The organizers behind the Squamish Wind Festival haven't let a global pandemic blow them over, though it has spun them around a few times.
The annual not-for-profit Squamish Wind Festival for the Arts is back from Aug. 9 to 15.
The week-long festival, which is produced by the Squamish Arts Council, managed to run in 2020 with plenty of COVID-restrictions in place, and as soon as it wrapped up, organizers started planning for this iteration.
The 2021 festival includes several workshops — pottery, wreath and crown making, drum making and the like — and plenty of live music and art.
Sunday, Aug. 15, Wind at The Bag with Norman Foote takes to the Brackendale Art Gallery stage.
Acts slated to perform are: Dalannah Gail Bowen featuring Michael Creber; Foote featuring Jim Salmon and Maria Gabrielle B Foote; Tsawaysia Spukwas; Mario and Anne Iacovone (The Overcomers); Jane Mortifee featuring Bill Sample and Darlene Cooper and Gabe da Costa and Mat Bergeron.
"What is awesome about working with someone like Norman Foote is that he is a Juno-award winning musician and his connections run really deep into the industry so it is like a little mini-festival within a festival," said Amy Liebenberg, executive director of the Squamish Arts Council.
Friday will be an adult music night and Saturday will be a day of outdoor music open to all.
Final details about exactly which musicians will be playing aren't being released yet (check in at squamishwindfestival.com as the date gets closer), but Liebenberg said there is sure to be something for everyone.
"We kind of designed the festival to be more in line with what it was last year, which is very hybrid, limited in-person events, but when we found out in June we could host gatherings of people, we made the decision once again to pivot," she said. "We felt people would be so excited to gather safely again."
Last year, the festival incorporated public art, so that is happening again with 10 colourful custom-painted benches that will be placed at bus stops around town.
These will remain for a time after the festival, Liebenberg said, noting the length of time depends on how the benches withstand the elements.
"This is a really fun project," she said, adding she loves to see the personal chairs that folks put out at stops, and these benches won't replace those but will be added seating.
"We are trying to add to the furniture,” she said. “They are painted by local talent and they are just absolutely amazing."
The workshops and the BAG performances are paid events — though at rates subsidized by the Arts Council — and the outdoor performances on Saturday will be free.
Liebenberg stressed that folks who feel they cannot attend a festival event due to the cost should reach out to organizers who can work something out.
"They can always email us, and we will make a plan; not a problem at all," she said.
The Friday acts and the BAG musicians will be livestreamed for free, as well.
"We are hoping to have a heck of a lot of fun this year with our community and we are hoping to take elements from the last couple of years and inject them into future Wind Festivals," she said, adding the livestreams are something they hope to continue. For the 2020 festival, folks from 10 countries tuned in.
"Livestreaming and Zoom workshops and that sort of thing have allowed us to access communities that can't always make it up to Squamish, which is really cool."Find out more about the festival at squamishwindfestival.com/ and at Squamish Wind Festival for the Arts on Facebook and at @squamishwind on Instagram.