The Heritage Mica Festival kicked off on June 24 at Murphys Point Provincial Park and has been continuing throughout the summer. Park staff, members of the Friends of Murphys Point and community volunteers have worked together to bring the heritage of the area to life for park visitors.
The Heritage Mica Festival has seen Voyageur Canoes out on Hogg Bay, the spirits of miners on the Silver Queen Mine trail, Bear the Tinker with fabulous storytelling from times past and music celebrating our Canadian heritage. Children have enjoyed heritage games, adults have experienced dinner theatre from the early 1900s in the miners’ bunkhouse and volunteers have greeted our visitors in heritage dress. Park interpreters set up a mica trimming factory to demonstrate the various uses of mica. Volunteers have been cooking up pancake breakfasts and BBQs on the beach – life doesn’t get better than this.
The highlight of the season and a new event for 2012 was a dinner theatre which has been held twice this summer. This event featured an outdoor theatre presentation along the Silver Queen Mine trail which told the story of the mine and the early settlers through a series of vignettes performed by parks and Friends staff as well as community members. The theatre piece was written by Friend’s member, Stephanie Gray and included a scenes in the underground mine and bunkhouse. The evening was topped off by a full hot dinner typical of the early 1900s in the miners’ bunkhouse with heritage tableware and accompanied by itinerant musicians. We have already received requests for the 2013 dinner/theatre experience!
But don’t despair if you missed these events, there are more Festival events still to come. The popular Spirit Walk returns on Friday August 24 and the Voyageur Canoes will be back on Hogg Bay on Saturday August 25. Take advantage of the “Be a Miner for a Day” event on Saturday September 1st. This is an excellent opportunity for a self-guided tour along the trail to the Silver Queen Mine to meet costumed interpreters. Visit the restored ore wagon that used to haul the mica ore to the Rideau River for shipping. Stop in the miners’ bunkhouse, see the horse whim and of course, don’t forget to take a trip underground into the mine. Corkery Road takes to the stage at the amphitheatre that evening to provide their melodies of Canadian heritage. Labour Day weekend also features another pancake breakfast on the beach on Sunday September 2nd.
Check out the Friends of Murphys Point for full details on all festival events.