Saugeen First Nation hosted first Stone Festival

August 18, 2015


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Master Craftsmen take a break for discussion
(L-R) Andrew Loudon, Brian Fairfield of Maine, Menno Braam, Lydia Noble and Dean McLellan

 The Training Wall
The wall is consistently taken apart and rebuilt to teach dry-walling techniques

Experts evaluated every step of the project

The first annual Saugeen First Nation Stone Festival attracted a lot of attention on the weekend, August 15th and 16th, as visitors crowed onto the site of what is North America's largest dry stone-walling project.

With several master craftsmen from England, Scotland and the U.S., those taking part in clases had the opportunity to study with the world's best when it came to dry stone-walling and carving.

The three-day event also offered the opportunity for some to be certified as stone-wallers which, in turn, would enable them to work and, for some, to teach the art.

Dale Thomas of Stratford

The weekend also saw the beginning of a 40-ft. diameter cultural roundhouse.  The stone building will be a central hub for events and will feature a 'living' roof of medicinal traditional plantings.  It is expected that the structure will take two years to complete.

Project Head, Dean McLellan (L) and stone provider, Rob Redden of Upper Canada Stone of Medoc, ON

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Gillian Leitsch of Toronto trying her hand at carving

Rob Boyd learned blacksmith techniques

Many of those who attended this year's first Festival are already talking about coming back next year when work on the roundhouse will continue and teaching certifications will continue.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015