Country Day: Honouring the Hip and Indigenous People

Now that Canada Day is over, it’s time to look forward to the another big blockbuster summer event: Country Day.

Not familiar? You’re gonna want to be.

Country Day: An Indigenous and Tragically Hip Inspired Event is set for July 12 at Hayloft Dancehall, just down the road to Sandbanks Provincial Park (which makes it a perfect destination for a weekend camp-out).

This is the latest installment of the FamilyBand events, started by Jeremy Hoyle of Buffalo’s Strictly Hip and Rob Ferreira, formerly of the #CourageforGord events and now working with the Downie Wenjack Foundation to help raise money towards educational efforts in keeping with Gord Downie’s urge that Canada “do something” toward reconciliation with First Nations peoples.

“FamilyBand Benefit Concerts is about using music to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous together, all in the spirit of reconciliation,” Ferreira said.

As such, the music performed that evening under the stars will feature music from both camps.

“We’re honoured to have our night kicked off by My Friend the Moon (Jordan Mowat), a Mississauga Ojibwe from Alderville First Nation,” Ferreira said. “Jordan is a Round Dance song composer and an acoustic singer-songwriter. We also have Logan Staats from Six Nations Reserve, a multi-nominated and an award-winning artist.”

Staats just won a round of CTV’s The Launch as well, a show that gives Canadian artists the chance to impress music industry reps. He was mentored by none other than Shania Twain.

Ending the night, as always, will be Strictly Hip. The relationship formed between Ferreira and Hoyle in 2016 during the Hip’s final tour and Downie’s subsequent Secret Path projects has continued to work diligently and respectfully, sharing the Hip’s music while shining a light on reconciliation and what that truly looks like as both Canada and the United States try to repair civil and national injustices inflicted on the nations’ original residents.

Of course, there’s more than just music to enjoy.

There will be Indigenous arts and crafts on display prior to the concert, along with the ever-popular raffles to benefit both the Downie Wenjack Fund and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.

The whole event starts with a traditional opening prayer, ceremony and land acknowledgment from Bear Standing Tall (Jason Carter), a Nehiyaw from the Onion Lake Cree Nation of Sasketchewan who now lives in Toronto.

The kicker, however, is that the Hayloft only holds about 200 people, so if you’re interested in a great night of music and heart, get your tickets now!

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

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