The fifth annual August festival will be held from July 31 to August 3 in Chibougamau. This prestigious festival is open to northern artists and amateur musical bands that perform in front of roughly 2,000 spectators a day for the four-day event.
Artisans and performers come from all over the north in places like Inukjuak, Kuujuak, Lac Simon, Chisasibi, Ouje-Bougoumou, Mistissini, Waswanipi, Montreal, Chapais, and of course from Chibougamau.
There is a large representation of native people in this year’s festival. About half of the 75 participants are aboriginal.
One of the highlights of the festival is the pyro-musical show. Special pyrotechnic effects explode onto Lake Gilman while accompanied by a musical interlude. This popular show attracts about 5,000 people, and is the official closing of the festival.
The bands that are participating in this year’s event are a very eclectic mix. Québécois rock, punk, country, and hard rock are just some of the genres of music one can expect to hear.
One of the most popular days of the festival is kids day. This entails a number of fun activities, including 10 inflatable structures for the kids to play on. Kids day is always a great success, and is a unique opportunity for children of all races to have fun and get to know other kids whom they might not get a chance to interact with in everyday life.
The main attraction is a show done by les Clowns du carousel. Suited for the whole family, this professional troupe promises good, clean fun for the whole family.
A focus of this event is to try to break down negative stereotypes. There are very few festivals that bring together natives and non-natives like the August festival.
Chantale Bouchard, the person responsible for recreation and leisure, knew that Chibougamau needed something like this. “I saw these festivals all over, and wondered why there wasn’t a festival like that in Chibougamau,” she said. “There was nothing in Northern Quebec like that.” Bouchard credits her boss, Luc Mongeau with showing tremendous support for the project in the early going. “We decided to try it one summer, so I asked the Transport minister to close the road, and it was a huge success. It’s a chance for the young people to perform on stage, in front of an audience, with professional equipment, because otherwise they might not get the opportunity to experience that.”
“It was also a great chance to have a cultural event on display, which is another thing lacking in the north.”
Additional sponsors are always welcome and are sorely needed to insure the festival’s growth, year after year. Adding more artists and performers as well as expanding the festival from 4 to 5 days is something that Bouchard is striving for in the near future.
There is no entry fee for anyone wishing to perform or display their work. Financial aid is possible to help defray travel costs. There are limited spaces, so those wishing to be involved should contact Chantale Bouchard no later than the last week of June at the number below. Chantale Bouchard Adjointe, service des loisirs
Tel: 418-748-7195 Fax: 418-748-2980