The OM Festival was a community-based summer solstice festival that ran annually in southern Ontario for 7 years beginning in 1998 and ending in 2005. The festival, organized by Sumkidz, featured music, dance and art, and encouraged its attendees to participate by volunteering. The event promoted free-expression and a no spectator, leave-no-trace philosophy. Om drew in 3000+ participants from all over the world. The event had mutiple stages, a giant community kitchen which produced thousands of meals throughout the weekend, a healing area, and an educational hub where people shared ideas and offered 100s of workshops on everything from knitting to indy media. The festival supported many artists from across Canada as well as local collectives, offering the opportunity and funds to produce and showcase their own work and skills.
The annual gathering attracted people who enjoyed electronic music, considered themselves knowledge-seekers, environmentalists, spiritual travelers and other individuals who sought the enlightenment of the human spirit.
Former festival attendees or current Message Board members sometimes call themselves OMIEs.
Volunteers chose to work in the Kind Kitchen, on foot patrol (security and first aid), in the child care areas, on clean up, or in several other positions. Those who gave their time and effort to sustain the festival received a free ticket, although they were required to purchase a t-shirt identifying them as OM crew.
After the final Om Festival in 2004, Sumkidz, alongside many new coordinators who cared deeply about the Om Community, formed the OM Reunion Project (ORP) and began to coordinate a smaller more intimate and intentional summer solstice gathering. The first being Re:union in 2005, followed by In:tent in 2006, Re:treat in 2007 and In:sight in 2008. The intention of the Om Reunion Project was to facilitate a more intentional community event, beyond the "party" where all participants register for the gathering in advance. Every attendee is required to volunteer, and everyone is encouraged to share their art, whether it be music, dance, art, food, education etc...
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