Emerging Wisely updates come as good news for sporting events, markets, and summer functions that will no longer have to seek formal chief public health officer (CPHO) approval to carry out gatherings of up to 200 people.

For the highly anticipated Folk on the Rocks (FOTR) festival, however, talks with public health continue.

The July festival brings together hundreds of residents and travellers for a weekend of concerts under the midnight sun.

For the 2021 weekend, approximately 500 tickets have so far been sold and organizers have signed up over 100 volunteers – putting this year’s festival on par with numbers for previous years, Carly McFadden, FOTR executive director, said.

She explained that the team first submitted their plan for public health approval in March, but that conversations of how the festival can best operate are ongoing. Updates to the COVID recovery plan indicate that the initial plan was “more strict than it needed to be,” she said.

Following the June 9 Emerging Wisely annoucement, the FOTR and OCPHO teams have a clearer idea of what is possible.


McFadden said that conversations with public health are “going positively” and she expects approval in the coming weeks.

This year’s FOTR, scheduled for July 16 to 18, features a lineup of Northern artists with Leela Gilday and The Jerry Cans among the headliners.

Though the Northern bubble, announced June 2, hasn’t had much of an impact on ticket sales, McFadden said the team expects increases as people put together summer plans.

Since announcing the lineup on June 1, FOTR promotional efforts have ramped-up with posters appearing around Yellowknife, a informational booth at the farmers market and social media posts encouraging ticket sales and vendor and volunteer sign-ups.

“We feel very confident about hosting the festival,” McFadden said, “and we’re excited and happy to be doing something this summer.”

Natalie Pressman

Reporting courts and cops and general news, Natalie started with NNSL Media in 2020. Before moving to Yellowknife, Natalie worked as a community radio trainer in Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First...

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