Final details coming together for Mattawa Voyageur Days

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Jennifer Hamilton-McCharles

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The Nugget

It’s back.

And organizers say the public will not be disappointed with this year’s activities and concerts.

“It was extremely important to this community. Mattawa had seen a lot of difficult times. The flood in 2019 and then Covid hit this community in 2020 and 2021,” said Renee-Anne Paquette, lead organizer for the Mattawa Voyageur Days festival.

“It was really imperative to make this a successful year. Obviously when we made our decision to run, things were still up in the air, but council was very on board to seeing it return to the community with a few changes and some rebranding opportunities and trying to progress the festival was important.”

Paquette said people this year will enjoy the downtown activities that are lined up.

“We really amped up our entertainment, it’s all new artists. In the past, Mattawa Voyageur Days is known to bring back a lot of the same bands, because they were crowd favourites,” she said.

“This year we thought we’re out of Covid, we’re out of flood time, so lets try something new. And so far the response has been phenomenal, we already sold about 1,000 tickets. We’re doing well, we’re excited.”

The three-day festival includes an agenda that offers “something for everyone.”

New Country Friday evening entertainment includes Lipstick Rodeo, Nice Horse and Cory Marks on July 22.

Rock Where the Rivers Meet takes place July 23 with Toe Jam Tequila, The Trews and the Sheepdogs and Tribute Sunday includes Practically Petty featuring Fleetwood Max and Abbamania.

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Fireworks will take place July 24 at 10 p.m. at Explorer’s Point.

“If you have a toddler who is two you will be likely hanging out in the bouncy castles at Timmins Park, that’s where there will be a lot of kid’s activities. We also have BMX competition, axe throwing and a gaming trailer. It was really important to make sure we offer something for all ages,” Paquette said.

She said the festival’s vendor market has expanded and offering “some new and interesting food.”

“There are a lot of cool components, when you arrive in Mattawa you will really get that sense of festival not only in the day but at night,” Paquette said.

“I think Mattawa is a quaint community. I keep saying to a lot of people for $65 you can’t even got out for dinner at that price. We’ve kept it affordable. Mattawa is nestled between a forest and that vibe isn’t found anywhere else among festival grounds,” she said.

“It’s a beautiful view, surrounded by two beautiful rivers. It’s the festival’s 23rd year, not a lot of festivals that can say that.”

Paquette said the daytime stuff is all free “that is amazing on its own.”

“People can still come down and spend the day, we want people to see our community, come camping and spend the weekend, spend your money in a Northern Ontario community. A lot of us are looking back to that return to normal and tourism to return to our areas. It’s a boost and a boost for those around us, we can’t house 4,000 in our four or five hotels,” she said.

“We’ve hired shows and Canadian artists so they can have a return to some normalcy and income in their pockets.”

For more information call 1-800-267-4222 or visit

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