© Herald file photo
Ray Funk sings at last yearâs Spruce River Folk Festival at his farmland north of P.A.
Earlier this week, John Dorion filed a statement of claim in Saskatoon Court of Queenâs Bench alleging that his bandâs membership claim of 2009 has been blocked.
Dorion spoke at previous Spruce River Folk Festivals during the annual eventâs landless band discussions, key organizer Ray Funk said this week, adding that heâs happy to see the issue move forward in the court system.
On Saturday, George Kingfisher, hereditary chief of the Young Chippewayan First Nation, will share his bandâs story â a band dissolved by the Government of Canada in 1897.
Kingfisherâs story will join others in ushering in the Fifth Annual Spruce River Folk Festival on Saturday, beginning at 11:30.
The annual event is the fulfillment of a goal among Mennonite organizations to help people regain lands and livelihoods lost.
In addition to Saturdayâs âhigher social purpose,â Funk said that Saturdayâs folk festival is a fun, family-friendly get-together of like-minded people.
Last yearâs event brought in about 130 people, Funk said, adding âthe more the merrier.â
This yearâs event is expected to draw more people in than last year as a result of headliners Constant Reminder and All Mighty Voice -- two well-regarded local acts.
Itâs excellent food, excellent music -- besides any higher social purpose, itâs a fun day. Ray Funk
On top of that is a number of improvements, including a covered tent area to shield attendees from rain (or the blisteringly hot sun forecast for Saturday), and better parking options (follow the signs).
âThe event has developed a wonderful spirit of folks,â Funk summarized. âThereâs a core of people who come year after year and look forward to seeing each other here.â
âWe get very positive feedback from folks â both about the show itself and the awareness that weâre trying to create.â
This yearâs event will begin with a First Nations pipe ceremony at 10 a.m., and will continue with the stories of landless bands at 11:30 a.m.
Music will be performed from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., during which stories of landless bands will continue in an on-site teepee.
Tickets are $10 per person or $20 for families and will be available at the gate, about 20 kilometres north of Prince Albert up Highway 2. Signs will mark the location.