Elvis Festival:  Inspirational Indeed!  


by Wendy Hunter


I was classified as a ‘first timer’ at the Elvis Festival in Collingwood this past weekend!!  I’ve seen it advertised every year for over 20 years and I never travelled to Collingwood to see the festivities.  But this year…I got there and it was terrific!  In fact it was truly inspirational!  But I knew it would be just that…inspirational, uplifting and rejuvenating!! That’s just the effect that Elvis Presley had on people of all walks of life…and still does almost 40 years after his death.  He had an amazing ability to bring people together to listen to his music, to become inspired and moved by the words and the emotion that he shared when he sang.  


The highlights for me included the Sunrise Gospel Worship Service at the main stage on Hurontario Street on Sunday.  Some beautiful hymns were sung by different ETA’s and the fabulous Tonnettes who are from Mississauga.  The attached pic includes the Tonettes, my friend Dianne in the orange and me at the other end. 

But the best part of the show, as far as i’m concerned, was the sermon that Rev. Matt Martin gave to the crowd.  You may not know this but Rev. Martin is an Elvis Tribute Artist and a minister of his own church in London Ontario.  Talk about two for the price of one!  He shared his message in word and in song.


He talked about the world as it was 2000 years ago.  He shared a passage from scripture that described how scary the world was then. There was violence in the streets and no one would stop and help a man who had been beaten and left for dead…they just stepped over him and continued on their way.  He explained that today we still live in a scary world with terrorism,

Rev. Matt Martin
Rev. Matt Martin

racism, hatred, violence against women and children…but there is hope!  Rev. Martin feels that we won’t win with guns and bombs…but we can with love. He finished his sermon with a prayer for us all…to reach out in love – to our neighbours, communities, families and friends because love is the way we can take away the fear that our world still experiences today.  He sang a beautiful rendition of ‘In the ghetto’ which was amazing!  

For a ‘first timer’, I had an amazing time!  I was inspired, uplifted and rejuvenated by the overwhelming message of peace, love and acceptance that Elvis and all of the ETA’s continue to express across the world!  Wow!  What a blessing!!  I will be back next year for sure!  Maybe as a volunteer but for sure as a fan!