Canim Lake prepares for powwow

Culture will come alive at Canim Lake Band (CLB) on Aug. 19-21, as the band celebrates its 2011 Canim Lake Traditional Pow Wow 2011.

Traditional dancing

Traditional dancing

Culture will come alive at Canim Lake Band (CLB) on Aug. 19-21, as the band celebrates its 2011 Canim Lake Traditional Pow Wow 2011.

A full weekend of dancing, drumming and singing awaits those who take in the free event that will be staged at the band’s arbor.

Festivities start at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 with the grand entry, which could see anywhere from 50 to 200 dancers, dressed in traditional regalia, take command of the circular dance area.

At that time, there will be a welcoming of all dancers, drummers and singers given by an elder of the community.

Participants are expected to come from many parts of the province, including Kamloops, Williams Lake, Chase, as well as several areas in the southern British Columbia and Alberta, says event co-ordinator Cheryl Archie.

Traditional dances will run the gamut, as will the intricate regalia worn by dancers.

Archie explains regalia is an extremely important aspect of dance, and that while many dancers make their own, some will have been received as a special gift.

“Some are given as gifts by elders who appreciate a person’s dancing and hand down their own regalia. It could come from friends or family, too.”

Throughout the powwow, a panel of judges will have their eyes on junior and senior princess contestants who will earn points over the three days through their participation in a speech and talent contest and the selling of 50/50 tickets.

On Friday, dancing is expected to go on until 11 p.m., and then resume Saturday at 1 p.m.

Expect to be swept away by the intense drumming, powerful singing and colourful swirl of regalia as dancers move throughout the dance area.

There will be a break for dinner on Saturday between 5 and 7 p.m. at the Canim Lake gymnasium, and, as this is a traditional powwow, all meals served in the gym are free of charge to guests.

Another grand entry at 7 p.m. will restart the action and see it continue well into the night.

Dancing begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and is expected to wind down at about 5 p.m.

During the weekend, vendors will be on site selling traditional items and foods, including bannock, Indian tacos, huckleberries and Indian ice cream made with soopolallie berries.

Organizers would like to inform people that no drugs or alcohol, whatsoever, will be allowed on site during the powwow.