I got to have a sleepover at Poppa & Grandma’s. And I am so happy that the Wolfe Island Music Festival is back on this summer!
As you may or may not know, the name for Wolfie, our beloved Trillium trailer came from Emelia in honour of the Wolfe Island Music Festival – something for which has been the main event of our camping plans for the past six summers. In fact, the main reason we got Wolfie, was because while packing up the damp campsite from our second trip to the festival, and tenting with a then three year old Emelia, Danielle suggested that if we wanted to go to the festival again, it would need to be in some more un-tent-like sleeping arrangements. In a moment of happenstance, on the ferry ride back from the Island, there was a Scamp fibreglass egg trailer in ferry traffic with us that had a For Sale sign on its side, and the seeds were planted.
We didn’t buy that trailer but we did look inside and talked a lot about my high school geography teacher, Mr Chatterton, who lived down the street from me growing up and the Boler trailer he had that I always had loved. The next summer, out of the blue, Wolfie entered our lives. When we got a little more serious about looking for a trailer, Mom found an ad on Kijiji that would change our lives. We bought Wolfie in the middle of the summer just in time to get some camping trips in ahead of what had now become our yearly tradition of hitting up the Wolfe Island Music Festival – three years in. When we decided we needed to name our trailer, it took Emelia all of five seconds to arrive at Wolfie in honour of what was cemented in our hearts and summer plans. And the rest is history, chronicled here for you.
Last spring when we got the inkling that the festival might be taking a one year hiatus to deal with some financial stress, there was a definite disturbance in the force of what was the foregone conclusion to every summer since 2010. When the festival cancelation was announced officially, our hearts sank. With Wolfie in tow, in August, there wouldn’t be that exit off the 401 into Kingston and the excitement of the ensuing ferry ride to the Island. Obviously, there was the immediate void of one our favourite family outings gone from our summer, but deep down I’d be lying if I tried to say there wasn’t a deeper concern that the festival might not come back. And that thought was the one we didn’t speak about, but all worried about — this festival was something we’d never considered not being part of our summers.
When talk around this house after Christmas this year turned to submitting vacation requests at work and mapping out our reservations for the campgrounds, I sent out an email to our friend Virginia who runs the festival to ask if (and hope) that the hiatus was over and that the festival was going to return. The response was exactly what we were looking for: Virginia had every intention of the festival returning, and better yet, to ensure that was happening, she was planning a fundraising concert in Toronto featuring artists from past festivals that we could help spread the word about. Suddenly our summer plans felt that much better!
Well, that concert was last night – and put a serious dent in our usual Sunday publishing schedule here as you can see. Much to Emelia’s disappointment, the event wasn’t all ages and she wasn’t able to go it. (It didn’t matter that it would take her well after her bedtime, and the two hour drive home after was going to make her Daddy and Mummy tired kids come today). So after our afternoon trip to the gym so Daddy could Close The Rings, we got cleaned up, packed up Emelia and headed to drop her off for an overnight with Poppa and Grandma (who were delighted to have her over). We had a quick visit and then were off to Toronto and made it in great time so that we could have a nice slow paced dinner at The Skyline Restaurant a place that I have wanted to try forever, run by friends of Danielle’s sister, Chantelle. It happened to be down Queen St. from the venue and made the perfect pre-show stop.
The concert was exactly what we hoped for: a success. It is clear that a lot of people – not just our family – love Virginia, and this festival. There was such an outpouring of love from both the artists there to lend their voice, as well as fans in attendance. The night was hosted by Jason Collett, who played too, but also featured performances by: Steven Lambke, PS I Love You, Lou Canon, Feltworth, Hannah Georgas, Etiquette, Sarah Harmer, The Weather Station, Sam Cash, The Elwins, Shad, and TUNS. It was a fantastic night of great music, hugs and optimism restore to our summer! On the drive home, entirely too late on a ‘school night’, Danielle and I talked about summer plans and memories of festivals and camping trips past. It was the perfect diversion on the two hour drive home. As much as we wanted to go out after with Virginia and the rest, we had an Emelia that needed to be picked up from Mom & Dad’s first thing in the morning to get her off to school.
We pulled into the driveway at 1:30am and I think were in bed sawing logs in precisely fifteen minutes. It was a long, late day for us, but well worth it to know that the weekend in August on that beautiful island is back in tact. While the alarm this morning that far earlier than we wanted it, and the trip across town and back to Mom & Dad’s to fetch Emelia forced me to be alert sooner that I should be, to be able to tell Emelia the fundraiser was a success, and that we will be bringing Wolfie back to the festival and island for which she got her name, and the ensuing smile from her was reason enough for us to have made the trip and show our support.
There are some things families do together that just become part of who they are and all of their memories. Certainly Wolfie and our camping trips is part of that narrative. But, the whole reason we have her and those memories stems from this little festival that could, on an island near Kingston in the water that travels from Lake Ontario to the St Lawrence on it’s way to the Ocean… And, for a love of good music. So for as long as that festival is a thing and we are able to, we will be at it, adding to our litany of smiles and memories created there. And long after, those memories we create will live on through us, and in the woman that Emelia comes to be as she forges forward to make her own.
Thank you Virginia.
Thank you Wolfe Island.
Thank you Wolfie.