It started with an e-mail back in October 2010 and has ballooned into a ten days of events and activities for everyone. The first annual Revelstoke Spirit Festival is here and a brief glance at the schedule is evidence of the work that’s gone into putting the event on.
Gary Pendergast, the coordinator of the Revelstoke Arts Council, got things going when he successfully applied for a $20,000 grant in the fall. The money came from the B.C. government, who was looking to celebrate the Olympic spirit in the province one year out from the Olympics.
He knew that there were a few events scheduled for February, so he tied them together, added a bit more and was able to receive the maximum grant possible.
Since then, what started off with about a dozen events has exploded into a ten day festival with almost 60 different events going on from Feb 4-13.
“It’s expanded now so the program for it is over eight sides of folded paper,” said Pendergast. “What we’ve tried to do is involve as many different people as we possibly could.”
The committee he put together includes representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, the Powder Springs, Friends of Mt. Revelstoke & Glacier and local media and they’ve been able to get almost every group in town involved.
Pendergast said the initial $20,000 granted was about doubled thanks to the bars in town stepping up to book bands and DJs.
The full schedule is found in our Community Calendar on page 12 but a brief list of highlights includes:
– Art show and silent auction at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre this Friday.
– Carousel of Nations on Saturday
– Ski Bum: The Musical plays at the community centre on Sunday and Monday
– Ice Sculptures on Mackenzie
– DJs almost every night at Outabounds
– A whole slate of bands playing at every bar in town
– A family dance at the community centre on Wednesday
– Rock band challenge for adults on Tuesday and kids on Wednesday
– Mountain Roots Film Festival next weekend
– Chili cook off and snowman building competition next Saturday
– Revelstoke’s Top Bloke competition
– The Revelstoke Amazing Race next Saturday
– Rail jam at the Big Eddy Pub
While long-term government funding for the festival is not assured, Pendergast hopes that this will be the first of many Spirit Festivals.
“We’re just going to celebrate the whole week and it will be great,” said Pendergast. “Everybody will see something they like. We just want people to turn up and enjoy it.”