The Dirtbag Festival was once again a resounding success, and appears to have found a permanent time slot in the second weekend in March.
Produced by Karen Vold-Oakley and Alison Ko, with the creative side headed up by Kevin Shepit, the Saturday night film and slide show was packed, the Friday night Spoken Word Fest very well received, the fundraising dance at the Elks Club for the Kimberley Volunteer Ski Patrol sold out and the Orienteering Club Ski Event a big hit as well.
The only sad note for the weekend was the announcement that longtime MC and founder of the Fest, along with Shepit, Bruce Kirkby will be stepping aside.
“Bruce said farewell,” Ko said. “He’s so low key, he didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. Bruce loves this stuff and I don’t know where we’ll find someone as good as he is. He’s so good at finding the back story.
“Dirtbag is a community festival and we know we’ll find someone from the community to step in. The Fest goes on.”
The Dirtbag Fest really did evolve into more of a festival weekend this year, with many events going on and the plan is to continue to grow it.
“Tourism Kimberley is excited that we’re creating more of a festival,” Ko said. “It sure highlights the talent in our town. Only one film was from out of town and we had over 40 volunteers. Dirtbag really has become a community thing.”