Harmony in Matlock

Article appeared in the Sept.1,2011 issue of the Interlake Spectator…

The 2nd Annual Matlock Music, Art and Nature Festival took place on Aug. 27 and 28. Festival-goers enjoyed a double treat this year, with perfect sunny weather to compliment a wealth of shining talent.
Attendance was down somewhat from year one, but those who did make time to attend certainly had their pick of musical styles and could take in many wonderful workshops, celebrating creativity, nature, and wellness.
The festival opened with a Taiko drumming performance by phoebe Mann, who returned from last year. Other main stage acts included lovely harmonies by a singing group, calling themselves Lesbian Potluck. Established recording artist duo, Paul and Susan Hammer, swept the crowd up in their traditional Irish Music. Later in the day, Gimli’s 11-year-old Dane Bjornson sang and played acoustic guitar. He performed his own tribute song to Jack Layton, having been inspired by Layton’s letter to Canadians.
Pop, folk and even a “Space Punk” band, gave everyone a well-rounded musical experience. In all, 33 separate acts graced the main stage over the two-day festival.
Simultaneously, a range of workshops were offered at the Box Elder Acoustic Clearing and Tipi areas, from musical and drumming workshops, yoga-dance, belly dance, sacred circle dance, and singing, to Qi Gong/Chinese Medicine and Reflexology workshops, and others.
Further activities were offered at the kid’s areas, where children could learn how to hand-make paper, or create with clay and sand. Fun-filled workshops included a magic potion mixing station at which children gathered after collecting mundane items like sand, burrs, and berries, renaming them pixie dust, ogre eyes and the like. Beside them, Lori Frejek helped facilitate the making of Sailors Valentines out of shell and glass pieces.
Nature was also in the spotlight during the weekend of events. Charlie McPherson talked about the Breeding Bird Atlas project, and served as birding tour guide.
Judy Robertson of the Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre brought along a Red-tailed Hawk and Barn Owl to help raise awareness about the centre, located in Ile Des Chenes. The crowd was thrilled to have the close-up experience with these birds of prey.
The Matlock festival is a grassroots, non profit, community-based organization whose mission is to connect people and build community through art, music and nature, and to model sustainable and environmentally responsible practices. It takes place annually on a 45-acre property, accessible from Ash Ave. in Matlock
Eleven-year–old Dane Bjornson’s tribute song to Jack Layton:
“I met a man a couple years ago. He shook my hand and he smiled hello. He was born to serve his fellow man. Equality and justice across the land. The power of his words was his might. I hoped that he would win the fight.
(Chorus) And he said Love is better than anger, hope is better than fear, so let us keep on loving, let us keep on hoping, and we’ll change the world.
I saw this man a couple months ago, on a stage, a cheering crowd below. Social justice was his inspiration, uniting young and old across the nation. The power of his words had won the night. He promised he would continue to fight.
I saw this man a couple weeks ago. He wasn’t the same man I used to know. His message of hope for the nation to hear: Forget about hate, despair and fear.”
(Words and music by Dane Bjornson of Gimli)

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About Teresa

Teresa Carey is a ceramic artist, writer, photographer, journalist, publisher and nature lover. She lives in Manitoba's Interlake on a small acreage close to the shores of Lake Winnipeg.

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