There’s little doubt that we could all use a real pick-me-up right now—a good dose of positivity and as well as a chance to get together and celebrate something special. And enjoy some live music, of course.
That’s exactly what the Summer Solstice Festival North (SSFN) aims to do.
One of the highlights of the inaugural festival includes a COVID-safe drive-in event unlike any other to mark the Summer Solstice and National Indigenous Peoples Day: an epic 2.5-hour musical program and drone show featuring a range of incredible Indigenous artists—all streamed live from SSIF in Ottawa.
A perfect time to reconnect after a year of isolation
“We’ve all missed out on so much in the past year or so,” says Leni Brem, director of operations for ITO. “Summer Solstice Festival North is our chance to take back some of what we’ve lost and have a real celebration in a safe and unique way.”
2021 also marks the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrating the heritage, cultures, and achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, making it the perfect time for the first SSFN event.
drive up, tune in, and enjoy the show
The drive-in show features a live-stream of Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival's Celebration Stage with performances by Kanen, Logan Staats, Mamarudegyal Mthc, Morgan Toney, Shawnee Kish, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, and The North Sound. Audio is accessed through your own car radio, and snacks are available for purchase from Hiawatha's Catering.
For the grand finale, viewers will enjoy a cutting-edge, choreographed drone light show by North Star Drone Shows to highlight Indigenous cultures in a way that’s never been done before. 200 drones will light up the night sky to tell an original First Nation story about the Summer Solstice by Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation member, Herbie Barnes. Think of a fireworks show set to music—only instead of pyrotechnics, it's high-tech drones flying through the air. “A drone show is really something you have to experience firsthand to understand how incredible it is,” affirms Brem.
The drive-in format—each vehicle will be socially distanced from the next—ensures the safety of attendees, while still providing the communal connection we’ve been sorely lacking as we experience the event and celebrate together.
open to everyone in the community
Since people in Ontario are still encouraged to “staycation” this summer, SSFN offers a wonderful opportunity for local communities to explore what’s in their own backyard.
"There’s real optimism now that tourism will return, and we’re laying the groundwork for SSFN to become an exciting destination event," says Brem. "In the meantime, residents can discover more of their local spaces and businesses.”
This year’s SSFN will be the start of an annual tradition featuring a “travelling” Northern event in partnership with Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival as the anchor event in Ottawa. Every year, SSFN will take place in a different venue in Northern Ontario—so if you happen to miss out this year there's always SSFN 2022 to look forward to.
more details about Summer Solstice Festival North
When: Saturday, June 19th, 2021; 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., just ahead of National Indigenous Peoples Day
Where: Flat Rock Entertainment Complex in Little Current, Ontario (venue for the annual Manitoulin Country Fest)
The safety of all visitors and Manitoulin Island residents will be of utmost importance. SSFN will strictly adhere to all COVID-19 safety and public health protocols that are in place on the day of the event.