The Mayo Arts Festival and Canada Day celebrations are highlights during the summer. Everybody is looking forward to the celebrations, and preparations have already started, said festival coordinator, Esther Winter.

Since 2007, Esther Winter has been organizing the Mayo Arts Festival. “During the Arts Festival and Canada Day celebrations, everyone in the community is happy,” said Esther Winter in a press release. There will be a lot to see and do on the J.V. Clark School soccer field. One of the highlights will be a Swing Dancing Workshop made possible by dance instructor Virginia Mitford.

“It is the first time we will host this workshop. I have taken a couple of workshops with her and it’s a lot of fun. You don’t need to bring a dance partner; just show up, and by the end you will have the basics of swing dancing under your belt,” Winter recommends. Virginia Mitford has been teaching swing dance at Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture during the year.

Another highlight will be Mayo’s favourite band, Retrospect. “We always love to end the Mayo Arts Festival with a lively set by Retrospect, which is played during the steak dinner the Volunteer Fire Department is hosting,” Winter said.

Celebrations will begin with a Canada Day Pub Night on Friday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at the Mayo Curling Club. People can enjoy burgers and beer.

Canada Day will start with a parade and a bike-decorating contest at 11 a.m. at the YTG administration building. At noon, the event moves over to the school soccer field, and the Mayo Arts Festival and Canada Day events begin. At 2 p.m. the Northern Tutchone Fashion Show will begin. It is always a colourful event where people show off their beautiful clothing— vests, dresses, slippers, barrettes and drums.

If you get inspired by the fashion show to bead your own necklace or try traditional sewing, there will be artists who offer traditional sewing and beading in one of the tents. Visitors can also learn about knitting and weaving.

Furthermore, there will be a lot of music coming from the main stage. The J.V. Clark School Choir will kick off the show on Canada Day, followed by the Little Jiggers Dance Group and Mayo kids music camp participants.

“We are expecting there to be around six-hundred people. It is an amazing experience for tourists and locals … I really think it’s one of the most fun Canada Day celebrations in the country,” Winter says.