Northern Lights Festival Boréal

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Northern Lights Festival Boréal
Melbourne Ska Orchestra.JPG
Genre Folk, rock
Dates First weekend in July
Location(s) Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Years active 1972-present
Northern Lights Festival Boréal

Northern Lights Festival Boréal is an annual folk festival in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. It is Canada's oldest music festival, in continuous operation since 1972. Although the Mariposa Folk Festival is nominally older, that festival was defunct from 1980 to 1981.


The bilingual festival is held in Bell Park, including the Grace Hartman Amphitheatre, on the shore of the city's Lake Ramsey. It presents a diverse program of music in a variety of genres, arts, crafts and children's entertainment.

The festival is usually held on the first weekend in July, although it was postponed until the last weekend of the month in 1988 to serve as the cultural festival for the 1988 World Junior Championships in Athletics, which were held in the city.

The festival presents an annual Jackie Washington Award for distinguished contribution to Northern Ontario's cultural life. Past winners of the award have included Robert Paquette, Ken Whiteley, Paul Dunn and Charlie Angus. The award is named for Jackie Washington, a blues musician who performed at the festival 25 of the 38 years between its inauguration and his death. Also awarded each year is the "Bernie Melanson Volunteer Award", named after one of the original founding members of NLFB and given to individuals or groups who have given long standing and/or exceptional volunteer service to the festival.


Artists at the 2007 festival included Ron Sexsmith, Leahy, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Peter Case, Les Breastfeeders, Oh Susanna, Peter Elkas, Ox, Kim Barlow and Torngat.

Performers in 2008 included Kate Maki, Old Man Luedecke, Nathan Lawr, Two Hours Traffic, Daniel Bélanger, Ian Tamblyn, David Francey, Miracle Fortress, The Sadies and Don McLean.

The 2009 lineup included Serena Ryder, Bob Wiseman, Joel Plaskett, Jenn Grant, Bob Snider, Angie Nussey, Stef Paquette, J. P. Cormier, Norman Foote and Mr. Something Something.

2011 headliners included Broken Social Scene, The Weakerthans, Lunch At Allen's, Ron Hynes, J. P. Cormier and Ladies of the Canyon.[1]

The 2012 festival featured Daniel Lanois, Steven Page, Joel Plaskett, The Good Lovelies and The Hidden Cameras.[2]

The artists performing at the 2013 edition included Serena Ryder, Kathleen Edwards, Buck 65, Lynn Miles, Caracol, Elisapie, Swamperella and Cindy Cook.

Performers in 2015 include Dan Mangan, Sarah Harmer, Lee Harvey Osmond, Kobo Town, J. P. Cormier, Quique Escamilla and Adonis Puentes.

Artists performing in 2016 included Bahamas, Digging Roots, Frederick Squire, Kate Maki, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, and Steven Page.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Northern Lights Festival Boreal - performers (2011)". Archived from the original on August 28, 2011. Retrieved 28 Aug 2011. 
  2. ^ "Northern Lights Festival Boreal - Performers (2012)". Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 

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