Lakehead Festival of Music and Arts Gala
By Noel Jones
When someone asks you to name a few things that are synonymous with this city, there are a few things that instantly come to mind. There are persians, Lakehead University, and of course, the region’s most notable landmark, the Sleeping Giant. The Lakehead Festival of Music and Art may not be as well known, but could be mentioned along with the other three based on how long the event has been running. Although the 2018 edition of the festival has come to a finish, the public are able to see the best aspects of the festival as part of the gala this month.
Coordinator Dawn Sebesta explains that the festival, which has been around for 90 years, includes four days of dance competition and seven days of instrumental acts, run simultaneously. “The dance is huge,” she says. “We have over 800 numbers [and it has] been around, I would say, at least over 30 years for sure.” As for the instrumental portion, Sebesta says it has vocal, piano, strings, some percussion, and guitar. “It involves anything that’s instrumental,” she says, adding that “the instrumental [component] is really the only thing that these kids in Thunder Bay can actually compete [in] that’s local.” This is reflected in the 700-plus acts that participated in this year’s festival.
After the competition ends, the awards and scholarships are awarded to the participants at a gala, where the top 22 acts get one more opportunity to showcase their skills before they are rewarded for their hard work and commitment to the arts.
Thunder Bay Community Auditorium
May 16, 7 pm