Aside from Jerry Seinfeld and James Corden, there aren’t too many who can claim to have the front seat of their car a turnstile for talent.
But you may be able to add Algoma Fall Festival Executive Director Donna Hilsinger to that list.
“I have this thing I call ‘From the Passenger Seat’ because I have had so many amazing Canadians sitting in the passenger seat of my car over the last twenty years as a Fall Festival volunteer,” laughed Hilsinger who has been instrumental in attracting diverse, top Canadian performance acts to this local banner event. “I’ve had extraordinary conversations with so many iconic performers like Ashley MacIsaac, Jann Arden, Sharon & Bram, Robert Munsch, Gino Vanelli, Randy Bachman, Chantal Kreviazuk, The Tenors and more.”
“And they’ve all been appreciative to come to Sault, Ontario to perform.”
As the Algoma Fall Festival celebrates its 50th year of ‘entertainment on fire’, Hilsinger will be once again making space to chauffeur a dazzling lineup of entertainers from the front seat to front stages across our community.
Tickets are available now with some performances nearing capacity.
What sets the Algoma Fall Festival apart from other events?
“We offer a unique variety of music, stories, visual arts, comedy and even puppetry, by some of Canada’s premiere authors and entertainers,” explains Hilsinger. “We are a multi-disciplinary Festival and have been since day one. We try to bring a selection that crosses the spectrum and we bring performances to Sault Ste. Marie that some residents would never have the chance to see.”
The 50th year of Algoma Fall Festival performances stays true to this form.
Special to this year’s lineup is Ojibwe author and truth-teller, Tanya Talaga. Talaga is an award-winning visionary for Canada’s reconciliation journey who will share her knowledge of Indigenous culture and history, leaving the audience empowered through a hopeful message on inclusivity and equity.
Adding a local element to the festival’s programming this year is The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery, a comedy show created by Saultite and internationally celebrated puppeteer Adam Francis Proulx. The Family Crow will be performed at 7 pm and 9 pm on October 7. Find out why NOW Magazine considers the performance “best puppetry”.
Audiences can also look forward to performances from The Tenors, Broadsway, Marc Jordan & Amy Sky, Celtic Celebrations and many more. A complete list of event details can be found at AlgomaFallFestival.com.
Setting local youth up for another 50 years of Algoma Fall Festival
One of the most notable aspects of the Algoma Fall Festival, and perhaps the most impactful, is the Festival of Learning.
Presented by the Algoma Fall Festival Association in partnership with local school boards, this extensive arts outreach and education program gives elementary and high school students the opportunity to experience the Arts firsthand by speaking with the artists, taking part in workshops and discovering the joys of creative expression.
For past Festival of Learning students like Lucas Beaver, the program opened the door to a love of dance that eventually became a career.
Lucas was raised in Sault Ste. Marie and looked forward to the Festival every year. “Growing up, I was exposed to these dance companies at a young age,” says Beaver. “Toronto Dance Theatre, National Ballet of Canada... and not just dance, but many artists in different genres. Exposing our youth to the Arts, that is most special.” The opportunity to see the performances and experience the arts firsthand led to Beaver’s lifelong passion for dance and theatre. Today, Lucas is a professional actor and director and has recently returned to Sault Ste. Marie as an instructor and choreographer.
He is working alongside Hilsinger along with industry veteran Timothy Murphy in the development of this year’s Algoma Fall Festival.
The 2022 Algoma Fall Festival runs from October 6-29 at venues throughout the city and is made possible through the support of patrons, Sault Ste. Marie businesses and corporate funding.
“We could not survive without the support of our local businesses and corporate sponsors and have had very valued supporters, year after year,” says Hilsinger, noting OLG, Village Media, the City of Sault Ste. Marie and funding through the Government of Ontario and the Canadian Arts Presentation Fund as major players in Algoma Fall Festival’s longevity and success.
Tickets for the 2022 Algoma Fall Festival are available now at AlgomaFallFestival.com.