Trapping Conservation and Self-Reliance News

Beaverfest making its return this weekend (May 4th)
May 3, 2024 06:41 ET

[Reprinted from original]

After a several-year-long break, Beaverfest is back.

The annual festival put on by the Mattagami Fur Council is on Saturday, May 4, with music, games and a chance to learn more about what trappers do.

The first Beaverfest was held in Gogama in 1991 as a way for elders to educate youth and other community members about trapping and other traditional activities. This year's event is at the gymnasium and Mattagami Odamino Centre and rink in Mattagami First Nation.

“Mattagami has the resources for that,” said committee member Julie McKay. “This year we’re using our complex gymnasium along with our brand new arena rink.”

This is the first Beaverfest since COVID-19 limited gatherings four years ago.
The community is excited to have the festival back up and running, said Brandy DeBastos, another committee member.

"It's looking like it's going to be the biggest one since 2019," she said. "We want people to stay and watch the skinning demonstrations and the cultural elements as well."

She remembers attending Beaverfest as a child.

"We have grandchildren who were brought up with Beaverfest. I remember being part of it as a kid and how exciting it is," she said. "It's amazing to see the community together and celebrate what we are capable of doing."

Live music is also a big part of the event, starting at noon, with Timmins bands Coldwater, the Wednesday Nighters and Mattagami First Nation member Maggie Gignac with KiHS Mattagami high school teacher Ian Vaithilingam performing.

You can also expect a kids' zone, face painting, animals and other family activities.

One of the new activities this year is axe-throwing.

Organizers are expecting between 500 and 600 people to attend.

Shuffle services will be available from Mikes Restaurant in Timmins at 9:30 a.m., with a return trip at 6:30 p.m.

The event’s grand opening is at 11 a.m. and everyone is welcome.