Audience members join in with performers frolicking at Drumfest. /Photo courtesy of the Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre

Awesomeness for all at Haliburton DrumFest

By Laurie Jones

Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre

Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre has hosted a weekly community drum circle since 2006. The circles are accessible and open to all; instruments are supplied and volunteer facilitators lead each experience. On a given evening you might find a total beginner and a professional band drummer playing side by side in the circle which welcomes all.

A few years ago the vision of Haliburton as the “Drum Capital of Cottage Country” began to materialize for a few of the regular drummers. Today gallery programming embraces a year round cycle of events workshops and outreach activities driven by a volunteer committee named Haliburton Drums. According to Della Redwood chair its goal is to create powerful shared experiences which inspire people to experience the awesomeness of rhythm.

Haliburton DrumFest is by far the biggest project the committee has come up with. This year the family-friendly DrumFest takes place Saturday Aug. 31 in Head Lake Park. Admission is by donation in support of DrumFest 2019. The event and the preparation that goes into it is an outpouring of positive energy by Bazza Hayward Joe Truss Eric Lilius Randy Pielsticker Barb Murphy Della and Laurie Jones supported by a team of volunteers.

Community drum circles are the heart of Haliburton DrumFest. Guest performers and facilitators enhanced by world music performances with percussion and dance elements local food art and craft vendors and hands-on learning opportunities. This year DrumFest welcomes Baque de Bamba under the direction of Juno-nominated singer/songwriter/percussionist Aline Morales. They will participate alongside festival goers in a costumed parade at noon and then give an afternoon performance in the park of traditional Afro Brazilian Maracatu rhythms and song.

Community drum circles are popular throughout North America. They have been called “the new yoga.” Broadly speaking these shared experiences called drum circles promote understanding wellness peace and awareness of our shared humanity.

You can learn more about Haliburton DrumFest at