Powwow organizers undeterred by road detour
Road work makes getting to Poundmaker event tricky
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 06:00 am
Road construction in St. Albert might make it a little tricky for some people to get to this weekend’s powwow at Poundmaker’s.
Poundmaker’s Lodge is holding its annual powwow this weekend. The event, the second powwow to be held at the addictions treatment centre this year, is expected to draw thousands of people to the lodge’s main building just outside of St. Albert for two days of aboriginal music and dance.
This will be a free family event, says Poundmaker’s board chair Don Langford, which should give dancers and guests more time to socialize. (They used to hold a competitive powwow with prizes, he says, but found that took attention away from the powwow’s cultural aspects.)
As usual, the powwow will feature an abundance – of drummers and dancers, all of whom will simultaneously parade onto the powwow grounds Saturday to kick off the event with a grand entry.
Langford says it’s his favourite part of the powwow – and not just because he’s in it. “You have the smell of sweetgrass, the singing, the drumming […] it’s a really overwhelming feeling to have that vibration from the drums and everyone dancing,” he says. “It’s sort of a reawakening of the spirits.”
And like last year, it’ll be tough to get to the powwow due to road closures. “We have a hard time getting to the powwow grounds, it seems,” Langford jokes.
City crews will close Veness Road between Corriveau Avenue and Poundmaker Road this weekend as they start a months-long construction effort, says Brian Hartman, acting director of engineering for the City of St. Albert.
Crews will spend the summer ripping up the road in order to give it turning lanes, proper gutters and more width, Hartman says, and don’t expect to be finished until late September. “We’re basically completely rebuilding the road.”
The closure means that one of the two main routes to Poundmaker’s will be unavailable during the powwow. Powwow guests can still get to the powwow by turning off Sturgeon Road onto Poundmaker Road.
The free event starts Saturday at 1 p.m. at Poundmaker’s Lodge. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted at the powwow. For details, call 780-458-1884.