AuroraFest 150 committee finalizes events schedule

To help promote their upcoming 10-day festival, which runs Sept. 15–24, the people behind AuroraFest 150 circulated a complete itinerary on Sept. 4.

This official event card detailed over 50 different activities, including music shows and photography workshops, which encourage Thompson residents to celebrate Canada’s natural beauty in the wake of the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

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“It took us a while to get this out,” said Volker Beckmann, one of the festival’s head organizers. “It would have been nice to have this events calendar out earlier, but because summer happened we couldn’t get commitment from people. They were gone. Schools were shut down.”

According to Beckmann, some of the events he’s most looking forward to include a performance from Juno award winning musician Don Amero, a visit from wildlife filmmaker Matt Paproski and an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for group wolf howling. 

The current world record for group wolf howling stands at 803 people, which was set by the people of Niagara Falls back in July. Beckmann said this number that can be easily beat if they properly utilize the droves of students and teachers that have returned to town after summer vacation.

“We have six schools each with 150 kids and even the high school, yesterday, said they wanted to get some of the teachers involved, so we can hopefully break the record.”

The newly circulated schedule also specifies that most of these events will take place in a handful of locations around town, including the Boreal Discovery Centre, City Centre Mall, the Thompson Public Library, the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre and R.D. Parker Collegiate.

The unofficial start to the 10-day affair will take place at Trappers Tavern with a steak and spud supper on Sept. 15, where locals can get a chance to learn what AuroraFest is all about.

“We like to encourage the public to participate in the unofficial kick-off, which is on the Friday night,” said Beckmann. “There’s a steak and spud night where we go through all the different events and people can register to be a volunteer.”

In this final week before the festival officially starts, Beckmann and fellow organizers Hugh Fraser and Marion Morberg still have a lot of work to do. Outside of distributing over 5,000 of these event cards throughout the city, Beckmann said they have to recruit at least 60–75 more volunteers if they want this festival to run smoothly.

However, now that school is officially back in session, he is confident that plenty of newly returned students, teachers, and parents will answer the call of duty.

“Hopefully everybody will find somebody and engage because this will be the biggest party that Thompson has ever had, and hopefully the weather will be as good as it’s been most of the summer.”

To view a full breakdown of the entire AuroraFest 150 events schedule, please visit their official website at thompsonaurorafest.ca.

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