The Nickel Days board jumpstarted the countdown to the 2019 edition of the summer fair – 22 days from now – May 24 at River View Restaurant, hosting sponsors and guests at a reception where they revealed the performers who will be preceding Nickel Days social headliners The Watchmen on stage in the C.A. Nesbitt on June 21-22.
The Friday night stage show will feature Humble Rumble from Norway House and a performer from the south with roots in the north in the form of A Rebel Named Riel.
“Daniel Emerson, the singer-songwriter, now resides in Winnipeg but he’s coming home to perform,” said Tim Johnston, who emceed the reception.
Also performing will be Thompson’s own Between the Ditches, two members of which – Jennifer Nyhof and Kory Wickdahl – performed at the reception in their other musical guise as the two-piece Unstrung Heroes.
The fourth band on the first night of the weekend will be Keewatin Breeze, which consists of Thompson resident and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Garrison Settee and Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas from Pukatawagan alongside York Factory First Nation Chief Leroy Constant and Chief John Clark from Brochet.
“We have not played in a while but we thought we’d just throw our name in the hat and see what happened,” said Settee at the reception, recalling his first visit to Nickel Days from Pimicikamak Cree Nation. “I first came to Nickel Days when I was about 15 years old and I spent three days here and it was a well-spent time. I really feel like this year is going to be a really good one because there’s a certain vibe that we’re bringing together and if MKO can be part of that we would really love to be part of it.”
On Saturday, one of the openers for The Watchmen will be The Average Joes from Thompson.
“They are absolutely phenomenal,” said Johnston. “They’ll get you going.”
The second act to warm up the crowd for The Watchmen will be Northern Manitoba’s Highway 373.
“This band from Norway House and their debut album No Limits won the best rock album at Toronto’s Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards in 2006,” said Johnston.