** CANCELLED ** The Snow Moon Festival - theHumm January 2022

** CANCELLED ** The Snow Moon Festival - theHumm January 2022

By Kris Riendeau

From the organizers of the Snow Moon Festival: "Unfortunately, after much discussion, we've made the difficult decision to postpone the festival to (February 4) 2023."

One thing is certain in these uncertain times — creativity is alive and flourishing in our area! Local venues have expanded patios, poured out into parking spaces, and even used hula hoops to socially-distance audience members keen to keep on experiencing the joys of live performances. Now that winter is upon us, the inventive folks at Wintergreen Studios wintergreenstudios.com up in South Frontenac are thinking outside the box — and into the fire ring — for their upcoming Snow Moon Festival scheduled for February 12. This outdoor celebration of winter, the natural world, music and friendship sounded completely intriguing, so we contacted musician and co-organizer Gary Rasberry to find out more.

theHumm: Before we get to the details about who, where and when, can you tell me a bit about the why? I’m curious to know how the concept for this event first sprang into being.

Gary Rasberry: As important as the “Why” question is, we began with the “Why not?” question. And while this may seem like a less pragmatic way to approach an idea or a project, it has its own logic. “Why not” involves a leap of sorts — a certain amount of daring, of challenge, and a willingness to entertain what might be possible.

In the case of the Snow Moon Festival, it was an idea born out of pandemic fatigue, and hatched, not surprisingly, over coffee during a break at a Wintergreen work bee around a year ago. At the time, our pandemic reality consisted mainly of post-lockdown “bubbles.” The bubble concept at the time involved people spending time within a group that could include family, and a fluctuating number of others, as dictated by whatever Covid restrictions were in place at that particular time.

We knew from our own experience that people were hungry for those things that had given their pre-pandemic lives both mooring and meaning — and pleasure. Live music, lively conversation, and sharing meals were the three things we wanted to include. It had become clear at the time that outdoor gatherings were deemed safer than indoor gatherings, and, as a result, people were (re)turning to outdoor activities in ways they hadn’t previously considered.

So why not create a live outdoor music festival that offered folks a unique opportunity that included both mooring and meaning? Why not embrace the various pandemic constraints and limitations, and work within the framework of the government-mandated health and safety directives to purposefully create an event that was first and foremost safe, but just as important, festive, fun and meaningful? As a small group, sitting socially-distanced over coffee at Wintergreen Studios that day, our thought was “Why not?”

We began to imagine an outdoor festival, where the audience would be happily bubbled. This led to creating a physical set-up built around a number of “fire rings”. Essentially, each bubble of people would have their own campfire located in a picturesque meadow. In addition, there would be a central fire ring and a stage for live music. The food menu would feature items that required minimum handling, with disposable paper wrappers thrown into the fire.

What kinds of experiences — musical and otherwise — await people who attend this unique festival?

Our hope for the Snow Moon Festival is, first and foremost, to offer people opportunities to safely enjoy great live music, good company, as well as time in a beautiful natural setting.

The festival honours the quiet grace and beauty of the land we walk and acknowledges the Indigenous peoples who nurtured this place before us, and also those who will continue to do so after we are gone. An Elder will open and close the festival, and we will offer a variety of dishes, including Indigenous cuisine.

While it could well be cold outdoors in February, we will keep the fires going, and with delicious food, warm company (as well as blankets — this is a BYOBlanket event) and amazing music, we expect everyone will feel warm, inside and out. For those who need to get up to stretch their legs and get their heartrates up a bit, we offer hundreds of acres with clearly marked trails for an afternoon hike, before returning to the music and fires.

What do you and the other organizers hope people take away from their time at this event?

Most of us know that we will be talking about the pandemic for the rest of our lives. Much of this talk, 5, 10, 20, or even 30 years from now, will come in the form of stories. Our hope is to offer people an opportunity to create their own unique stories, based on memorable moments, that they will still be telling long after the pandemic has receded. And a deepened connection with the land too.

Now for the musical nuts and bolts. Can you tell me a bit about the performers?

In keeping with health and safety, we have chosen to create a musical line-up that features local musicians, and there is a rich well from which to draw upon. In addition, we looked to musicians who are “friends of Wintergreen”, and as such have performed at past events dating back even to pre-Wintergreen days.

Triola is a string trio that has performed regularly at evening concerts and special events for Wintergreen, dating back to 2011. Fireweed (whose tagline is “A little like CSN, a lot less famous) is a contemporary acoustic trio that has performed at Wintergreen before it was Wintergreen, at an annual event called the Paddy’s Lake Full Moon Festival circa 1999. Last, and certainly not least, Teilhard Frost, aka Sheesham Crow, is a masterful old-time Appalachian fiddle and banjo player, living on Wolfe Island, who has also been a part of Wintergreen events for many years. And, of course, there will be a Snow Moon Festival finale, featuring all the musicians taking part in the event.

The Snow Moon Festival is scheduled for Saturday, February 12. Find more details and registration information at wintergreenstudios.com/events/snow-moon . In case of inclement weather (white out, blizzard), it will take place on February 19. Covid-19 protocols will be in place on the festival site, and all attendees, volunteers and musicians will need to show proof of full vaccination.


Jack Stekelenburg — “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood?” - theHumm January 2022

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

Ten years ago I wrote that “Renfrew metal sculptor Jack Stekelenburg enjoys challenging our preconceptions of art. Following in the footsteps of his philosophical and artistic mentors, he creates art as an unconscious, unscripted, wordless act of emotional expression. He also plays and experiments and grows as an artist.”

