Lac La Biche festivals blend traditions old and new

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From the midway to Metis heritage, event mixes up festival fun

The traditional Native and Métis Village at the Lac La Biche Pow Wow Days and Fish Derby
Photo courtesy Tourism Lac La Biche

BRYAN MEYERS

LAC LA BICHE, AB — The 53rd annual Lac La Biche Pow Wow Days and Fishing Derby is going to boldly go where the festival has never gone before — the Bold Center. Tweet This!

The idea is to keep all of the popular and traditional activities — from the parade, ball tournaments and talent show — but move some of them over to the Lac La Biche’s mutli-plex facility to make everything a little more accessible.

Pancake breakfasts set the stage for the festival fun, which happens July 31 to Aug. 2, every morning at Kingdom Village from 7 to 10 a.m. This gives athletes enough time to get fuelled up before the daily baseball tournament starts at 9 a.m.

The midway is always full of carnival games and food for all ages to enjoy.
Photo courtesy of Tourism Lac La Biche

Midway rides and Metis heritage

By noon the midway, the multicultural food fair, the bazaar and craft sale, and family bingo begins. But not before the annual Pow Wow Days Parade, a colourful event of First Nations dancing and singing. That’s followed by a demonstration of Lac La Biche’s forest fire-fighting water bombers over the lake at McArthur Park.

Wrapping up the day with the foot-tapping sounds of the Asham Stompers and Sagkeeng’s Finest. The Asham Stompers bring the Red River Jig to Lac La Biche. The jig is a traditional Metis dance developed in the 1700s. Founded in 2002, the Asham Stompers share their traditional dance to preserve their rich Metis heritage.

From the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba, the trio of teens, which make up Sagkeeng’s Finest, Dallas Courchene, Brandon Courchene, and Vince O’Laney, entertain crowds with their unique blend of traditional Metis jigging and contemporary dance. The group took the top spot on Canada’s Got Talent in 2012 and beating out 11 other Canadian acts.

Strong guys and singers

Saturday, festival-goers can test their physical fitness, with a duathlon (run-bike-run), Kamel Moghrabi strong man competition, and paddle-boarding demonstration. The annual Pow Wow Days talent show gives local singers a place to shine from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Bold Center.


Take it to the lake this summer. Paddleboards, wakeboards, kayaks, you can do it all in the Lac La Biche and Bonnyville regions!

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The end of the day means it’s time for the festival to offer the grown-ups a night of music and dancing at the Bold Center with David ‘Jukebox’ Leigh and Lac La Biche rising stars, The Traumahawks.

Jukebox Leigh, comes by his moniker honestly; he’s made a career of playing in a country cover band and has the chops to perform any Top 40 hit you can think of.

Originally formed as a metal band in 2011, The Traumahawks brings an eclectic mix of metal-infused covers from all over the musical spectrum.

Fishing and fireworks

The early bird literally gets the worm on Sunday at for the Family Fun Fish Derby, a catch-and-release competition on Beaver Lake. From 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The second part of the talent show carries on with the jigging and fiddling contestants at the Bold Center, followed by fishing derby awards and an evening jam session with local artists, Homemade Jam.

The festival wouldn’t be complete without the ooh-ing and aah-ing over the colourful fireworks display on Sunday night.

More info

More information about Lac La Biche’s Pow Wow Days is available at http://www.llbpowwowandfishderby.com.

Read our FestivalSeekers overview for more details on the festival events.

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