The Festival of Friends is hosting a one-day celebration of Indigenous arts as part of its three-day festivities, with the goal of putting a spotlight on First Nations vendors, makers, and musicians.
The celebration kicks off Saturday, July 30th at Noon with a performance from The Dwayne LaForme Blues Band, a member of Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit reserves. From there, the bandshell will feature more First Nations talent with performances from roots singer Mimi O’Bonsawin; Billboard Top 40 artist Jace Martin, singer-songwriter James Wilson, and blues virtuoso Keith Silver. The programming will be capped off with a performance by award-winning hip-hop pair the Snotty Nose Rez Kids at 8:00pm on the main stage.
The celebration will also feature a one-day market of Indigenous makers, in addition to the 100+ vendors at the 3-day event. To include as many Indigenous vendors as possible, the Festival of Friends is offering free vendors spots to all vendors with an Indigenous background. Those looking to participate, as asked to visit the festival’s website.
“We are one of Canada’s largest festivals, with tens of thousands of attendees every day. I’m thrilled that we get to introduce Hamilton and the rest of Southern Ontario to some of the amazing Indigenous talent that’s right in our own backyard,” noted Robert Rakoczy, General Manager.
The Festival of Friends also released its daytime lineup for the weekend, which features all-star Hamilton jam band, Golden Feather; as well as Hamilton’s biggest country music group, The Redhill Valleys, who will be performing songs from their critically acclaimed new EP, “Travel Well.” Local stalwarts Chris Chambers, Melissa Marchese, and Alfie Smith will also perform, in addition to the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Brass Quintet.
The 46th Festival of Friends also features headline performances from Serena Ryder, Gord Bamford, Monster Truck, and George Canyon.