Diemm, a poet, singer, song writer and harper from Kaslo, B.C., performs at the Kimberley Kaleidoscope Festival. Photo courtesy of  Kevi Remple.

Kimberley Kaleidoscope Festival triumphant despite tricky circumstances

A slightly modified Kimberley Kaleidoscope Festival was held last month, and from all accounts from those involved in putting this long-standing local event on, it went very well.

“Kaleidoscope is known for celebrating a cross section of the arts every year,” said Kimberley Arts Council President Lennan Delaney. “Whether it’s spoken word, a gallery of fine art or live on-stage music, I think we can all agree that in-person engagement for these events are always preferred.

“We were very fortunate to have the Kaleidoscope Committee work diligently and creatively to make this happen while keeping attendees and volunteers feeling safe and comfortable.”

READ MORE: Kaleidoscope Fest returns to Kimberley in August

Originally called Arts on the Edge, the festival’s roots go back to around 2004. It is ordinarily a full week-long event, but planners wound up making it four days long this year, and had actually planned to do it entirely online, but COVID restrictions began to ease.

“We started adding an event here and an event there that we felt was manageable,” said Chantel Delaney, who joined the Board around halfway through their planning process.

“Normally Kaleidoscope was a full week-long and this year it was just four days, but it was perfect. I felt like we didn’t bite off more than we could chew, we didn’t have to cancel anything because a lot of the restrictions were starting to change for the worse right as it was happening.”

This year’s Kaleidoscope featured a variety of programming from August 18 to 23, plus an adjudicated exhibition which ran from August 3 to 28.

Kimberley Arts Council administrator Christine Besold said there were 65 entries from 30 artists, both local and from as far away as Creston, Fernie, Invermere and Vancouver.

The gallery attracted 245 visitors over the course of the month and 188 people voted for a People’s Choice Award, which went to Sam Millard for their work “Caged Bird.”

There was $1950 in prize money provided by sponsors RDEK/Community Initiatives, which was given away to participating artists in the following categories:


•1st prize to Mona Kronberg for “Topaz Wave”

•2nd prize to Paul “Bucky” Kavanagh for “Chaga”

•3rd prize to Lorea Murray for “Summer Flowers & Berries”

•Honourable mention to Jolene Miner for “ The Furrowed Brow” and Edward Butterworth for “Cloud Forest 1”


•1st prize to Mariah A. Plant for “Misty Morning 1”

•2nd prize to Sam Millard for “Caged Bird”

•3rd prize to Walter Comper for “Right of Passage”

•Honourable mention to Alysha Clarke for “Apple Study”, Jenny Steenkamp for “Yellows and Green” and to Anton Zanesco for “Untitled”

Awards were presented at a ceremony on August 19, with participating artists treated to refreshments and music from local pianist Daniel Bailey.

The Family Paint Night was the only virtual event of the festival. This was hosted by local artist Julie Liu and participating parents and children had a great time painting along to her instructions and creating their own individual versions of the project.

On Saturday, Aug. 20 there was a spoken word performance from Kaslo’s Diemm, plus a group of local artists who shared their work.

“It was a lot of Kimberley history and then parts of their life stories and adventures, it was beautiful,” said Chantel Delaney. “And it was cool that it was locals because you learn something new about these people that you’ve seen around that you kind of know already.”

Delaney added that Diemm was “incredible.” Her performance weaved between reading poems in a very storytelling way, while also playing harp and singing throughout.

“It was really a lot of variety throughout the whole performance,” Delaney said. “It was spellbinding, it was so cool, I absolutely loved it.”

On Saturday night there was an outdoor concert featuring local bands Leather Apron Revival and Riff. The event was capped to 100 people for safety reasons and it sold out quickly.

The closing event was the popular Da-Vin-Ci Paint Night on the evening of August 22, where local artist Helen Robertson lead a two-hour mixed media workshop to small but dedicated group of students.

“All in all, we feel the festival was a great success, given the circumstances,” Besold said. “We are grateful to have been able to offer this smaller version of Kimberley Kaleidoscope to a live audience this year.

“A big ‘thank you’ goes out to our volunteers and all the participants for coming out and making this a fun event, while following all the rules and restrictions.”

Kimberley Kaleidoscope was funded by CBT/RDEK/Community Initiatives funding, BC Gaming and the City of Kimberley.


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