Linda Duford – a well-known fiddler in Hay River – estimates she has played at the Gateway Jamboree music festival in Enterprise for at least a decade.“I’m pretty much there every year,” she said.
And Duford will be back again this coming weekend when Gateway Jamboree returns for its 14th year.
The one-day event on Aug. 11 will also feature a variety of other performers from the NWT and even some from the South.
Duford calls Gateway Jamboree a lovely event.
“It’s got its own vibe because it’s so small and family-like,” she said. “It’s almost like a backyard feel.”
The fiddler describes the music festival as relaxing and inviting.
“There’s no pressure. There’s no stress,” she said. “It is so relaxing and that’s why everybody, once you’ve been there, you want to go back.”
Winnie Cadieux, vice-president of the Gateway Jamboree Society, is inviting everyone to the music festival.
“Come for just a great day of relaxation and good music,” she said. “I mean if you do nothing but just sit there and listen to the music, you will enjoy yourself because it is awesome.”
In recent years, the festival has been growing with more performers, craftspeople, food vendors and activities for children.
A growing number of people are also turning out to listen to the music, Cadieux noted. “People are getting used to it being an annual event in Enterprise and kind of put it on their travels. It’s been great.”
The organizer noted the entertainers come from all over the South Slave, some from Yellowknife and the Deh Cho, and, this year, three from the South.
Along with Duford, the confirmed performers are Pat Burke, Dana Cross, Pat Coleman, Lindsay Waugh, Moses Butt, Gerald Poitras, Rick Poltaruk, Lee Mandeville and North Country Rock, Jimi C & the Blue Rockin’ Daddyz, James Boraski & Momentary Evolution, Angus Beaulieu & the Country Cousins, and Edmonton’s Marshall Lawrence, a well-known blues guitarist who is making his first appearance at Gateway Jamboree.
“We’re trying to keep it to real easy-listening music, old county, old rock ‘n’ roll, some folk music, a little bit of blues,” Cadieux said. “Just sit back, relax, put your feet up and enjoy the day.”
Although the event is organized by the Gateway Jamboree Society, it receives assistance from the Hamlet of Enterprise.
Duford noted the festival gives Hay River musicians a chance to perform live without having to travel too far.
“So besides Hay Days, it’s another chance to play and jam with some different musicians, and that’s usually what happens,” she said, explaining spur of the moment bands are often put together. “That’s what makes it so much fun.”