The Northern Lights Festival Boréal returns with live music


From September 10 to 11, the festival will feature Dan Mangan, Jeremy Dutcher and others

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While so many people crave the magic of live music, festivals and concerts, the Sudbury Northern Lights Festival has adapted and worked to keep the spirit of live music alive.


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Last September, the NLFB made music history in Sudbury with the city’s very first drive-through concert. The veteran music and arts presenter is back with a 2021 festival, to be held in his traditional home at the Grace Hartman Amphitheater in Bell Park, September 10-11.

NLFB is hosting a two-day festival-style event – two world-class lineups, for outdoor concerts in person. Line-up will include acclaimed headliners Dan Mangan and Jeremy Dutcher, as well as Tanika Charles, OKAN, Cindy Doire, Reney Ray, Dany Laj & The Looks, Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect, and more.

Tickets are available through Eventbrite. For more information or to subscribe to the mailing list, visit

The NLFB said it was working with Sudbury & Districts Public Health to ensure all current health guidelines are followed, with some additional measures in place.

All ticket holders, staff / crew, artists, etc. must provide proof of full vaccination, except in the case of medical exemption.

Ticket holders who cannot be vaccinated must have a negative COVID test result within the past 48 hours or receive a rapid door test prior to admission.

In addition, the seats will be “bubbled” by social groups, organized through the process of buying tickets online.

Goods, food vendors and a beer tent are provided, with appropriate distancing and sanitation measures in place.

Additional information can be found at


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Mangan, Dutch to play

The NLFB is delighted to once again welcome Dan Mangan and his band, who will perform on Friday September 10th. Mangan is a two-time Juno Prize-winning musician and songwriter and two-time Polaris Music Prize winner. The year 2018 saw Dan’s fifth full album, “More or Less”, about witnessing birth and in some ways rebirth. Last year brought “Thief”, a diverse collection of covers released sporadically over the years.

In addition to his own recordings, Dan has scored a feature film (as well as TV series for Netflix and AMC) and has collaborated on several international publications.

NLFB is also honored to present for the first time Jeremy Dutcher, an inspiring and hard-hitting musician celebrated around the world. It will perform on the night of Saturday September 11.

Performer, composer, activist, musicologist, these roles are all infused into his art and his way of life. A member of the Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick, Jeremy first studied music in Halifax before working in the archives of the Canadian Museum of History, painstakingly transcribing Wolastoq chants from 1907 wax cylinders.

“Lots of songs that I had never heard before because our musical tradition on the east coast was taken away by the Indian Act from the Canadian government,” he said.

The results were “collaborative” compositions like you’ve never heard before, brought together on his debut LP Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (recipient of the 2018 Polaris Music Prize).


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“I’m doing this job because there are only about 100 Wolastoqey speakers left,” he says. “It is crucial for us to make sure that we use our language and pass it on to the next generation.

“If you lose your language, you don’t just lose words, you lose a whole way of seeing and experiencing the world from a distinctly Indigenous perspective. “

Toronto soul sensation Tanika Charles will also be present on Friday September 10. Formerly known as soul music’s best kept secret, Charles has become a staple of the scene both at home and abroad. The singer, nominated twice for the Juno Awards and twice for the Polaris Awards, offers a live performance that is both energetic and endearing.

The 2021 Juno Prize-winning OKAN group will merge Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love. Having recently worked with Bomba Estereo, Lido Pimienta, Hilario Duran and Telmary Diaz, OKAN followed up their acclaimed album Sombras, with their second album Espiral, earning them the prestigious Juno Award.

The festival roster will also include bilingual folk-country singer-songwriter Reney Ray; Sault Ste. Marie of the folk-pop-jazz group Frank Deresti & The Lake Effect; award-winning bilingual singer-songwriter Cindy Doire of Timmins; Sudbury power-pop favorites Dany Laj & The Looks; and more to be announced.

The event marks the first festival for the organization’s new executive director, Krishna Patel. Patel has extensive experience in festivals and the performing arts, including a variety of former employee and volunteer positions with NLFB.

“We are very happy to be able to present a festival event this summer,” said Patel. “We know our community craves these incredible live music experiences. The safety and well-being of this community is number 1. ”

The Northern Lights Festival Boreal is the longest consecutive music festival in Canada, with the inaugural edition taking place in 1972. From July 7-10, 2022, the festival will be the 50th anniversary celebration, with special plans already in the works.

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Twitter: @SudburyStar


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