Building a weekend party around the blustery breezes of Squamish is no problem.
The town's second annual Wind Festival is back to celebrate the arts, with free concerts and wind and watersports for which Howe Sound is so well known.
The festival takes place from Friday, July 24, to Sunday, July 26.
"The Sea to Sky region — Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton — we're now becoming known for all these wonderful, big, ticketed events," organizer Michelle Nielson says.
"But only so many people can afford to go to these events. A new and growing community like ours, with diverse people making up a diverse group of interests, it's important that we create events that are free and accessible to all."
Some of the changes this year included two days of concerts at O'Siem Pavillion Park, with Latin funk band Mazacote and cover band Groove n Tonic on Friday, and Squamish talent, including the Will Ross Band, Lovecoast, and comedian Kelly Dyer on Saturday. Surrey band Good for Grapes is also playing.
"Friday night is more of a dance party... Saturday is more of an indie, singer-songwriter playlist. It has new up-and-coming bands of British Columbia and what is being created in our local music scene," she says.
"We think they will bring a huge crowd from the Sea to Sky corridor."
The children's area was also expanded, with more arts and crafts, buskers, jugglers, a fishing pond and face painting.
"We're a young town with lots of young families. The more we can do to add creative fun for kids the better," says Nielsen.
"The festival itself is not a kids' festival but it's like we are making a mini-kids' festival."
Nielson adds that the arts community is also heavily invested in the festival, with the local visual artists group Visuals "having so much fun," creating an installation in the trees, interactive art and a gallery show.
Each year, the festival plans to create an artistic legacy for the community. Last summer, it was a large wall mural of Howe Sound — The Sound We Want — by artist Chili Thom.
This year it is a community art mosaic involving found objects and artwork made by local children.
Both pieces are located at the end of Cleveland Avenue.
The festival takes place in downtown Squamish and along the nearby Mamquam Blind Channel on Friday and Saturday, moving to the Oceanfront on Sunday.
For more information, visit: www.squamishwindfestival.com.
Pemberton Cultural Roundtable dissolved
The newly formed Pemberton Arts & Culture Council (PACC) received some staff support from the Village of Pemberton (VOP).
At its council meeting on July 21, council voted to appoint communications and grants co-ordinator Kim Slater as the VOP's representative on the PACC. Slater had been the interim appointee. At the same time, council voted to dissolve the Pemberton Valley Cultural Roundtable, which had formed a partnership with the former Pemberton Arts Council to create the space.
- With files by Dan Falloon