Sun Peaks plans a strong opening line-up for the summer season

Updates have been made to the free concert schedule at Sun Peaks on July 7: The first act will play at 3:30 p.m., the second act at 4:30 p.m., and the third act at 5:30 p.m. Kevin Costner will take the stage at 7 p.m. and is expected to play until 8:30-9 p.m.

Sun Peaks is looking forward to a lot of visitor faces in the upcoming weeks and months as the businesses and resort ready themselves for a busier summer season than they’ve ever seen. The increased cultural events are expected to compliment the already robust sports scene on the mountain.

On the calendar for Canada Day weekend are the Mountain of Beer & Chili Cook-off, musical performances by Blues Jumper and Rolling Stones tribute band Steel Wheels, a dog agility show, the summer’s first farmers’ market, and Jo Berry’s ever-popular Jo’s Road Race.

“(Jo’s Road Race is) designed for fun,” explains event organizer Jo Berry. “It’s all about creating an ‘experience’ for people and our team is committed to making it a ton of fun. It’s a great place to start your summer holidays!”

From July 6 to 8 is the fifth annual Wine and Culture Festival. This event brings B.C. wines and local culinary delicacies together with the talents of local musicians from the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra.

The festival includes the Symphony of Flavours wine tasting and tapas with a Kamloops Chamber Music quartet, the Sunburst Barbecues and mid-mountain trio serenades, as well as a new painting en plein air workshop by Debbie Milner.

That weekend also hosts Sun Peaks’ largest cultural event to date, the Kevin Costner and Modern West free concert situated slopeside of the Village Day Lodge on Saturday, July 7.

“We’re hoping for around the 3,000 mark (for attendees),” explains Janice Nankivell, manager of events for Tourism Sun Peaks. “(The concert will be starting) around 1:30 p.m. and finishing around 7 p.m.”

Opening for Modern West are Sun Peaks’ Peter Ernst and his band the Weeds, Kamloopsian Paul Filek and local singer/songwriter Margit Bull with Sweetgrass band members Rod Bandura on guitar and Ron Corea on drums.

“I’m overwhelmed, but we’re ready,” says Bull. “To have this call, out of the blue, it’s an honour. My producer said, ‘Now it’s time to step it up,’ so we have, and we have a great, great sound.”

They’ll be playing both covers and a few new originals that will be available on iTunes for the concert; Bull’s new album will be released in the fall.

Coming up just after that, from July 13 to 15, is the eighth annual Quilting in the Mountains Festival. This event includes guest quilter Bonny Voice, a judged quilt show, welcome dinner with trunk show, and a “Mary Ellen Hopkins” quilt retreat.

“We’re excited,” says Nankivell. “The retreat got a lot of support from the quilting community because it gives people the opportunity to come to the resort and work on a project they’ve perhaps already started and have that assistance there to help them over things that perhaps they’re not used to doing. It’s definitely a different angle for the festival, but it’s been well received.”

From kids’ face painting to quilting bees, and rock n’ roll to chamber music, Sun Peaks’ targeted market is diversifying. So, along with a lot of new events on the mountain, there’s sure to be a lot of new faces too.