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Mattawa council approves budget for Voyageur Days

Mattawa’s Voyageur Days Festival returns this year over the July 26 to 28 weekend to celebrate its 25th year or rocking where the rivers meet. Council has allocated an upset limit of $450,000 to support the event.

As far as this year’s bands go, those announcements are yet to come. However, council expects those details to be released by the Voyageur Days Committee in the upcoming weeks. However, as this is the 25th anniversary, the town wants to host “an event that promotes new and potentially bigger attractions.”

So explained Paul Laperriere, Mattawa’s Interim Chief Administrative Officer. “From a tourism perspective,” he added, “we want to have an event that promotes Mattawa’s heritage” while ensuring the town hosts events “for families with family activities.”

Also, the town wants those family events to be free.

Free family events, you say? Here are a few they are considering. How does Fun in the Sun at Timmins Park sound? Details are scant, but there could be a reptile show involved. A little more concrete is a jet ski show on the Mattawa River.

Also on the drawing board is a lumberjack competition, a car show along Timmins and Water Street, and possibly a dunk tank at Annie’s Park. Speaking of the park, Councillor Fern Levesque wants to ensure there is at least one rocking band set up there this summer, as the music is a great draw for the downtown.

“Let’s get some music out there so people want to come to the main street,” he said. As for the main stage bands, Levesque had opinions on that as well. “We need a change, I mean a real change,” not “remakes of all these ones we had in the past.”

See: Voyageur Days weekend a rockin’ success

Ideas for the event are flowing, and council and organizers also want to highlight local talent, by filling Sunday’s afternoon stage with regional talent.

Traditionally, Friday night is country music night, and Saturday is a little more rock and roll. The plan is for two shows on Friday – “we have a line on a few good acts,” Lapierre promised – and on Saturday, there is room for three bands.

No word yet on what the cost of admission will be this year, but more updates are coming to council at a future meeting. For more information, visit Mattawa Voyageur Days’ website at voyageurdays.ca.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca