Spirit Fest brings 11 diverse days of events to town
When funding from the Vancouver Olympics’ Spirit Foundation funding dried up, there was some question as to whether or not Revelstoke’s successful Spirit Fest would continue. So the committee that worked on the event the past two years got together to decide whether or not they should continue.
“Everybody on the committee was keen because it was a great week with so much happening,” said Emma Kirkland. “The committee has done a lot of volunteer hours and we’ve come up with a great schedule of events, I think.”
They got some funding from the Revelstoke Accommodation Association, and possibly the City of Revelstoke, and put together 12 days of events that start this Thursday, Jan. 31, and runs until Family Day on Monday, Feb. 11.
As usual, the festival is an amalgamation of regular events in town, and a number of special ones put on specifically for the festival. Things kick off on Thursday with jam night at Benoit’s Wine Bar, Totally Board Movie night at the Cabin, and speed dating at the Last Drop with the candidates for Revelstoke’s Top Chick and Top Bloke.
The Top Chick contest has been added to the Top Bloke contest that has run the last two years. On Thursday, you can go on a speed date with the contestants. On Friday, Feb. 1, the Top Chick finalists strut their stuff at the Last Drop. The Top Bloke finalists go on display on Feb. 8.
For families, there’s a whole bunch of events. There’s parent-tot skate at the arena on both Fridays, a family swim on Feb. 11. On Saturday, Feb. 2, the indingenous dance and theatre company Red Sky presents The Great Mountain, an eco-adventure story play for parents and children at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.
The Carousel of Nations returns this year on Feb. 2, once again celebrating Revelstoke’s diversity with ethnic song, dance, food, children’s stories and crafts. The Vancouver-band Locarno will be the feature performer.
That night there’s disco-funk ice skating at the arena with DJ Michael Fraser, and Locarno will take the stage at the Last Drop.
On Sunday, Revelstoke Mountain Resort hosts the Tournament of Chumps, a retro ski and snowboard day fundraiser with a series of events inspired by First Tracks: The History of Skiing in Revelstoke. The day will feature a series of fun competitions, including dual-GS races, an old-school trick contest, tube-park races and more. Dozens of businesses have donated prizes, and the overall winner gets a season pass for RMR. All proceeds go to support the nascent Revelstoke Adaptive Snow Sports program.
That night, Benoit’s is hosting a murder-mystery dinner.
There’s lots of music throughout the week. For the first weekend, DJ Bryx is at the River City Pub on Feb. 1 and Locarno takes the stage at the Last Drop on Feb. 2.
On Feb. 5, Buckman Coe is at the Last Drop and John Jenkins is playing at Benoit’s Wine Bar. On Feb. 6, Corin Raymond is at Benoit’s and open mic takes place at the Last Drop. On Feb. 7, there’s three big shows – ABBA Again at the theatre, Shane Phillip at the Last Drop and Delhi 2 Dublin at the River City Pub. Red Eye Empire is playing at the River City Pub on Feb. 9.
For youth, there’s an open jam night at the United Church on Friday, Feb. 1, and a Battle of the Bands there on Feb. 8.
Spirit Fest takes over downtown on Feb. 9, with a series of events beginning with the chili cook-off, which starts at 2 p.m. The Outhouse Races return to Mackenzie Avenue, starting at 3 p.m. Businesses are being encouraged to take part this year and organizers have been searching for the original Outhouse Race trophy. The Revelstoke Canine Search & Rescue Society is hosting a dog show from 3-4 p.m. and then the Downtown Rail Jam, which is bringing in competitors from throughout Alberta and B.C., takes place starting at 4 p.m.
The Canadian Avalanche Centre is hosting Avalanche Awareness Days at the Boulder Mountain cabin on Feb. 9, so if you have a snowmobile, you can get up there. If not, you can head to the fundraiser part at the Last Drop that night.
If you want to get inside, the Anything Goes Art Show & Auction is being held at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre from 3-7 p.m. This is your chance to bid on a 20” X 20” canvas by a local artist.
On Sunday, Feb. 10, the Amazing Race returns to Revelstoke after a one year hiatus. The race will see 10 teams scamper around town in a series of events. Register at the Chamber of Commerce. Later in the day, the Spirit Fest wrap-up dinner takes place at the community centre, or you can catch the Swing Monkeys at the Last Drop.
Finally, Spirit Fest wraps up with cordwood curling at the arena on Feb. 11 from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. Teams will be supplied with log ends with handles to be decorated and then take part in a game of curling. You can follow that up with Family Day swim at the pool fro 1-4 p.m.
This is the third year for Revelstoke Spirit Fest. Emma Kirkland said she hopes the event will become a tourist draw, and that they are promoting it in the Okanagan, Shuswap and Banff areas.
“I know from a hotelier’s perspective, people who were here last year will book their holiday around it because there’s so much going on, she said. “But that’s people who have already seen it.”
Visit revelstokespiritfest.ca for the full schedule of events.