Revelstoke’s long tradition of winter carnivals was revived in 2011 with the creation of the Revelstoke Spirit Festival. But could the new festival, which got funding from a 2010 Olympics-related fund, keep it going in its sophomore year?
Yes, says organizer Garry Pendergast, executive director of the Revelstoke Arts Council, which is bringing the event back this year and hopes to keep it going in years to come. A big cash injection from the Vancouver Foundation is helping the new festival build momentum in 2012.
“It’s a mix of everything,” Pendergast says of the Feb. 3–12 event. The decentralized organizational structure allows community groups to put on events individually. “That way you have plenty of energy to put on your event,” he says.
Pendergast says the spirit they’re aiming for is a community festival with something for everyone. “What we’re trying to achieve is to cater to as many people as possible,” he says.
Pendergast underscores there are many free or very low cost events, and lots of family-friendly activities.
Here are some highlights:
-Ski Bum the Musical – The satirical musical comedy about life in a ski town packed the venue on both nights last year.
-Top Bloke Revelstoke – Who is Revelstoke’s most desirable bachelor? Contestants check their pride at the door and compete at speed dating and a finals gala.
-Anything Goes Art at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre. This kickoff event features an auction of works created by local artists on donated canvases.
-Outhouse Races at Centennial Park. “That’s a throwback to the old Winterfest,” Pendergast says. See the story this issue.
-Mackenzie Avenue Rail Jam. Skiers and snowboarders show off their jib prowess downtown.
-Revelstoke Mountain Roots Film Festival sponsored by the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier.
-Carousel of Nations – A multi-cultural affair featuring ethnic foods, costumes, dance and cultural exchanges.
See pages 10–11 for a special Revelstoke Times Review Community Calendar featuring all events during Spirit Fest.
Check out revelstokespiritfest.ca for event listings.
Check the Feb. 8 issue of the Times Review for more events listing from the final five days of the festival, including a feature on the 2012 offerings of the Revelstoke Mountain Roots Film Festival, an anchor event.