Tuesday, 15 January 2013 14:43

Living Sky Casino Pow Wow will bring in thousands of people into city

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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Living Sky Casino is gearing up for their third annual powwow, which will take place at the Stockade and Palliser Pavilion in Swift Current on Feb. 16-17.

Organizer Trevor Marion explained that the Living Sky Casino Pow Wow will be a little bit different this year.
“This one is going to be invite only, where we will be showcasing ten of the better drum groups available, so we’ll have the cream of the crop coming in to make that weekend especially enjoyable,” Marion said. “We’ve got dancers ranging from tiny tots to our golden age dancers, in both genders. Everyone has a different style of dance they do, so there will be great variety.”
Last year’s event pulled in over 2,200 people for the weekend, and Marion is anticipating and even better turnout for this year’s event. Thispowwow will kick off the season, and there is no other competition that weekend. He is looking forward to seeing the crowd.
“This far south, we don’t get to see a lot of our family from the north very often,” he admitted. “This is a time for social gathering, with relatives and friends coming from all over. The more Pow Wows you attend, the more people you know. It’s beautiful to see.”
Originally from the Prince Albert area, Marion enjoys seeing how many Americans attend the Pow Wows in Swift Current. In fact, people come from all across the prairies to participate in the annual gathering. Marion noted that they bring a unique style to the event, and since they have a chance to win cash prizes, it’s a great way for them to kick off the season with a bit of gas money for the drive home.
“There are some Pow Wows that are just gatherings, but we have the budget to offer a bit of a competition as well,” he explained. “It’s nothing huge, but it’s important to us to give back in that sense. For the weekend, there will probably be over $80,000 in prize money awarded, and that’s for a smaller competition.”
Marion starts planning next year’s event almost as soon as the powwow ends. This year, he took advantage of the timing of the Family Day long weekend to offer the first powwow of the season. He admitted that Swift Current can be a difficult sell, due to the smaller population of First Nations people in the local area.
However, it’s a great opportunity to attract new people to the area.
“People love coming here, it’s a beautiful place and we have great hotels and restaurants. And we do have more local interest building from last year’s event, so we are prepared for a great turnout this year,” he said. “Anyone who loves great entertainment and is open to different dance styles would really enjoy this event. Everyone here loves to answer questions and socialize, so it’s not intimidating at all. There is so much laughter that happens, it’s just a really fun time.”

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