A pagan festival held since 1982 comes to the area in June.
Wic-Can Fest will take place at Sparrow Lake Camp in Severn Bridge from June 15-19, filled with talks and workshops of various traditions, group ceremonies and rituals, and the opportunity for newcomers and visitors to return to meet and learn from each other.
After being forced online during the pandemic, the festival’s 40th year is also its first in the Orillia area and at Sparrow Lake Camp.
“It’s a beautiful site with a lot more accommodation than we had before, and there’s a great beach there,” said event spokeswoman Anne Marie Greymoon. OrilliaMatters.
“We’ve always been very community-oriented and there’s nothing like meeting in person. Our event seeks to create the atmosphere of a pagan village, so it’s very colorful, and it’s like an adult summer camp. You wake up in the morning and have a coffee, and you choose which conferences you want to attend. You make friends. You learn new things.
Some of the events Greymoon said attendees can expect to include a Nordic memorial ritual for those who have died of COVID-19, workshops on tarot reading, the tradition of hair braiding and how to eat healthy on a budget, as well as a bardic singing and storytelling contest, to name a few.
The festival will also feature folk music, a rap performance by Georgina Island First Nation member Jared Big Canoe, and First Nations sweat lodges and teachings by Kevin Porter.
“The festival provides a place for all of these different practitioners to come together and celebrate together and work magic together and learn together,” Greymoon said.
Festival organizers have high expectations for their events, she said, and they make sure that everyone giving a teaching or hosting a workshop has the experience and cultural knowledge to do so.
“We try to make sure there’s no cultural appropriation going on and that everything we present is actually accurate,” Greymoon said.
“If we have an astrologer who comes to do a seminar on astrology, it’s not someone who just learned astrology two years ago. He is someone who is a veteran astrologer. If we have anyone giving a presentation on aromatherapy, it’s someone with over 10 years of experience in aromatherapy.
Wic-Can Fest provides an open and welcoming community for those who attend, Greymoon said, adding that the festival is a welcome “home environment” for children and adults who choose to stay at Sparrow Lake Camp for the event.
“It’s a very welcoming community and…it’s an environment where you can ask a lot of questions, and you’re not committed to anything,” she said. “Whatever interests you, you can go there and sit down, ask questions and participate. That’s really what the festival is all about: to be open to seekers and to provide an environment where it’s easy to ask questions and learn, and decide for yourself what you like. »
Some of the most important events and rituals must be experienced in person, Greymoon said.
“The great rituals – there is nothing like this experience,” she said. “It’s something that has to be lived. You don’t get the same just by watching it on TV or YouTube. It is a powerful experience. People come out truly refreshed and transformed.
To find out more about the festival and its events, go to Wic-Can Fest website.