Dirtbag is coming to Kimberley

March 8 and 9 at Centre 64 and McKim Theatre featuring spoken word and film, photos


Dirtbag weekend in Kimberley will soon be upon us — an opportunity to view, and hear, the offerings of those who pursue the dirtbag lifestyle.

The dirtbag philosophy, says John Haner of the Kimberley Volunteer Ski Patrol (one of the organizations Dirtbag will be raising funds for this year) is to make enough money as you have, then have fun, do what makes you happy.

And the dirtbag spirit is strong in Kimberley, says one of the fest’s organizers, Alison Ko. It just made sense to support local volunteer groups.

“The spirit of Kimberley is strong. We get so much support from the community. The ski hill is  a huge piece of the community and the ski patrol is so much a part of the ski hill.”

“The ski patrol are the guys in the red jackets,” Haner said. “The volunteer ski patrol are the original ski patrollers at he ski hill since back in the 1950s. They have hired people for ski patrol but on weekends, we are the ones you see.

“We like to be involved in the community. The dirtbag spirit is part of the ski patrol.”

Dirtbag fest will also raise funds for the group hoping to add a whitewater feature to Mark Creek.

The Dirtbag Fest concept has proven popular since its inception, and although it has missed a year here and there, it’s usually a sell out.

It’s an opportunity to see what some truly amazing photographers and film-makers have been up to — and a lot of them live right here in Kimberley.

It’s a chance to see stories on film, such as the Kimberley family who took a canoe trip from Jasper to Tuktoyaktuk. Or a local man who walked out his front door and hiked — all the way to Rogers Pass.

The festival has expanded this year. There will be the hugely popular film and photo night on Saturday, March 9 — an opportunity to see films and also the local slideshow. Organizers say they have been flooded with local entries for the community slideshow.

“Local flavour is the core element of Dirtbag and locals have really stepped up this year,” Haner said.

On Friday, March 8 at Centre 64, there will be a celebration of the spoken word at Centre 64.

“Dirtbag is about storytellers,” Ko said. “The idea for a spoken word night came from some former Selkirk students who have gone on to pursue creative writing.”

Organizers want the second weekend of March to become Dirtbag weekend in Kimberley and hopefully spawn a few more events.

“Our hope is to attract a young crowd to Kimberley,” Ko said. “We want people to start thinking the second week of March is Dirtbag, let’s go to Kimberley.”

Tickets for Dirtbag are available at Sprout Grocery in Kimberley and Lotus Books in Cranbrook.