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North Country Fair: Preview

Festival Radio

The June solstice means the start of summer, and that means North Country Fair.

On June 11, hosts Grant Stovel and Leo Cripps looked forward to this beloved northern Alberta festival, which is famous for its relaxed hospitality, the long days where the sun doesn’t really set, and of course, so much wonderful music.

On Saturday June 11 at 1pm MT we heard from North Country Fair performers, Scott Cook, Moontricks, Shaela Miller and Skinny Dyck!

But wait! Here’s a quick message from Mr. Radio himself, CKUA Technical Producer, Mark Rodgers, on why he loves North Country Fair.

Hello this Mark Rodgers, and there are two reasons why I love the North Country Fair and have been going since the year 2000.

CKUA Listners from Grande Prairie at North Country Fair, 2011

The first one is simple: the NCF brings me back to nature. It’s a camping festival in the beautiful Driftpile valley, northeast of Slave Lake. This festival takes me away from the screen and back to the land and real people. The most interesting and beautiful people you will ever meet. Kind, happy souls who bring their families and enjoy the company of others and live music.

No canned music is allowed at the North Country Fair as well. It’s also just the right size for me. I saw a sticker once that said “Don’t tell anyone else about the North Country Fair.” Anti-marketing, even. Hawksley Workman said the same thing. On a side stage after being amazed by the size of the trees in the Shady Grove stage area, he said, “Don’t tell anyone else about this festival.”

The second reason I love the NCF is more complicated. I’ve always rooted for the underdog or under-cat in my case (cat guy alert). Growing up in the 80s with the Oilers winning, I went against the grain and cheered on the lower teams like the Quebec Nordiques. I’ve always felt something for the smaller groups that do more with less. The NCF does more with less and has been around just as long as the so-called “major” folk fests.

They are a festival that the other festivals look to for emerging talent. For example, kd lang and Corb Lund both played the NCF before becoming more well known.

The North Country Fair is the best festival in a province with many outstanding festivals, because they do more with less money, they have a beautiful location, and because of volunteers and diehard stakeholders that work away all year.

Thanks to Mark Rodgers for sharing his thoughts about North Country Fair!

Tune in to CKUA every Saturday for more festival previews.

All summer long! 1PM to 2PM MT

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