A big believer in Hay Days

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Dian Papineau-Magill believes in the Hay Days Music, Arts & Culture Festival.

Dian Papineau-Magill is the president of the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise, which presents the Hay Days Music, Arts and Culture Festival.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

You might expect that because Papineau-Magill is president of the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise, which organizes the annual event.

But her belief is more than that.

“I really, really do believe in Hay Days. It’s a big deal for this area,” she said. “There’s a lot of promotion of local music, art and culture, and that’s basically what Hay Days is all about.”

The Rotary Club began running the festival in 2017, after it had not taken place in 2016.

“It was something worth saving,” said Papineau-Magill, who has been the Rotary Club president for about a year, noting the organization supports small business and local art, among other things. “So it’s a nice fit for the Rotary Club.”

Papineau-Magill noted that all Rotary Club members are involved in Hay Days in one way or another.

“Everybody is involved when it comes down to helping out at the events themselves,” she said. “There’s a group of six of us who are the planning committee.”

Papineau-Magill also has a specific role organizing a family beach day.

For the Rotary Club, the Hay Days Festival is its biggest activity of the year, and one goal is to sustain it as a long-term event.

“That’s the hope,” said Papineau-Magill, adding sustainability depends on the support from the community, especially volunteers.

The festival needs at least 60 volunteers each year, she said. “And our club is only 22, so that means there’s people from the community who are going to step up, and they always do.”

Papineau-Magill expects some growth and change for the festival in future years.

“I don’t see it getting way out of hand, like becoming some national thing,” she said. “I think we’re going to hit a number, though, that’s going to be sort of the ideal. This is just the right size. We still have room to grow at this point, and the more we grow the better it is for the community, and the more exposure for our artists and musicians.”

Papineau-Magill said the highlight of the festival for her is the fact that it covers so many age groups with a variety of workshops, activities and music.