Blackfoot culture and more will be on colourful display when the 2018 International Peace Pow-Wow and Festival sets up camp at the Enmax Centre Saturday, Feb. 24 and Sunday, Feb. 25.
Presented by the Blackfoot Canadian Cultural Society, the 19th annual event will feature two full days of pow-wow dance and music competitions, drumming competitions, Miss Blackfoot Canada specials, arts, crafts and much more, including food.
Doors will open daily at 10 a.m., and Saturday grand entries will take place at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., with the Sunday grand entry scheduled for noon.
Miss Blackfoot Canada Gloria Good Eagle and Junior Miss Blackfoot Canada Cianna Tailfeathers will be featured during the event, as will head dancer Harlan Metchewais Wells in men’s fancy dance, and head dancer Allanah Tailfeathers in women’s fancy dance.
MCs will be Tommy Christian and Travis Plaited Hair.
Mary Ann Crow Healy, one of the event’s organizers, says competitors are expected from across Western Canada as well as from Montana, Washington and possibily Idaho.
The dance competition will feature several categories including traditional, grass, fancy and chicken dance for the males, and traditional, jingle and fancy for the females. There will be participants in age categories from juniors ages 7-12, teens, adults and Golden Age, 55-plus.
Saturday will also feature a performance by the local Taiko drum group at noon.
The Miss Blackfoot Canada and Junior Miss Blackfoot Canada pageant will take place Sunday, with participants receiving points in five categories, including essay, dance, speech and interview.
There will also be a marketplace featuring a wide array of goods.
“We’re expecting 56 vendors,” says Crow Healy, adding there will be everything from leather goods to dance regalia, drum-making supplies, beading and blankets.
On Saturday, a ceremony will take place to formalize the Blackfoot names for three women — Susan Burrows-Johnson, Wendy Aitkens and Belinda Crowson — honoured for their contributions through the Galt Museum and Archives.
Crow Healy says the annual Peace Pow-Wow comes at a good time with many southern Albertans likely anxious for a break from winter’s grip.
“Winter drags on and you need something to look forward to,” she notes. “This is good medicine for cabin fever.”
Tickets can be purchased at Enmax Centre or online at http://www.enmaxcentre.ca/events/event/international-peace-pow-wow-festival/2018-02-24.