Sixteen years ago the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau inspired a construction worker from Renfre......


Pop, Pivots & Pirouettes
Folkus presents The Pairs & Tragedy Ann,In-Person and Virtually!
- theHumm January 2022

By Sandy Irvin

With excitement and joy, Folkus planned their 20th season this fall. We’re still hoping for joy, and we’re pivoting and pirouetting and taking all the precautions we can to ensure a safe and beautiful evening together. We really wanted to put Tragedy Ann and The Pairs on our stage because they absolutely love to sing, and they bring a delightful energy to the stage.

One of the things we really miss is gathering together. But some of us still aren’t ready to. And that’s ok. To make sure that peo......


** CANCELLED ** The Snow Moon Festival - theHumm January 2022

By Kris Riendeau

From the organizers of the Snow Moon Festival: "Unfortunately, after much discussion, we've made the difficult decision to postpone the festival to (February 4) 2023."

One thing is certain in these uncertain times — creativity is alive and flourishing in our area! Local venues have expanded patios, poured out into parking spaces, and even used hula hoops to socially-distance audience members keen to keep on experiencing the joys of live performances. Now that winter is upo......


Meet the Artist —Mireille Asselin, Soprano - theHumm January 2022

Internationally acclaimed soprano and Almonte resident Mireille Asselin returned home briefly after performing the role of Amore in the Vancouver Opera’s production of Glück’s Orfeo ed Euridice, before setting off again to perform as a soloist in Handel’s masterpiece Messiah with the Rhode Island Symphony Orchestra. Mireille will be performing with pianist Frédéric Lacroix and violinist/violist Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh on January 16 at the Almonte Old Town Hall, in a ......


Bane of All Things — a Début Novel - theHumm January 2022

By John Pigeau

Growing up, Leo Valiquette was fond of fantastical stories. The Star Wars saga, Tolkien’s Middle Earth books, and classics like Charlotte’s Web — these were the made-up worlds Leo liked to inhabit. Later, in high school, he liked to make up stories and was admittedly “a Dungeon & Dragons nerd.” At some point, he fashioned himself a decent writer, too. Now, many years on, he has realized a lifelong dream and published his first novel, an epic fantasy called Bane ......


Carleton Place Library Reopens to the Public - theHumm January 2022

After a year-long renovation, the Carleton Place Public Library is open to the public again!

The updated interior features new meeting rooms, a laptop bar, new shelving and flooring throughout, energy-saving LED lighting, and fun reading cubbies for kids.

“The new interior is vibrant, accessible and welcoming,” explains library CEO Meriah Caswell. “We are thrilled to be able to welcome the community back to their library and want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during......


Almonte Lectures - theHumm January 2022

By Glenda Jones

Resolved: that the winter of 2022 will continue to provide interesting events.

Almonte Lectures almontelectures.net continues to live up to that resolution. The live-streamed editions held on the last Friday evening of each month have proven very popular, with up to one hundred participants tuning in every session.

The winter series will kick off on January 28 with Kris Riendeau’s presentation on the history and value of community theatre. Well-known as the editor of theHumm, Kris has been on the stage at the Almont......


A New Year: Determined Action!
Lanark County Creates Its Climate Action Plan
- theHumm January 2022

By Chandler Swain

Ahhh, good old January. Our time-honoured month to make clear, focused goals. It’s very common to do this on a personal basis, wanting to improve our health and wellbeing and initiate or complete projects and plans. But the wider view of this concept includes setting goals for our community: most specifically in this very challenging time, those that address the Climate Crisis.

We are all aware of the crisis that is looming if we don’t take the steps necessary to make our county — Lanark Count......


Birdhouse Bonanza 2022 - theHumm January 2022

By Glenda Jones and Barb Carroll

Good news! The second annual online birdhouse auction, code name Birdhouse Bonanza, is coming in the last two weeks of April, 2022. This year’s proceeds will go to the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust mmlt.ca to enable them to continue improving the High Lonesome Nature Reserve off Carbine Road in Pakenham. It is fitting that the MMLT is dedicating this event to the memory of the late Michael Macpherson who loved High Lonesome and worked diligently to protect this site during his lifetime.

The improvements at High Lonesome will include:



Not In My Back Yard?
An Ode to Community Gardens
- theHumm January 2022

By David Hinks

A community garden for every neighbourhood? There are many reasons why folks are turning their thoughts towards growing a few potatoes and carrots: global supply chain disruptions, extreme weather events, organic food untainted by chemicals, local food insecurity, just looking for a healthy outdoor activity, higher costs in the grocery store, more time on our hands for home projects, and the need to find something healthy for the kids to do are only a few!

So why grow food in a community ......


Mary Berry Comes to Carroll Side Road - theHumm January 2022

By Glenda Jones

Mary Berry, that paragon of pastry and smiling tourist guide, has chosen to visit our humble home for an upcoming “Notflix” series. It’s a little intimidating to think we’ll be up there with the Downton Abbey castle, but hey, this is our castle, so I’m sure I can haul out the stops to make her stay the epitome of elegance and social grace.

She arrived last Friday as it began to snow. Her limo pulled up and TV crews, cameras, cables and lights were everywhere as the three dogs exploded out the d......


Arts CP Call for Artists
- theHumm January 2022

Arts Carleton Place is looking for between 40 and 55 talented artists for their spring Fine Art Show & Sale. Taking place at the Carleton Place Arena from April 30 to May 1, this year’s show ......


Virtual Caregiver Training
- theHumm January 2022

A free five-week virtual Practical Caregiver Training Course is being offered to people living in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties. The goal is to make the caregiving experience safer and les......