Stomping the Yard at The Mill


20150822_171222Shades of Traditional music, plaid, lumberjacks and a lumberjill, were all features of the 1st Annual Cob & Cut Festival. Driven by The Northern Credit Union and Destination North, this outdoor summer event invited community to come to The Mill Machine Yard, under the International Bridge, for 2 days of music, food, and modern lumberjack skills set in friendly and humorous show competition.

20150822_153701The West Coast Lumberjack Show mixes chainsaw, axe, log rolling & pole climbing skills into a lively, energetic show of athleticism. Red Team. Green Team. The spectators cheered for both as The West Coast Lumberjacks and lumberjill entertained festival goers with shows throughout the 2 days, August 22nd and 23rd, 2015. Set in a geography where logging and lumber are written in the history of the place, The 1st Annual Cob & Cut Festival proved to be an open, family friendly community event.

Steve Hollingshead, Destination North shared ” For this first year, we hoped to show community that we can make Destination North about having fun in our own back yard. In the years to come, we hope to grow the festival with more musicians, and groups that capture the intention of the event. To remember our history and roots in logging. The Yard at the Mill Machine is a perfect location for this summer festival.”

Woven with traditional roots in folk, celtic, and hints of bluegrass, Algoma Trad musicians and teachers, The Brian Pickell Band, and The O’Shraves played to an appreciative crowd that numbered somewhere around 1,00 people over the two days. With the International Bridge towering as part of the scenery, music from the stage at the Mill Machine Yard, was carried up and into the wind, treating attendees to traditional Canadian folk, Scottish, Irish and Celtic music. The sandbox floor made for a perfect choice for this outdoor summer festival. Children and adults alike enjoyed sitting under the large food pavilion tent, or pulling up a hay bale, or plopping down onto the sand, to take in the tremendous music and lumberjack shows.


The Brian Pickell Band features ‘the combined fiddle-power of Shane Cook and Mark Sullivan, both multiple winners of the Canadian Open and Grand Masters Fiddle Championships. Also driving the music are Ottawa legend James Stephens on fiddle , mandolin and viola, combined with the incomparable tandem of Pat O’Gorman on flute, pipes and whistle and Julie Schryer on keyboard. Joining the band on Saturday was Benoit Schryer Lefebvre, well known Algoma Trad musician & teacher, and son of Julie Schryer. The Algoma Trad Kitchen Party, as shared by Patrick O’Gorman ( member of The O’Shraves, The Brian Pickell Band and Algoma Trad teacher, musician) ” is when everyone comes together, like the old fashioned kitchen parties of days gone by, when a myriad of instruments and musicians would come together and ‘wing-it’. We go down the line, and each musician picks a favourite (song or piece of music) that inspires us at the time, and we jam together, play it and have fun with it.” The combined music and musicians for The Kitchen Party was a toe-tapping, tonic for any blue mood. Algoma Trad teachers, musicians and friends all came together on the Cob & Cut Festival Stage.

20150823_144827The Sound system was set up, directed and managed by George Ravlich, Crank Sound, which was no easy feat considering the strong winds that gusted from time to time. The sound couldn’t have been any better. Saturday night featured two bands, Swamparela (Cajun Louisiana-style music) and Mud Men, a high energy Celtic Rock Band.

Festival goers could relax with a cool beverage, browse and shop various local vendors, and eat delicious food offerings courtesy of Terry and team from Santini’s Bistro. The home made pizza cooked in an old fashioned brick oven, on site, was a very popular choice. As was the Gelato. Fresh local St. Joe’s Island corn was also featured, of course, for the 1st Annual Cob & Cut Festival.

Congratulations to The Northern Credit Union and Destination North for organizing The 1st Annual Cob & Cut Festival. If anyone has an ‘axe-to-grind’, the West Coast Lumberjack Show will be back again next year.


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