Arts & Entertainment

The start of a rockin’ tradition

 | July 15, 2012

The sunshine, the crowd, the venue and the talent—everything came together for the free music concert at Sun Peaks Resort on July 7.

An estimated 6,000 people thronged to the community, and filled the hotels and condos, for the concert. That represents the biggest summer event Sun Peaks has hosted.

“This was a very significant day for the community,” says Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP). “And to have it happen during our 50th Anniversary just makes it better. This is a great preview of the summer events strategy we’ve embarked on.”

The concert began in the summer sun, featuring Tall Weeds, Margit Bull and Sweetgrass, and Paul Filek, before the much anticipated Kevin Costner and Modern West took to the stage. Concert-goers set up tents, blankets and chairs on the natural rise of the Sunbeam ski run, ensuring a great view for all and ample space for families to sprawl and play.

“It was the most beautiful location, it was incredible,” recalls concert-goer Lynda Baldelli. “It felt very laid back and very nice. It was nice to just relax, it wasn’t like a big arena where you had to herd through a single door, (you) just wandered up the mountainside, everyone honoured where they’d put the chairs, it was just such a nice friendly atmosphere.”

Many of the folks in the audience were first-time visitors to the mountain resort, significantly increasing Sun Peaks’ visibility and presence for visitors not attracted by skiing, biking or golfing, the traditional draws to the resort.

“Having such a big name star in the resort was pretty cool,” says Terra Stebner, local and owner of Innspire Property Services. “I thought it was well run, and a fantastic show, and the logistics worked out really well.”

Stebner’s only disappointment was her inability to get a nice close-up photo of Costner for her mom, a big Kevin Costner fan. She explains that although she sent her husband over to the stage to get a shot as Costner was exiting, what he got instead was a handshake and smile from the star.

That down-to-earth approachability was the buzz of the community as Costner took time to chat with people as he hit some balls on the driving range, worked out in the Delta Sun Peaks fitness room, and enjoyed the patios and pedestrian village at the resort.

The next major music concert, featuring an acoustic performance by Matthew Good, takes place on Saturday, September 1, 2012.