.

Enter the free Draw for a “Stay-Cation courtesy of the Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre” to take place at the Closing Ceremonies. Come “Travel the World in 48 Hours” at this year’s Folklore Festival, May 6th and ?1h at the Fort William Gardens.