It started with a desire to put an exclamation mark on Canada Day in Kaslo, but it’s become much more.
Next weekend the folks at the north end of Kootenay Lake are getting set to kick the party up a notch with the first annual Kaslo Folk Music Festival. Between Thursday and Sunday there will be a wealth of local and province-wide talent on display in the little village with a world-class view.
“It started with the fact we haven’t had fireworks here for a couple years due to lack of organizing and funding,” says Andy LeCouffe, manager of the Kaslo Hotel. The hotel said, ‘let’s start a campaign to get fireworks back’ and at the same time drum up some interest over that long weekend.”
It’s been two years since Kaslo brought a big bang to the Canada Day festivities, but with help from the volunteer fire department and generous donations from the local business community the night skies over Kaslo Bay will shine bright on July 1. The cost of the fireworks show is pegged at $5,000 and so far the community has raised just over $3,200.
It turns out the fireworks provided the push for a weekend that has grown in scope. The recently refurbished hotel downtown — a major renovation was completed just over two years ago — will be hosting over a dozen musicians over the long weekend.
Though they will play on the hotel’s spacious patio, the bands will be seen and heard from the adjacent town square.
On the hotel or in the square, all the live entertainment at the folk festival is free.
“We’re hoping a local regional audience will make an excuse to come up to Kaslo for the long weekend,” says LeCouffe.
Though started by the hotel, LeCouffe says many local businesses have hopped on board and see the opportunity as a boon to the Kaslo economy.
“We are hoping that the retail business community will really latch onto this,” LeCouffe says of the first of what he hopes will be many Canada Day folk festivals in Kaslo.
For more on the festival and the line-up of entertainers check out kaslofolkfestival.weebly.com and keep your eyes peeled for a schedule in the Nelson Star next week.