Celebrate Summer Solstice Festival North with Indigenous Tourism Ontario

This drive-in, covid safe festival is taking place in Little Current, Ontario, and features live-streamed Indigenous artists and a drone show. All are welcome to celebrate the summer solstice at this all-ages event.

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. 

Brought to you by Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation (AOKFN) and Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) in collaboration with Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) in Ottawa, SSFN runs from June 17th to June 21st.

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. 

Click here to purchase tickets to the June 19th drive-in celebration at the Flat Rock Entertainment Complex in Little Current, Manitoulin Island.

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)

Cost: $25 per vehicle.
Snack boxes by Hiawatha's Catering are available as an add-on for $20 for 1 person and $35 for 2 people. 
Purchase tickets here.
Tickets are limited to ensure capacity meets safety requirements.

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. 

About Colleen Seto

As a longtime writer and editor, Colleen Seto pounds out prose for regional, national, and international publications such as Avenue Calgary, WestJetToday's Parent, and National Geographic Books. When not working, she enjoys life with her two kiddos and husband in beautiful Bragg Creek, Alberta.

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