Sacred fire burning all weekend behind St Catharines arts centre

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Published September 10, 2021 at 2:18 pm

From dawn today (September 10) until Sunday at dusk, a sacred fire has been burning in the backyard of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St Catharines to mark the city’s fifth annual Celebration of Nations.

All three mornings, there will be a Sunrise Ceremony, which FirstOntario says is “an opportunity to greet the sun as it rises to begin a new day and to give thanks for another day of life.”

The fire will be stoked by Fire Keepers Fred Bowering and Brian Kon, both of Indigenous heritage.

Bowering is the son of a Métis mother and Mohawk father, as well as a passionate advocate for mental health and addiction support, who volunteers most of his time cleaning up needles and drug paraphernalia in downtown St. Catharines core.

Kon is a leader within the Metis Nation and within the local Indigenous Community. He is the Chair of Niagara Region Métis Council and ‘Knowledge Carrier’ who is helping to re-write the history of the War of 1812 from an Indigenous perspective.

(Photos of Fred Bowering and Brian Kon courtesy of FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre)


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