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A group of Winnipeggers wanted to give evacuees from a number of Northern Manitoba First Nations a chance to listen to music, eat good food and take their minds off the situation they're in. 

Rhonda Head and other community members organized the Concert of Hope, which took place at the Oodena Celebration Circle at The Forks on Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. 

"We're hoping we can provide them some amazing entertainment and food so they can forget about their situation for a while," said Head. "It's traumatizing when you're forced to leave your home obviously and as indigenous people, we're very connected to the land so it must be hard for them." 

"The majority of these people have probably never left their homelands before." 

The concert featured 16 artists, including entertainers JC Campbell, Ojibway Elvis and Lisa Muskwagon, bands like Sagkeeng's Finest and The Staggering Haggards and comedian Paul Raubliauskas among others. 

Head says the food was provided by Feast Cafe Bistro, Danny's Whole Hog BBQ and Althea Guiboche, known in Winnipeg as "The Bannock Lady." 

Organizers also set up a donation table where people brought food, water and clothing. Evacuees were given a chance to go through the table and pick out whatever they need for them and their families. 

Despite some rain in the forecast, Head said the concert was getting a lot of buzz locally, and she expected a lot of people to show up throughout the day.  

"We're 'Friendly Manitoba', it's very true and when people are in need we show up," said Head. "I can't imagine what it's like to be uprooted and forced to leave your home so it's important to be friendly and welcoming, because for the evacuees this is their new home for at least a few days, maybe even weeks." 

"It's important to make them feel welcome and safe."

The concert took place from 12:30 pm until 6:00 pm on Monday. 

Approximately 5,000 people were evacuated last week from four communities because of wildfires, including Wasagamack First Nation, Garden Hill First Nation, St. Theresa Point First Nation and Poplar River First Nation. 

The Canadian Red Cross said evacuees from Poplar River will be able to return home starting tomorrow, but could not provide a timeline for evacuees from the other three communities. 

The province of Manitoba said in its last fire bulletin that crews are continuing to work on maintaining the fires and making sure they don't spread any closer to people's homes.