Posted on August 8, 2011
Island Profile: The Filberg Festival
There are some things that no summer of mine would be complete without: flip flops, camping trips, BBQs and the Filberg Festival. It’s become an essential part of the hot months since I was a small child.
This year I was fortunate enough to bring my niece with me, though with her abundant energy and non-existent attention span, our time there was limited. After a cuddly visit to the Hands-On Farm, a pink balloon painted on her cheek and a roam of the grounds, she was ready to go.
My mom and I returned the next day, ready for savoury treats and a little bit of spending. My first stop has always been Lemon Heaven. Fresh-squeezed fruit and a little bit of sunshine (I swear) goes into every cup. I’m partial to the cherry lemonade.
Choosing what to eat can always be the most difficult part of visiting the Filberg Festival. Offering up everything from decadent ice cream and sizzling burgers to pad Thai noodles and perogies, my mom and I settled on Greek goodness. My hope for next year is that a vendor will add authentic Mexican food to the mix!
While the Filberg Festival is no doubt the highlight of each year at Filberg Lodge and Park, it’s impossible to ignore what makes this place so special. Shady trees, bushes and shrubs, brightly-blooming flowers and trickling streams are everywhere you turn.
With full tummies and excited anticipation, we spent the remainder of our afternoon wandering from booth to booth. This is is not your grandmother’s craft fair. The Filberg Festival highlights vibrant painters, knitters, jewelers, sculptors, woodworkers and glass-blowers among others. Textile arts have also seen a resurgence in recent years.
While some people visit the Filberg Festival for art and food, others visit it for the non-stop entertainment and music. With two stages and a children’s performance area, there’s no shortage of mega-watt talent. I managed to catch the end of Comox Valley-native Sue Medley‘s acoustic set before making time to rock out with the Russell Jackson Band.
Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Wichita, Kansas, rhythm and blues are in Russell Jackson’s blood. His knee-clapping, foot-stomping, funked-out set had the audience captivated!
Another exhibitor well worth stopping for is West Coast artist Monk. Her mythical, paint-swept landscapes are earning her international acclaim. Each year at the Filberg Festival, a piece of hers is contributed while attendees can add to it, making it a unique group effort.
Last year‘s Filberg Festival painting was created in memory of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the fallen Georgian luger who tragically lost his life at the start of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Earlier this summer, Monk traveled to Kumaritashvili’s hometown to present the painting to his family. You can learn more about the painting known as “Nodar’s Spirit” here.
As we continued to make our way through the exhibits, I no doubt had to stop at Saltspring Soapworks. For years this homegrown company has been creating delicious, natural products for the body, hair, skin and even pets!
Lured by the tempting scents of their body gelato scrubs, I indulged in the Rose Provencal and hand therapy lotion (for those long days at the office). Thanks to the body gelato, if my skin could purr, it certainly would.
Reflecting on my photos and remembering the sights and sounds of this year’s Filberg Festival already incites nostalgia. 365 days seems like a long time, but as they say, good lemonade comes to those who wait…
You can see the rest of my photos on my Flickr set.
Disclosure: cmp.ly/6 (I was not paid to write this post but did receive my weekend passes compliments of the Filberg Festival.)