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Mattawa ready to rock the town with annual Voyageur Days festival


The Town of Mattawa, east of North Bay, is getting ready to rock the weekend for its 24th annual Voyageur Days weekend-long celebration.

Voyageur Days features a variety games and activities for families and children to enjoy throughout the downtown -- including a rock climbing wall. (Eric Taschner/CTV News Northern Ontario)The festival is filled with games and activities in the day, and in the night, fierce Canadian concerts take centre stage. The event began Friday and runs until Sunday evening.

"We just got here with some friends and we're going to explore the town and maybe do some swimming later,” said Vincent Lavoie, who was excited for Voyageur Days celebrations.


Voyageur Days attracts over 4,000 people from across the province to the small northeastern Ontario town of nearly 2,000 people.

“We are seeing family who are coming to visit. It brings the community together,” explained Mattawa resident Elizabeth Bungay.

“The spirit is up and we show them where the two rivers meet."

Every summer since 1998, this festival of local heritage sets the Laurentian Mountains and two rivers: Ottawa River and Mattawa River as its backdrop.

“It's not everyday you see your population double or triple,” said Mattawa Mayor Raymond Belanger.

“It creates foot traffic and everyone is wearing a smile."

Spread throughout the downtown, there are different games and activities for families and children to enjoy and participate in: from rock climbing, a mini midway, axe throwing and other carnival games, vendors and live music.

"We checked out some of the vendors, said Mattawa resident Destiny Sloan.

“It’s my favourite time of the year. Everybody comes from all over to this little town.”

The festival is run by the municipality. Back in February, Belanger admits the town was 'behind the eight ball' when it came to organizing everything together due to the most recent town election.

Town council formed a special organizing committee who have been busy since preparing for the days.

“It's a huge boost for the town especially for all of the local businesses which in Mattawa is all local small business,” said festival organizer Alana Malcolm.

“We really like to have them showcased."

The main parts of the festival the evening concerts here at the stage with an all Canadian line-up each night. Friday brought in crowd sizes of up to 3,000 people to enjoy the music. Malcolm said he expects Saturday night to be incredibly busy.

“We have Roadhouse, a local band, an AC/DC tribute band called Who Made Who and closing the night is Trooper,” she said.

“We also a special band called Children of Metal, a local band playing later tonight."

As the stage gets set for a loud weekend bash.

"Happy Mattawa Voyageur Days," said Abigail Dupras, who came from North Bay.

Daytime activities are free. The concert grounds at Explorer’s Point Park, behind the Mattawa Museum, open at 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

For people who purchased wristbands in advance, you can pick them up at Mattawa’s Information Centre at 401 Pine St. from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For a full list of events, the Sunday concert lineup and for ticket pricing, check out the Voyageur Days website. Top Stories

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