Forest festival is back with a bang
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | April 13, 2017
After being cancelled last summer, the Forest Festival is back for its 10th year with some high-caliber Canadian talent.
“We’re really, really thrilled with our lineup,” said festival manager Lesley English.
Every summer, prior to 2016, the festival’s taken place at the Bone Lake Amphitheatre and the Logging Museum, both owned by the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve. But in February last year, a judge ordered the Forest to demolish several buildings, including the museum, because building permits were not obtained. The Forest pulled the plug on the festival in March, shortly after a heated public meeting between owner Peter Schleifenbaum and Dysart council.
Since then, the municipality has reached an agreement with Forest management and given them a chance to bring the buildings up to code. A team of engineers and architects was assembled to take on the project. It’s been a long process, but it appears an end is in sight.
“We’re looking forward to hosting the Forest Festival again in 2017,” said general manager Malcolm Cockwell. “We were provided with a building permit for the Logging Museum and have nearly completed the remedial work. Once the building permit is closed, we will proceed with applying for mass assembly approvals for the building.”
Cockwell can’t confirm the timeline but is grateful for the support of Dan Sayers, Dysart’s former chief building official (CBO), over the past year and said they’re looking forward to working with the new CBO Karl Korpela.
This five-day festival will take place Aug. 16-20, kicking off with Buffy Sainte-Marie, a Canadian legend who is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and an officer of the Order of Canada. Annie Sumi will open for her.
Other artists include: Jimmy Rankin of The Rankin Family, Stuart Laughton’s Radio Dial, the Alison Young Quartet, Angel Forrest, The O’Pears, and The Jim Cuddy Trio.
“We try to open and close the festival with a bang,” said English.
English and Laughton, who is also the artistic director in addition to a performer, began discussing the lineup in January. They started with a list of about 100 acts.
Tickets go on sale today (April 13). For more information or to buy tickets, visit theforestfestival.com.
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.