It is the first real festival of the year, the start to summer.
The Starbelly Jam Music Festival in Crawford Bay signifies that summer and festival season is truly here, and it does that in an all welcoming, all encompassing, family-infused gathering.
Nestled on the East Shore of Kootenay Lake, the 14th stellar edition of Starbelly is the most family friendly affair in the West Kootenay, and it isn’t by accident, says Lea Belcourt, Starbelly’s artistic director.
Arising out of the East Shore values of engaging in activities with children, the festival has taken that credo and made that its own as well.
“It lessens the generation gap for us a little,” Belcourt said. “For us on the East Shore, just knowing the frustration of not being able to go to certain things because you have kids, we didn’t want to leave out kids out of this.”
With a solid lineup for its 14th all ages festival, Starbelly’s two stages will be graced by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Blue King Brown, Vancouver’s Boom Booms and Pack A.D., Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz, Pack AD and Buckman Coe.
This year’s festival will also showcase a great selection of Kootenay talent such as Cranbrook’s The Good Ol’ Goats, Nelson’s DJ Rippel with LA’s Droop Capone, Swing Theory, Bessie and the Back Eddies and Tofu Stravinsky, Creston’s Tiizak Hamra, and the East Shore’s own Tipi Camp Tribute Ensemble and The Arcane Garden.
However, Belcourt said Starbelly Jam’s all-ages aspect is highlighted by the activities and entertainment for the younger attendees. Starting with the Rainbow Cirque Tent on the festival grounds, Starchild Entertainment will be gathering kids throughout the weekend for shows and parades.
There will also be a crafting extravaganza in the kids’ crafts area, the Rainbow Country bubble blowing zone and misting station, and lots of workshops and fun for young kids (and old ones) all weekend.
“That’s what makes us the Kootenay’s best all-ages festival, we are trying to create the best experience for everyone that comes through the gates,” said Belcourt.
For a full list of ticket outlets, ticket prices and more information about Starbelly Jam 2013 visit starbellyjam.org.
This is your summer guide to festivals and happenings at home and abroad in the West Kootenay this summer …
Starbelly Jam Music Festival
• July 19-21, Crawford Bay
The music and other entertainment is soulfully eclectic, and this year will include funk, world music, rock, hip-hop, reggae, blues, bluegrass, folk, jam bands and other acts that are a little harder to define. It also has entertainment and activities for children (who get in free if they are under age 13 and with an adult). It’s a real family festival.
Find it: http://starbellyjam.org
Unity Music Festival
• July 27-28, Slocan City
The Slocan Valley’s only music festival with a healthy dose of local talent.
Find it: http://unitymusicfestival.ca
KGB-Kootenay Gut Buster
• July 26-27, Crawford Bay
Funniest vacation ever with Canada’s only outdoor comedy concert experience.
Find it: www.kgbcomedy.com
Kootenay Festival – Let’s Celebrate
• July 27, Castlegar
Featuring live music, dance, and performances, encouraging the appreciation of the community’s diversity. Sample the cuisine, culture, and heritage of this dynamic region.
Find it: www.kootenayfestival.com
Jam Camp Kokanee Creek
• July 28-Aug. 2, Nelson
Jam Camp is a musical adventure for families of all ages and musical experience. For three to five days Jam Campers camp with a multi-national crew of facilitators and explore music that celebrates life, nature and cultural diversity.
Find it: jamcamp.org
22nd Kaslo Jazz Etc Summer Music Festival
• Aug. 2-4, Kaslo
The best little music festival in Canada, on the shores of Kootenay Lake at the foot of the Purcell mountains. Recently recognized as one of the Top 10 Places to Enjoy Outdoor Summer Music by the Edmonton Sun, visitors are encouraged to book their tickets and accommodation ahead of time to avoid missing out.
Find it: www.kaslojazzfest.com
31st annual Cyswog’n’Fun triathlon
• Aug. 4, Nelson
This triathlon continues to be an event for everyone from top-ranking amateurs to adult and youth participants who are entering for pure enjoyment.
Find it: http://trinelson.com
Shambhala Music Festival
• Aug. 7-12, Salmo River Ranch
Voted one of the best large music festivals in the world, the rave on the shores of the Salmo River is the premier festival in the West Kootenay.
Find it: http://www.shambhalamusicfestival.com
Columbia Basin Culture Tour
• Aug. 10-11, venues in Columbia Basin
Explore artists’ studios, museums, art galleries and heritage sites through this free, self-guided tour.
Find it: www.cbculturetour.com
Fat Tire Festival
• Aug. 23-25, Nelson
This event takes place every year in memory of Cam Alexander, a friend and avid cyclist. This year’s festival focuses on reaching out to the community to return to biking. As such, organizers have put an emphasis on participation by making events that include the competitive and recreational rider alike.
Find it: http://www.nelsonfattire.com
Rossland Rubberhead Bike Festival
• September, Rossland
It’s a weekend that Rossland goes all out on mountain biking. At noon, the infamous Dreadhead All-Mountain Challenge, a two-part race, tests riders to their limits. It takes place at the new Redhead/Red Summit trail. The Huck in Berries Bike Jam takes place at the Centennial Bike Park in the city.
This event is a jam style, slope style competition with multiple age categories. The Sunday features the Seven Summits Poker Ride. It is a non-competitive poker ride of 36 kilometres over the peaks of seven mountains.
Find it: email@example.com.
Golden City Days
• Sept. 6-8, Rossland
Rossland celebrates its history.
The Friday evening starts with a talent show. Saturday starts with a pancake breakfast, then the parade. There are children’s games, face-painting, food vendors, pony rides and much more. During the weekend there is a softball tournament and sports demonstrations.
Find it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hills Garlic Festival
• Sept. 8, New Denver
In Centennial Park. Garlic, harvest produce, crafts, raffles, contests, food, entertainment from 160 vendors.
Find it: www.hillsgarlicfest.ca
18th annual Pass Creek Fall Fair
• Sept. 20-22, Pass Creek Exhibition Grounds
Come out and enjoy an old fashioned community fall fair. Lots to do, lots to see.
Find it: www.passcreekfair.com
Kootenay Storytelling Festival
• Sept. 21-22, Nelson
Find it: http://kootenaystory.org/the-2012-festival/
Kootenay Pass 50th
• Oct. 6, Summit Lake, between Creston and Salmo
The Salmo-Creston highway was opened 50 years ago—join in to celebrate that historic event.
Find it: www.creston.museum.bc.ca
The Nelson-Nelway Highway is open in all directions and remains in a good condition west to Castlegar and south towards Salmo on Highway 6, despite the floods occurring nearby earlier this year.
The 3A Highway to Balfour is also operating as usual and Highway 31 is now clear up to Lardeau and beyond. Traffic is also operating as normal on the Salmo Creston Pass along Highway 3.
In addition, all local ferries are operating as usual, including the Galena Bay Ferry from Revelstoke via Highway 23 and the Fauquier Ferry which connects travellers from Vernon via Highway 6.
The Kootenay Lake Ferry is also operating its summer schedule until Labour Day, offering 15 daily departures on board the M.V Osprey and M.V Balfour. Passengers can board the 35 minute service for free with cars, trucks and bicycles all year round.
Strength in numbers
Five West Kootenay festivals have joined forces to spearhead the Kootenay Columbia Festival and Events Association, an organization whose members will be stakeholders interested in the successful promotion and delivery of festivals and events within the Columbia Basin region.
Potential members are organizations that sponsor a festival or event or other individuals, organizations, government agencies, or incorporated companies with an interest in supporting these events.
The five founding members are Kaslo Jazz Festival, Starbelly Jam, Nakusp Music Festival, Shambhala Music Festival and Hills Garlic Festival, who have been working together since 2009 with the goal in mind of formalizing their association.