Haven’t heard about Tata Fest…well Great Big Sea’s Séan McCann has and he wants to go. Late last year McCann reached out to the festival organizers and asked if he could perform at the 2018 summer festival. It’s a recognition that has the festival organizers dancing a jig as they amp up for their fourth season.

“I think it speaks to the good feeling people have had over the last three years in attending Tata Fest,” says Jayne Holmes who has been part of festival organization since the beginning. “It’s very local in terms of our advertising, so obviously good things are being said out there in the community to have performers like Séan McCann contact us. We are just so excited about this because up to this point we have been chasing people down and he had heard of the festival and wanted to perform. He isn’t doing any other shows in the area.”

McCann will kick off the festival events with a solo performance at the Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre on August 19. A full schedule of entertainment and activities will keep festival goer’s tapping their toes all around town with events popping up in all of the communities cultural hot spots.

“We have entertainment at the Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Centre, the Fraser Cultural Centre, Creamery Square and we try to tie it into the Farmers’ Market,” says Holmes.

Festival Events celebrate the intrinsic values and traditions of historic town which include outdoor entertainment, weaving and drumming workshops, Scottish re-enactments, a free-school at Waldergrave Farm, a fun day at Nelson Memorial Park with wagon rides, kite-making and music, as well as different events hosted by local shops. The final weekend will showcase the North Shore Players’ production of Bard by the Bay, a unique adaptation of different Shakespeare works.

“When the festival started, it was really quite an organic thing,” notes Holmes. “It’s the Tatamagouche Festival of Soil, Soul and Society. It’s really all about the spirit of collaboration.”

As enthusiasm for the event grows, new organizations and businesses are becoming involved with the festival and creating their own signature events with the intention to keep patrons in town for an extended stay. “The idea is that people can come for the whole week or just for the day, there’s really something for everyone,” she says.

With Tata Fest finding its place in the summer festival schedule in Nova Scotia new funding sources have come on board. Holmes says that this funding was secured from the Municipality of Colchester the North Shore Community Development Association.

The businesses have also gotten more involved with the creation of a village map that contains coupons from different local spots.

“What I’m really hoping to see is the businesses staying open a little later this year during the events.”

And other local draws will continue like the Tatamagouche Road Train that brings in many visitors over the summer months.

“The festival is such a worthwhile thing. It’s nice to see it continue on and see more people get involved.”

The festival currently brings a variety of events and activities together under one umbrella with the goal moving forward to create larger events, draw bigger entertainment and have an all-together larger event.

Holmes says they are always looking for people to get involved, creating more exposure for the village and its hidden talents. For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets for the Séan McCann performance check out the Grace Jollymore Joyce Centre website: gracejollymore.com  

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Debbi Harvie
Debbi Harvie is a regular contributor to Ah! She discovered her passion for writing and continues to foster that love in many creative ways. She had a blast learning about the latest trends in outdoor landscaping from the experts at Urban Roots and Artisan Natural Stone for her features "Garden Variety" and "All Fired Up Over Pizza". “Although I don’t have the greenest of thumbs, I could definitely get behind the idea of a brick oven for pizza in my backyard!”