The Gath­er­ing fes­ti­val brings fire, food and music to Burlington, N.L.

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - FRONT PAGE - BY BETH PEN­NEY

It’s not your typ­i­cal fes­ti­val — gourmet meals in the woods with mu­si­cians, sleep­ing in a light­house or un­der the stars in tent city.

Shaun Ma­jumder, one of Canada’s best-known co­me­di­ans, was born and raised in Burlington, and spent many sum­mers com­ing ‘OME’ to his home­town.

Ma­jumder wanted to give oth­ers the amaz­ing feel­ing he ex­pe­ri­enced ev­ery time he re­turned to Burlington.

“There’s no place like ‘OME’,” says Ma­jumder with a laugh. “It’s all about re­mind­ing peo­ple of the cul­tural el­e­ments of this place, and all of ru­ral New­found­land.”

The Gath­er­ing fes­ti­val is a true New­found­land ex­pe­ri­ence. There is pick­ing ber­ries on the trails, hav­ing tou­tons for dessert, and a shed crawl to fin­ish off the week­end.

With com­edy, music and food, there is some­thing for all ages to en­joy.

“It’s a feel­ing that’s hard to de­scribe,” said Ma­jumder. “It’s not about celebri­ties or about which big act we have play­ing. It’s about qual­ity, and ev­ery­body be­ing equal and in­volved.”

“Ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity pitches in,” said Rudy Nor­man, ‘OME’ ex­ec­u­tive director. “One cou­ple has been giv­ing up their home to the same per­form­ers for the past four years.”

Nor­man was the open­ing act of Thurs­day evening’s com­edy show.

“By no means am I a co­me­dian,” he said laugh­ing. “But, I was telling Shaun a story a few weeks ago, and he said, ‘man, you’ve got to do that on stage.’ He be­lieves in peo­ple, that’s just the kind of guy he is.”

Au­drey Bartlett and Pauline Young are house­keep­ers for the ‘OmeSweet­Ome’ tents, but dur­ing The Gath­er­ing fes­ti­val, they have a much larger job.

They clean ac­com­mo­da­tions and por­ta­ble toi­lets for hun­dreds of guests through­out the week­end.

“We en­joy what we do,” said Young. “We get to meet peo­ple from all over the world.”

The pair say Ma­jumder makes sure ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity is as in­volved as they would like to be.


Shaun Ma­jumder thanks per­form­ers — in­clud­ing Bud Davidge, right, and Rex Goudie, left — at Satur­day evening’s show in Burlington.


Mu­si­cians at Satur­day af­ter­noon’s shed crawl.

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