Camp Koolaree visitors are seen here in 1944. The camp is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Photo: Submitted

Camp Koolaree visitors are seen here in 1944. The camp is celebrating its 90th anniversary. Photo: Submitted

Camp Koolaree celebrates 90th anniversary with film, galas

1920s-era footage of the Kootenays will be screened

Submitted by Camp Koolaree Society

The Camp Koolaree Society is inviting people from across the Kootenays to attend a series of fundraiser galas featuring a historical film about the camp’s early days. All this is in celebration of Camp Koolaree’s 90th anniversary, having been established by local churches in 1931 on the west arm of Kootenay Lake.

The public is invited to three admission-by-donation galas taking place in Castlegar, Nelson, and Trail in the coming weeks. For those wishing to tune in digitally, the Castlegar gala will be broadcasted online. Guests will be treated to a silent auction featuring donations by local individuals and businesses, with a 40-minute film featuring never-before-screened historic footage of the Kootenays starting in 1928.

“This film really shows you what life was like in the Kootenays in the early 20th century,” says Linn Murray, who helped digitize the film. “You see familiar places like Kokanee glacier, the North Shore, Trail, and Camp Koolaree in a completely different light.”

“The historic footage is full of vibrancy and smiling, laughing children and parents. It’s unlike the grim images we sometimes associate with old films,” Murray added.

Over the past nine decades, Koolaree has served youth and families from across the West Kootenay by providing a safe, sustainable, and affordable summer camp experience. Gala organizers say their goals are to provide a fun and educational meeting for the community and help raise money to purchase a boat for the water-only-access camp.

“Most of all, we want to get people excited about the 2022 summer camp season,” says Nicole Cameron, a member of Koolaree’s board. “By supporting Koolaree, you are helping us continue to provide a fun and accessible camping experience for kids in your community for years to come.”

The events are scheduled for:

Castlegar United Church and Online Broadcast: May 7, 7 p.m.

Trail United Church: May 14, 7 p.m.

Nelson United Church: May 15, 7 p.m.

For more information regarding the event visit: