Mattawa’s Voyageur Days is well-known for bringing the rock and rolling out the country for music fans of all ages. Another popular attraction over the weekend-long event are the helicopter rides offered by Helicopters Canada, and this year those rides will be launching from another site—the Mattawa Airport.
Over the years, festival organizers have hosted the rides at the Lions Den, within a small park area on Ottawa Street. There are also a lot of houses in the area, and after awhile, the sound of helicopter blades can get a little old.
Renee Paquette, the town’s recreation director, mentioned some “folks who live around there” would appreciate a little peace and a reprieve from the helicopter landing and taking off throughout the day. One resident recently mentioned to Paquette that “it’s been almost 20 years you’ve been running these here, and if you could potentially move them, that would be great.”
After all, those residents along Brook and Ottawa streets want to “enjoy Voyageur Days” too.
See: Mattawa is ready to party! Voyageur Days return
Those residents can rest assured there will not be another year to contend with, as Paquette and other members of the planning committee have heeded the call and worked out a plan that should please both residents and helicopter riders alike.
The solution is the Mattawa Airport. For some, this location is a well-kept secret within the town, but Voyageur Days has been hosting an event there called Discover Aviation for some time. Discover Aviation brings in some small planes and lets people—kids especially—have a look at the machines in hopes of inspiring a love of the skies.
Youth can register for this year’s program, designed “for first time flyers between the ages of eight and 17,” Paquette said.
It all takes place at the Mattawa Airport, located on Earls Lake Road. The airport is more of a landing strip and is privately owned and on private property. However, the owners have been very generous with the town, and allow it to be used for Discover Aviation during Voyageur Days.
And now the helicopter rides will be there as well. The location change shouldn’t be too inconvenient, as it’s only about a five-minute drive from town, and Ottawa Street residents can have a quieter Voyageur Days weekend at last.
“We’re really appreciative” of the Mattawa Airport owners, Paquette said. “Everyone has been so kind for Voyageur Days, so ready to help, and everyone wants to see the festival back.”
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