For the Bulletin
Part I of II
After eight days of hard work, hot weather, and great entertainment, the first Kimberley Kaleidoscope arts and culture festival closed on a high note with an estimated 250 people at the Saturday Night Blues Party barking and howling with delight in response to Texan bluesman Donald Ray Johnson’s urging from the Centre 64 outdoor stage. It was a hot, spirited party to end a hot weather week of varied entertainment and workshop activities.
When it was all over a tired but smiling crew of volunteers took down tents, cleared away tables and festival supplies and signage with the satisfaction of knowing that, despite all the things that could have been done better, and will be done better next year, the many months of preparation and organization had led to eight days of events that were, for the most part, reported by participants as being enjoyable, entertaining, and worthwhile.
The week started with the fourth First Saturday celebration of the year, as always masterminded by Carol Fergus and Emily Smith, this Saturday enhanced by the Dusty Downhill event organized by Jim Webster which attracted 110 runners and walkers. The race was followed by an afternoon of musical entertainment, an Artwalk and artisan booths in the Platzl, and several other events including another Jim Webster initiated event, the Omazing Race, in which over 100 participants, many of them children, followed clues to identify items and locations around the down town core. The day finished with a concert by the Kelowna-based Celtic group, Cod Gone Wild, on the Centre 64 outdoor stage attended by an estimated 300 people, many of whom danced in the dirt around kids building sand castles, in a high-spirited party that lasted into the dusk. It all made for an optimistic start to the festival week to come.
On Sunday the festival moved to Rotary Park where about 130 adults and children attended the Picnic in the Park between noon and 3 p.m. The entertainment featured traditional kids’ songs by Old Spice, followed by a short performance of magic tricks by The Amazing Jeremy, and the picnic ended with a series of old-tyme kids’ races that saw children of all sizes and ages jumping in sacks, running with eggs on spoons, and tied to their parents in three-legged races. Suckers and cotton candy, courtesy of The Candyman, were won by the participants.
On Monday the entertainment turned its focus from children to adults when Nelson actor and comedian Lucas Myers brought his ‘Cromoli Brothers’ comedy show to the Centre 64 theatre for an evening performance. Though small in numbers, the audience was warm in its appreciation of the many funny, occasionally risqué, sketches and jokes, several of them being persuaded to take part during the course of the show. There were many requests by departing happy patrons for another Lucas Myers show soon.
Tuesday was workshop day with three of them, as well as an evening painting demonstration and wine & cheese reception. Angelika Werth, a fabric artist from Nelson, commenced a three-day workshop in deconstructing and reconstructing textiles, Cranbrook painter Jim Robertson conducted a very well attended full day ‘plein air’ painting workshop for beginners, and Helen Robertson conducted the first part of two 2-hour lantern-making workshops, the results of which decorated the entrance at the Saturday Night Blues Concert. That evening Calgary painter & instructor, Doug Swinton, gave a landscape painting demonstration to an enthusiastic audience of about 40 local painters at a wine and cheese reception in the dance studio at Centre 64.