8 | The Sudbury Star
F e STivalS
for local charities
For The Sudbury Star
all artistic forms
There’s something exciting happening
around every corner during Greater
Sudbury’s warmer months with festivals
celebrating everything from garlic to music.
Last August, the inaugural Up Here
(formerly Up Fest) drew more than 6,000
people to the downtown core to listen and
watch as 130 artists took to the streets,
alleyways and venues in wild abandon.
Up Here is part public art festival, part
emerging music festival, which culminates
into an all-night art crawl. Simply put, the
festival is about the “new,” says co-founder
Christian Pelletier. “New artists trying
brand new things, new murals coming to
life on old walls, new people discovering
downtown Sudbury under whole a new
light. I think that’s what people will come
to remember about Up Here: It’s where you
come to discover something new.”
The creative team behind the festival is
looking to build upon last year’s success
when the festival returns Aug. 11 to 14.
“This year, we’ll be growing on what
worked so well last year by adding more
late concerts in new venues, more murals
on new walls, more surprise shows in
back alleys, and tons more free events for
families and curious music lovers,” says
“All of We Live Up Here’s projects are
about reclaiming public space and we can’t
give away too many details just yet, but let’s
just say that if all goes according to plan,
we’ll be reclaiming public space in a really
big way this year with the help of some
pretty notable international muralists.”
While Pelletier was tight lipped on
headliners he revealed details about some
The Visit is a voice a cello duo from
Ottawa, which blends “classical chamber
music with the intricacy of Middle Eastern
music and the intensity of heavy metal,” he
Pelletier described their sound as “hymns
from an ancient dead religion.”
Also on the lineup is U.S. Girls, the band
would be making their Northern Ontario
debut. Also on tap is Canadian visual artist
Kirsten McCrea who, along with many
other muralists, will be transforming
downtown spaces into beautiful murals.
Pelletier said last year’s success can also
be attributed to 150 volunteers and the
involvement of more than 60 businesses
and organizations from mining companies
to coffee shops.
Volunteers really are the backbone of
any festival — no matter the focus of the
Brian Kolosky has volunteered with the
Greater Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival for
This year, it takes place July 16 on Ramsey
Lake. But after 16 years of racing, the boats
were in dire need of restoration.
The work is being done
at Rezplast Manufacturing
and includes a special
gel coat and fiberglass
reinforcement strip along
the bottom ridges.
“One of the boats
actually leaks and so the
idea is to fill the holes and
reinforce it so it doesn’t
wear through again,” says
After the facelift the
boats will be transported
to the new Northern
Water Sports Centre.
“For me, this is an opportunity to give
back to the community,” Kolosky says.
“I like the fact that the festival raises
money locally and it stays local.”
Since its inception, the festival has raised
$1.5 million for local causes.
The festival commits to support one
charity for a two-year term. Last year, it
raised $70,000 for the Sam Bruno PET Scan
“We’ll take whatever we can get,” Kolosky
says about the Dragon Boat Festival goal
this summer for the same charity.
Festivals not only provide great
entertainment, but, like the Dragon Boat
Festival, provide essential fundraising for
The annual Rotary Blues for Food helps
restock the shelves at the Sudbury Food
Bank. To get in, all you need is a nonperishable
food item or cash donation for
Melbourne Ska orchestra performed at
northern Lights Festival Boreal last year.
the food bank.
The 26th annual festival takes place June
11 on Durham Street and the municipal
parking lot on Larch Street in downtown.
It’s one of the few festivals in the city that
closes streets to traffic. Downtown Sudbury
Ribfest, held on the Labour Day weekend,
shuts down part of Elgin Street to host
professional rib teams, live music, food and
family entertainment. Ribfest also raises
money for the Canadian Red Cross Sudbury
For more food and merriment, attend
a cultural festival and not only enjoy
ethnic specialties, but be Greek, Italian or
Ukrainian for the day.
In July, there’s the Italian Festival at the
Caruso Club and Greek Festival at the
Hellenic Centre. In August, comes the
john Lappa The Sudbury Star
up here Festival team includes Miriam
Cusson, left, Sophie ducharme, jen
McKerral and Christian pelletier.
Canadian Garlic Festival at the Ukrainian
Let’s not forget painting the town blue
with the Greater Sudbury Blueberry
Festival. Celebrating its 31st anniversary,
this year’s festival takes place July 10 to 17.
A Greater Sudbury festival itinerary
wouldn’t be complete without the
Northern Lights Festival Boreal, Canada’s
longest continuous running music festival.
The 45th edition of the festival takes place
July 8 to 10 on the shores of Ramsey Lake.
The festival has announced some artists,
including Natalie McMaster and Donnell
Leahy, Union Duke, Kate Maki and Fred
The festival has grown and diversified
since the inaugural Northern Lights Folks
Festival was held in 1972, showcasing
acclaimed artists from Serena Ryder to
Stan Rogers and Buffy Ste. Marie. But the
lineup of indie, roots and world music isn’t
limited to the July festival — throughout
the year the festival hosts concerts and
a competition among northern artists to
snag a spot on stage. Francophone singer/
songwriter Martine Fortin, and the band
Collective Roots, won the 2016 Meltdown
Competition and a chance to perform at
See FEStiVaLS page 9