Sonics and Sojourns delivers quality and incredible variety

Ticket headquarters - Sonics and Sojourns

Ticket headquarters for Sonics and Sojourns - Poor Michael's Bookshop, Art and Café

One of the things about small towns is that they often are the most amazing places to find people who choose to live there, enjoy living there, and find unique ways to be entrepreneurs, artists, or community contributors.   They are family people, singles, couples, and sometimes retired.

Onanole is no exception – as a gateway community to the national park, it harbors artists, musicians and songwriters, a talented teaching staff at the local elementary school, the world’s greatest escape artist (Dean Gunnarson), the wonderfully talented Murray Evans (Dust Poets), environmental award-winning golf course superintendent Greg Holden and many others.  These people are all presentors or providing workshops or sessions at this year’s edition of Sonics and Sojourns, a festival of learning and music.

We hope that you will be able to make it out to see some of these talented folks.  Tomorrow night (Tuesday, Sept. 22), Dean Gunnarson puts on an amazing evening of Tricks, Treats and Tales of Adventure ending in a dramatic escape from underwater at the Onanole Community Centre.   Time:  7:00 PM.  Tickets:  $10

We hope to see you at the festival!  Check out Flickr photos on our Flickr Photostream.


Opening global drumming session

In 6 days

…Sonics and Sojourns will officially launch its second festival.  Featuring arts, cuisine, workshops, and multiple unique activities, we invite everyone to find a unique experience to take part in, and celebrate with the citizens of Onanole another wonderful fall in the Riding Mountains.  Full details at the Festival website.

Navaro Franco, with Hand Drum Rhythms is back by popular demand to lead this global drumming session.  Everyone will have drums or other percussion to use as part of this unique opening experience.

Sonics and Sojourns Festival Countdown

15 days and counting….

We are getting very excited about the upcoming Sonics and Sojourns Fall Festival of Learning & Music happening in Onanole and area from September 18 – September 26, 2009.   Musical experiences, workshops, family events, an amazing new underwater escape stunt by the world’s greatest escape artist Dean Gunnarson, a Home Routes House Concert with David Bradstreet, and a closing concert by Bill Bourne & Bop Ensemble.

Opening the festival on September 18th  is a great community potluck supper and global drumming circle with Navaro Franco – fun, learning, and community experiences.

New this year – The Missoula Children’s Theatre has a one-week residency at Onanole School from September 14 – 19.  The students of Onanole will perform King Arthur’s Quest on Saturday, Sept. 19th We hope to see you there!

Merlin dines on robin in front yard

Merlin on ground with robinYesterday, While meeting with a couple of people to plan the September field activities for the  Riparian habitat workshops at Onanole’s Sonics and Sojourns Festival of Learning & Music, we happened to look up from our planning discussions and saw a male merlin mantling a fresh kill.  As we watched, the merlin (a small falcon) proceeded to feed on the robin for about 20 minutes.  After this, it picked up the half-remaining body and moved to a new location for a “picnic lunch”.

Merlin with robin in talons

And, then he headed off.  Merlins typically feed on small birds (starlings, robins, finches, swallows) and small mammals, snakes, and insects.  About 80% of their diet is small birds.  When it took off with so much of the robin in its talons, I wondered whether there was a female and young at a nest that were needing to be fed.  We live on the edge of mature aspen and balsam poplars, with lots of open grassy meadows and nearby (half mile) is the south boundary of Riding Mountain National Park.  When I see this kind of amazing natural occurrence, I am deeply reminded of the depth of biodiversity we have on this planet.

It brings sharply into focus the responsibility we have to educate and inform our elected representatives to shift their policies and laws to deal with climate change.  Yvo de Boer, the UN Climate Chief offers four (4) important political essentials that we have to get right at the UN Climate Change Conference December 7 – 18, 2009.

What a great Christmas gift it would be to our children and grand-children to offer them a new global climate treaty that moves all of our countries towards a 350ppm CO2 atmospheric carbon target.  This will be the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (also known as COP 15) and the 5th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 5). According to the Bali roadmap, a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012 is to be agreed upon at Copenhagen at this conference.  Maintaining a healthy atmosphere as part of our everyday community and business livelihoods contributes to biodiversity and a rich, healthy planet.

Natural Horsemanship – Training for Courage workshop in Erickson, Sept. 18 – 20


Heather Howdle, from Erickson, Manitoba forwarded information about a very unique workshop that will be taking place this September 18 – 20, 2009 during the same time as our Sonics & Sojourns Festival of Learning and Music.  A Natural Horsemanship three-day workshop, dubbed Training for Courage with Paul Dufresne will occur at the Erickson Arena and Fairgrounds.   Heather says, ” It’s very exciting as it will promote a harmonious relationship with your horse and allow you to work with the horse and teach the horse without using fear or force.”

For a POSTER providing information about this unique three-day clinic CLICK HERE, or

To register for either the Thursday evening demo or the clinic, please contact Heather Howdle at or email Heather

Learn techniques to improve the partnership between you and your horse, and promote a relaxed and willing attitude, confidence in both horse and rider, and the keys to achieving collection, lightness, and impulsion. Develop an exceptional relationship with your horse.

Listen to this  radio interview with Paul Dufresne, in which he gives an insight into his approach to his unique style of horsemanship training.