Experience The Rising Tide Festival At Fundy National Park This Weekend

Dave Gunning performs at the Rising Tide Festival this weekend
Dave Gunning performs at the Rising Tide Festival this weekend

If your idea of heaven happens to include a myriad of Atlantic Canadian musical talent covering multiple genres, local artistry, workshops and more in a wondrous natural setting, the Rising Tide Festival is calling your name.

Now entering its fifth year, Fundy National Park in Alma serves as the backdrop for the Rising Tide Festival. A family-friendly event that promotes Atlantic Canada’s Anglophone, Acadian and First Nations communities, festivalgoers will be able to partake in a host of activities including a children’s drum workshop, a sunrise ceremony, yoga and music concerts.

“The interest in having a festival such as the Rising Tide Festival take place in Fundy National Park largely stems from an interest in providing Canadians new ways to connect with our national parks,” Andrew Fry, a Project Manager for Parks Canada, tells The Times & Transcript.

“People enjoy getting out to music festivals. By holding a festival in the park, we hope that it allows us to connect with an audience that haven’t necessarily been coming to the park. And for those that do regularly visit Fundy, we hope that it allows people to see the park in a different way.”

As opposed to 30 years ago when many people grew up in rural communities and had to discover the world for themselves, Andrew says that 80% of people now grow up in urban centres. He does not see this trend reversing as time passes meaning the population stands to become more and more disconnected from the natural world around them.

“The natural world is a bit of a challenging place for many people these days. If you grow up in a city, the idea of going into the forest takes you out of your comfort zone; it takes effort.”

Andrew says the one constant of the past five years that the Rising Tide Festival has been operating has been its focus upon Atlantic Canadian culture, including culinary delights, music, art and more. It is his hope that visitors from outside of the region who attend the festival get a taste of what life in Atlantic Canada holds.

“For people coming from Toronto or Montreal, the festival is their Atlantic Canadian experience. We strive for the Rising Tide Festival to present that experience in a quaint and accessible way that allows guests the opportunity to be in a distinct environment like the Bay of Fundy,” Andrew says.

While the festival has grown year over year, so has the community’s involvement. Many Alma business including the Octopus’ Garden Café, The Boathouse Restaurant, The Tides Restaurant along with the Alma and Collins Lobster Shops are thrilled to be working in partnership with the festival.

Andrews says that the feeling is more than mutual.

“This year, the festival has stretched into the community more so than any of the previous festivals,” Andrew says. “We have had great community involvement and uptake this year. We truly believe that as the festival continues to grow, the community will ultimately benefit from that growth as well.”

Joel Cadieux is the proprietor of the Octopus’ Garden Café. While his café will be hosting a couple of different events during the course of the festival, he says that the buzz from local business at being more heavily involved in this year’s festival is palpable throughout the community.

“There is a really great energy flowing through Alma these days, in the time leading up to the festival. There is a lot of excitement in the community,” Joel says. “As opposed to the festival being an us and them scenario, the park has worked with local businesses which only stands to benefit everybody involved. You really feel it in the community’s spirit.”

What: Rising Tide Festival
When: Friday Aug. 22 through Sunday Aug. 24
Where: Fundy National Park, Alma

Ticket prices vary per event.

All music concerts take place at the Fundy National Park Outdoor Theatre. Festivalgoers are asked to purchase a park pass which covers the costs associated with all events with the exception of those noted below. For complete details, visit http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/nb/fundy/activ/special/festival.aspx

Rising Tide Festival Schedule

Friday Aug. 22

4:00 p.m. – Crab Nab
7:00 p.m. – Sawmill Creek (Octopus’ Garden Café, 8561 Main St., Alma)
8:00 p.m. – Molly Kool Kitchen Party (Tickets are $4.90, available for purchase at the Visitor Centre)
9:30 p.m. – Milky Way Madness (Tickets are $4.90, available for purchase at the Visitor Centre)

Saturday Aug. 23

10:00 a.m. – Keith Mullins Drumming Workshop – Open to ages 8 to 13. Participation limited to 50 people. Free tickets are available at the park’s Visitor Centre on a first come, first served basis.
1:30 p.m. – Jim Blewett and the Swing Cats (Outdoor Theatre
2:40 p.m. – Dave Gunning
3:50 p.m. – Cordes-a-vent
5:00 p.m. – Old Man Luedecke
6:10 p.m. – Carmen Townsend
7:00 p.m. – Kevin Davison (Octopus’ Garden Café, 8561 Main St., Alma)
7:30 p.m. – Singer-Songwriter Circle featuring Brent Mason, Dave Gunning, Marie-Jo Therio and Keith Mullins
8:30 p.m. – Gypsy Rose (Boathouse Restaurant, 8588 Main St., Alma)

Sunday Aug. 24

6:00 a.m. – Sunrise Ceremony with Mi’gmaq Elder Hubert Francis (Park Headquarters Lookoff)
10:00 a.m. – Point Wolfe Exploration
10:00 a.m. – Yoga (Tickets are $4.90, available for purchase at the Visitor Centre)
2:30 p.m. – Brent Mason Band
3:40 p.m. – Marie-Jo Therio
4:50 p.m. – The Modern Grass
6:00 p.m. – Ron Hynes
7:10 p.m. – Paper Lions