A new music festival in Thunder Bay this month is intended to support an ongoing Indigenous youth initiative called Wake the Giant, which intends to strengthen bonds, relationships and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Thunder Bay.
The Wake the Giant Music Festival will showcase Indigenous and non-Indigenous musicians from the local music scene and across Canada. Held Sept. 14 at the Thunder Bay waterfront, festival organizers are hoping the event will attract 4,000 attendees. Musical acts include Metric, Coleman Hell, Crown Lands, July Talk, Nick Ferrio, Wolf Saga, Ansley Simpson, Luke Warm and the Cold Ones, and the Battle Nation Drum Group.
The festival has received welcome support from the culinary community. On Sept. 12 at the Chanterelle, a collection of chefs will put on Feed the Giant, billed as an “interactive” food experience featuring locally produced foods and “Thunder Bay-centric” dishes. While the culinary aspect is impressive, the focus remains on the cause and, most importantly, the students of Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, many of whom are from remote Indigenous communities.
The first phase of the initiative was to place Wake the Giant decals and flags at participating organizations and businesses so Indigenous people know they are welcome there. Another aspect of the initiative teaches Indigenous students, who move to Thunder Bay for schooling, how to use the public transit system, navigate in the city and find the services they need.
For more information, visit: facebook.com/wakethegiant807.