CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival takes centre stage in Sun Peaks

The CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival runs over the BC Day long weekend and attendees are encouraged to learn from professionals in various workshops.
A white and blue banner hangs between buildings in Sun Peaks Village and says "CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival."
The CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival brings artists from throughout the TNRD to Sun Peaks. Photo by Liz McDonald

Artists of all stripes take note – the BC Day long weekend in Sun Peaks brings the CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival to the mountain.

Three days of creative workshops, live performances, literary learning, family friendly activities and Indigenous films take the stage Aug. 4 until Aug. 6 throughout the village. Planned by ArtZone, the group partnered with Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) and Sun Peaks Resort (SPR) LLP to throw the festival.

Marj Knive, ArtZone president, explained the organization embarked on the three-day CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival to win future grants for arts and culture.

“We’ve been working hard at getting funding and grants from various places. We really had to have something to point at that we could say, ‘we’re capable of doing this stuff that we’re asking for money for.’”

After discussing the idea with TSP and SPR, the arts organization decided to run the festival over the August long weekend because of live music events already scheduled with TSP’s First Fridays.

The plan to prove its capacity for holding events has paid off, according to Knive, as the organization has since successfully received funding from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) and the Kamloops Arts Council. The grants allow the organization to put on some programming for the festival at no cost to attendees. 

Alongside learning from various professionals, people are encouraged to engage with the artists.

“I think the public needs to feel really welcome to ask like the painters [or various professionals] questions and talk to them… it should be an open opportunity to chat with the artists and as they work,” Knive said.

The organization is bringing in professionals from all over the TNRD for CREATE! Arts and Crafts Festival and Knive said they decided which artists to showcase based on the popularity of instructors.

Some of the events on Friday include a piano concert from Ezzra Cage, who studies piano and music theory with Kamloops Symphony Music School, live music by the Elton John cover band The Yellow Brock Road Experience featuring Andrew Johns and Indigenous animated films and documentaries from the National Film Board.

Saturday includes plain air painting – that is, painting outside – with Debbie Milne, two print workshops using fruits and vegetables by Janet Scruggs, interactive theatre by the Rivertown Players, yoga offered by Sun Peaks Yoga, literary events from local authors Derek Stroken and Alex Morrissey and more.

Sunday includes the Sun Peaks Market, silk scarf marbling workshops, a photography workshop with Bill Fell, still-life painting, a flower arrangement demonstration and more.

To ensure the event goes off without a hitch, the organizers hope people sign up for workshops in advance so that stations are well prepared, but guests can also purchase workshops online when they arrive.

For those visiting from out of town, Bear Country Cahilty Lodge is giving a 25 per cent discount for people staying two or more nights. 

For a full breakdown of events, costs and discounts for lodging, find out more on Artzone’s website.

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