The ‘Northern Lights Folk Festival’ was first held in Bell Park in 1972. It was a free one-day music festival on one stage; needless to say it has grown exponentially since. It remains Canada’s longest continually running outdoor music festival, holding its 50th anniversary festival in 2022, and taking place on the picturesque shores of Ramsey Lake in Bell Park, in the heart of Sudbury. Over the years, NLFB has grown into a seasoned presenter of Canadian roots and modern music, and a lightning rod for the energy of Northern Ontario’s artistic community. Inventing tradition, fostering innovation, celebrating community, since 1972.
NLFB is a non-profit, charitable music presenter in Northern Ontario. The organization provides valuable exposure and career development opportunities for emerging artists, while also presenting highly acclaimed artists, and keeping the region on the map for acclaimed touring acts. The festival presents a strong component of francophone, Indigenous, and other multicultural content each year, in line with regional population demographics and the diverse cultural makeup of the Canadian population. The majority of NLFB’s operations surround the annual summer festival, however the organization also presents many other cultural events, concerts etc. throughout the year.
The mandate of NLFB is to present music, performing and creative arts through its annual four day music festival and year round activities that support the regional artistic and musical talent in Northern Ontario. The goals adopted to achieve this are:
1) Commitment to reflect the cultural diversity of Northern Ontario in its operations and programming;
2) Commitment to treat all performers and their work with dignity, respect, and fairness;
3) Commitment to develop, support and acknowledge the value of local artists and performers;
4) Commitment to develop support and honour the work of volunteers;
5) Commitment to develop, support and acknowledge the interests of its audiences and developing their appreciation of the arts;
6) Commitment to build links with the community through cooperation and partnerships with other arts and cultural organizations, umbrella groups and other community groups;
7) Commitment to operate in a fiscally responsible manner with the goal of financial self-sufficiency.
NLFB is governed by an 11 member, volunteer Board of Directors