Every summer, the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival takes over the town of Goderich, situated on the idyllic shores of Lake Huron, about an hour or so’s drive from both London and Sarnia, and perhaps two hours’ drive from downtown Detroit, and three hours or so from Toronto.
For three days, attendees are treated to the joys of Celtic culture in many of its facets.
The festival is sponsored by the town of Goderich itself, as well as the Ontario Arts Council, the Canadian Heritage Foundation, and national and local businesses such as Bruce Power, Capital Power, Fishbowl Studio, Faux Pop, Park House and Square Brew.
What elements make up the festival
Every year, there is a series of concerts. These include shows by established acts playing various types of Celtic or Celtic-influenced music. However, there are also slots for emerging artists who compete for the chance to showcase themselves at the festival.
Although the music is naturally the big draw at this event, there are also other elements to completely get you in the Celtic vibe. These include an artisan village where you can buy hand-crafted items at various price points.
Also featured are a Celtic college, a kids’ camp, and a store.
The iconic festival designs
For every year since the festival started 1993, Canadian visual artist Linda Wiebe has been providing images she designs that represent the festival. Each year has a slightly different theme, but it always incorporates something indigenous to the area in which the festival is held. In addition, she integrates ancient Celtic elements and themes to her designs.
Over the year, the images have gotten more colourful and less abstract, using four colours to represent the four elements. Wiebe has tended to focus in the past decade or so on animal themes. The last one, for the 2021 festival, is entitled “Huron Heron”.
The 2022 festival is already being planned
For those of you planning to head on down to Goderich for this festival, the 2022 dates have already been fixed. The festival will be from Aug. 5 through Aug. 7 of next year.
Festival organizers at this point are hopeful that, with the proper safety precautions, the festival can take place in a more or less normal manner.
If Celtic music and culture is your thing, this is definitely an event to put on your bucket list. Indeed, people come from very far away to experience this event.