Elemental Festival

Save the Date: Elemental Festival 2023 is Sept. 23 and 24 in Kagawong on Manitoulin Island!

Learn more about Elemental Festival 2022 below:

Welcome to 4elements Living Arts’ annual Elemental Festival! We’re delighted to be back again this year for our 5th festival to bring you another amazing lineup of local and visitor performers and artists at the Kagawong Park Centre.


4elements artist-in-residence Georgia Hathaway will be returning to Manitoulin to share her new songs and tunes. She wrote many of these in response to a deep connection she developed to the island while spending her summer in the 4e Mobile Studio in Ice Lake. 


Local island Dance artist and educator, Candice Irwin will share her latest work ‘Water Body’, a development of her water based work with local youth dancers earlier this year in which Georgia was also a guest musician collaborator, both presented by 4e. 

Photographer and filmmaker Cassidy McAuliffe will present ‘Women Who Break Trail’, an art and storytelling project about little known stories of trailblazing Ontario women; Lumberjills, Indigenous women, frontier women, wilderness riders and gold rush prospectors. Cassidy and her sister Caitlin are the Woodland Sisters, who create work inspired by Northern Ontario, sisterhood and social/environmental themes. You can catch Cassidy working at the festival this year as she captures some special moments on film.

Soprano Brooke Dufton and Clarinetist Rebecca Danard, are Ariadne, a classical duo who specialise in outdoor performance. They will delight audiences with their magical performance at Sandy Beach in Kagawong on Sunday morning where they will be performing from a canoe. Brooke will also be sharing her expertise in vocalisation techniques in natural outdoor settings on Saturday during her Sounding and Listening workshop, inspired by the work of R. Murray Schafer.

If you want to improve your confidence, public speaking skills, enhance creative thinking or sharpen performance skills by playing some silly games, come and try out improv! Scott Florence, one half of ‘oddhawks’, this Sudbury based performance and community company will be bringing fun to the festival with a beginners Improv workshop for adults & youth 14+.

We’re delighted to be bringing the O’Schraves family to Kagawong this year, for what’s sure to be a great time for all:- an afternoon family ceili dance, concert and fun activities for the kids earlier in the day. They are an award winning, highly accomplished group of musicians, educators and community leaders from the Algoma region who play piano, bagpipes, whistle, flute, fiddle, cello and guitar. 

To round out a fabulous festival day on Saturday, island favourites Elijah & the Backburners will get you up and out of your chair with their powerhouse blend of 50’s & 60s Rock’n’Roll, Rockabilly, and Blues. Bring your dancing shoes and dance the night away! But don’t forget to set your alarm for Sunday morning, bring your chair & blanket for Ariadne’s waterside show at Sandy Beach.

Hope to see you all out at the festival, you can catch me, Lou Hayden at the O’Schraves Family Ceili calling some of the dances, and of course taking lots of photos! All events are free to attend (donations welcome) so come out and support your local arts community and bring your friends & family.


We thank the M’Chigeeng Ladies’ Drum Group for returning this year to open our festival for us. Miigwetch.

Lou Hayden, Festival Coordinator, 613-866-6610, infolouisehayden@gmail.com

Guided Stream Tours

Also, Manitoulin Streams will be leading Guided Stream Tours where you can learn about salmon migration and river restoration, in partnership with 4elements Living Arts, which will be providing comment on the Billings Connection Trail sculptures along the river.

When: Saturday October 1 at either 8:30am or 2pm

Where: starts at the mouth of the river in Kagawong

Space is limited, so preregistration is required. Please email Liam at liam.manitoulinstreams@gmail.com with the number of people and your preferred time slot (8:30 or 2).

Festival Schedule Details

Artist Bios

Soprano Brooke Dufton holds a DMA in voice performance and pedagogy from the University of Toronto, and has written and presented papers on Canadian vocal music, on the music of R. Murray Schafer, on Listening as considered by Schafer and Pauline Oliveros, and on the impact of outdoor performance contexts on audiences and performers. She has taught and guest lectured for a number of institutions, including the Glenn Gould School; the University of Toronto; and Mount Allison University, where she was also the director of the Opera ensembles. She is a frequent performer of Schafer’s music, and has played roles in several of his Patria works, including Ariadne in both The Princess of the Stars and the Wolf Project.  http://www.brookedufton.ca

Candice Irwin is a queer Mnidoo Mnising (Manitoulin Island)-based dance maker, producer, educator and writer. She is the artistic director of Body Stories and Body Stories Dance Instruction. Candice’s work is founded on a desire to encourage connection with oneself, our environment and our community through the sharing of stories. Her work has been presented across Canada; most notably at the Annual Alberta Dance Festival, NextFest, SummerWorks Performance Festival and Dance Matters. Her teaching credits include contracts with the Toronto District School Board, the Harbourfront Centre, Randolph Kids Performing Arts and Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre. In her most recent project We Are Water Bodies, Candice led Island youth in the creation of their own dance work inspired by water and self expression. This was presented by 4elements Living Arts in tandem with work by musician Georgia Hathaway and Candice herself. She is excited to share a further interaction of this project at this year’s Elemental Festival. http://www.candicejmirwin.com

Cassidy McAuliffe is one of the Woodland Sisters, two sisters who do creative projects inspired by Northern Ontario, sisterhood and social/environmental themes. http://www.woodlandsisters.com

Led by singer, songwriter, and entertainer Elijah Manitowabi, Manitoulin’s own Elijah & The Back Burners bring a powerhouse of Rock’n’Roll, Rockabilly and Blues – with a touch of gin-soaked Country. http://www.facebook.com/Frontburn

Inspired by the wild places, both inner and outer, Georgia Hathaway‘s blues-y folk songs are known for being “goosebump-inducing” (Lea Kirstein). At once intimate and expansive, she invites you into her world of organic expressions, weaving animal calls, nonsense syllables, and evocative lyrics. Combining delicate vocals with rootsy resonator and picked guitar, she creates a unique sound that is both haunting and joyful. Through musings on mushrooms, butterflies, and the shape of feet, her music speaks about personal transformation, life, death and rebirth, and living for the moment. http://www.georgiahathaway.com

The O’Schraves features Julie Schryer on piano, Pat O’Gorman on bagpipes, Irish flute and tin whistle, and their adult children guitarist/cellist Zachary Schryer Lefebvre and award-winning fiddler Áine Schryer O’Gorman. The O’Schraves CD “Family Day” was a top ten regional finalist in the CBC Searchlight contest. The group was  awarded New Emerging Artist Award by liveireland.com and Best New Group from the Chicago Irish American News for 2014. As a quartet, Julie, Pat, Zach and Áine play tunes from a wide range of traditions, including  Canadian Old-Time, Irish, Scottish, French-Canadian, and original compositions, with an impressive technique  and a strong and spirited rhythm. http://www.algomatrad.ca

Scott Florence is one half of oddhawks, a Sudbury-based performance and community company, and has poetry on the streets that you can only see when it rains. With oddhawks, he curated The Letters Project, and runs the bi-weekly improv jams at the Sudbury Indie Cinema. Previously Scott was the General Manager at STC; the  Artistic Director of Ottawa’s premiere Shakespeare troupe, A Company of Fools; the Artistic Managing Director of the Ottawa Lumière Festival; a co-curator of the .isme: Cabaret; the General Manager of the Canadian Improv Games; and an Associate Professor with Algonquin College. His work as an actor, director, and clown has taken him as far north as Yellowknife, as far south as St. Pete’s, Florida, as far west as Victoria and as far east as Nanjing, China..