Over the last 7 years, Wapiti Music Festival (Aug 10-11, 2018) in Fernie, BC has made a name for itself as one of the most anticipated events of the summer. To understand why, just ask Kevin McIsaac, one of the founders of the event:
“Imagine the best backyard party you could throw, and that you can still bring your parents and kids to. Hundreds of friends. Blankets in the sun. The local craft brewery people on hand pouring chilled beer. Dancing under stars. Great food from sushi to BBQ to ice cream. And the all while listening to bands that years from now you’ll be telling your friends, -- I remember when I saw them at Wapiti, one of the best little mountain music festival around”.
The festival has a focus on delivering a curated experience of the best Indie Rock bands from across Canada. Previous acts who have played Wapiti include many Juno award winners, such as July Talk, The Strumbellas, Yukon Blonde and many more. This year’s event will feature Wintersleep, Elliott BROOD and hometown favourite stoke-folk band, Shred Kelly. But the whole festival experience is about so much more than just the music.
“Moments from an experience like this make hearts soar. It’s where friendships are cultivated and families bond.” says Chantel Vincent, the event’s artistic director.
The vendor village is situated amongst a towering stand of cottonwood trees. A meandering stream winds its way through the heart of the festival grounds, and the venue is situated at the base Mount Fernie, with the world famous Elk River bordering the event. If ever there was a more idyllic setting for homegrown mountain music festival.
The event is also doing its part to make sure that it is environmentally sustainable, and leaving the space better than when it arrived. The festival provides onsite composting and recycling, and a feature of the beer garden is reusable stainless steel beer mugs, manufactured by British Steelworkers. These efforts have lead the festival to receiving numerous “Green” awards.
Words and photos by Kyle Hamilton.
Kyle Hamilton, is a local Kootenay photographer who ended up settling in Fernie, BC. Kyle has love for the mountains and it has led him to focus on photography of mountain inspired activities. You could find him on a side of a mountain in -25C winter conditions with snow blowing around him shooting a heli-skiing event or next to a gentle mountain in the summer with one of his wedding clients... either way you could see him out exploring the areas around Fernie.