Utilize venue

Remember the “Kraft Celebration Tour” in late August, when the temperature topped 40 C with the humidex as we gathered at the Sorting Gap Marina for the live broadcast of TSN SportsCentre?
Wonder what Darren Dutchyshen and Jennifer Hedger would have thought broadcasting from that same location yesterday morning, when it felt like minus-40 with the wind chill—an 80-degree C difference (or a whopping 145-plus degrees F).
Yes, the Sorting Gap isn’t the place to be in the midst of a bitter cold snap. It is, however, one of our crown jewels in the summer months and it’s great to see efforts to bring more events to that venue.
Now that it has returned to the waterfront, hopefully the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship will continue to call the Sorting Gap Marina home for years to come. The annual “Pulling for Peace” international tug-of-war and Dragon Boat Festival, meanwhile, have been growing each year since their respective inceptions—making the site the anchor around Canada Day festivities here.
The latest idea is to hold a Music Festival and Cultural Exchange, focusing on First Nation and Métis performers and instructors, there next July 17-19. Not only would it target a segment of the population that’s so important to the fabric of our district, it would extend usage of the “big tent”—and create a buzz—leading into the bass tournament.
Coupled with activities surrounding Canada Day, that would make Fort Frances a hub for three weekends of July.
The ultimate goal is to someday establish a more permanent structure by the Sorting Gap—perhaps along the lines of the pavilion at Kenora’s Harbourfront—to house activities all that month. But why stop there? Why not aim from, say, the Victoria Day weekend through to Labour Day?
Sure, there would be plenty of logistics to overcome for that to occur. Then again, no stone should be left unturned in trying to draw visitors to Fort Frances.