Nav Natt dances as part of the Punjabi Gidda presentation on the main stage at the Kootenay Festival on Saturday afternoon. Thousands of people turned out on Saturday for the inaugural celebration of art and culture in Castlegar.

Nav Natt dances as part of the Punjabi Gidda presentation on the main stage at the Kootenay Festival on Saturday afternoon. Thousands of people turned out on Saturday for the inaugural celebration of art and culture in Castlegar.

Inaugural Kootenay Festival lauded as a ‘huge success’

The inaugural Kootenay Festival in Castlegar is being hailed as a big success, thanks to nearly ideal weather on Saturday, a wide variety of well-received artists and merchants and thousands of visitors who came out to be a part of it all.

  • Jul. 20, 2011 1:00 p.m.



The inaugural Kootenay Festival in Castlegar is being hailed as a big success, thanks to nearly ideal weather on Saturday, a wide variety of well-received artists and merchants and thousands of visitors who came out to be a part of it all.

“It was basically everything that the (organizing) committee had hoped for in putting on this first event in Castlegar,” festival organizer Audrey Polovnikoff said.

And it wasn’t just those directly involved who were pleased.

Visitors spoke highly of the festival in general and city councillors took the opportunity to voice their views on the Saturday event during their regular meeting the following Monday.

“The Kootenay Festival … was, I think, by anybody’s standards a huge success,” Coun. Kevin Chernoff said.

“It was fantastic,” added Coun. Russ Hearne.

Polovnikoff said more than 2,000 people paid the the $2 admission at the festival gates.

The weather also co-operated with mostly sunny skies and warm but not exceedingly hot weather.

The organizing committee plans to meet next week to go over evaluations submitted by vendors and performers and other general feedback they’ve received on the festival. From there they will begin planning next year’s event.

“It’s going to shape up to be even better than 2011,” Polovnikoff said.

Eventually organizers hope to stretch the festival over a full weekend but for 2012, at least, Polovnikoff said they plan to keep it as a single-day affair.

“We really want to establish ourselves as a one-day event to begin with before we move forward,” she said.