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Pemberton Winterfest calls for artists, musicians and vollies

Street performers, outdoor evening concert, youth mark growing festival

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By Cindy Filipenko

Potato Jack may one day be as famous as Bonhomme, the friendly snowman mascot of Quebec’s Carnival. In the meantime, Winterfest organizer France Lamontagne wants to ensure that members of Pemberton and Area C’s creative community are well represented at this year’s festival, running from Feb. 11 to 14.

A Pemberton Spirit of B.C. Committee event, Winterfest is now in its third year, and radically different from previous years. Activities have expanded to incorporate community diversity with an eye to producing a 17-day festival, and subsequent 10-day festival, to coincide with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

“Winterfest is all about inclusion,” she said.

To meet that goal, the festival is inviting artists and artisans from Pemberton, Mt. Currie, Birken and D’Arcy to submit their applications for inclusion in the following categories: artisans (professional and recreational); photographers and artists (professional); musicians and street performers. The deadline for applications is Friday, Jan. 19.

Artisans can apply by calling Marnie Simon at 604-894-0242 or e-mailing her at marnie@whooshnet.com . Within this category fibre artists, jewelers, woodworkers, First Nations artists, painters, sculptors and metal workers will be represented.

Robin Mcgeough will be taking applications from musicians and professional artists and photographers at 604-894-5767 or nest@telus.net .

“We’re defining a professional artist or photographer as someone who makes their living through their art,” explained Lamontagne.

Lamontagne will be taking applications for the street performers who do not have to qualify as local. What they do need to have is a 45-minute family-oriented piece to perform. As part of “Quakertown”, the performers will do their shtick on street corners of downtown Pemberton. Instead of money, appreciative audience members will fill their hats with tokens available onsite. The three street performers with the greatest number of tokens will be awarded prizes at the Saturday evening concert and beer garden.

She’s also excited about what will happen once the prizes are awarded — the event’s first open-air evening concert with Grateful Greg and Guitar Doug.

“I saw The Hairfarmers at the Rotary Halloween Dance, and thought we need them for Winterfest…. we need them for every Winterfest Saturday night concert. They’re great. They really get a crowd dancing.”

A passionate violinist who travels with her instrument in her car “just in case,” Lamontagne is thrilled by this year’s Winterfest theme, Colour and Music.

“We really hope that people will bring their drums, noisemakers, recorders…whatever… out to the parade, so they can be participants as well as spectators,” she said.

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