Luna Fest opening turns downtown Revelstoke into a world of wonder

Opening night of Luna Fest saw downtown Revelstoke filled with people as they explored a variety of unique art installations created by 27 artists. The festival runs until Oct. 7.

File photo: Visitors were able to experience being inside a life-size snow globe Saturday night at the Luna festival. Rob Buchanan, Jessica Leahey and Greg Hoffart transformed the gazebo in Grizzly Plaza into a the magical large-scale winter wonderland. This was a popular attraction during Luna Fest's opening night with 200 people going through before 8 p.m. Photo: Matthew Timmins

The streets of downtown Revelstoke were alive on Saturday night as people explored various art installations and live performances during the opening night of Luna Fest. Luna is a new festival for Revelstoke featuring 27 local and visiting artists who have created unique art installations throughout the city.

“I’m very pleased. When I look around there’s lots and lots and lots of people,” Miriam Manley, executive director of the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre and one of the festival’s organizers said in an interview with The Mountaineer. “Everyone seems interested and intrigued and are asking questions and having fun. I’m happy with the way it’s gone.”

“My piece, there’s a lot of inquisitive people looking inside the tents. You’re actually supposed to use your ears and listen. So I think in terms of learning I would definitely make the sounds louder. I guess I hadn’t anticipated so much ambient noise from the people,the rain, the train all of that kind of activity going on,” she said. “I’m pleased with the way it worked out but I think lessons for next time would be each tent be louder.”

Manley’s piece was among those which were only available for people to experience during the festival’s opening on Saturday night. The Powder Slug at Grizzly Plaza, created by Trent Kappler, Sarah Peterson, and Rob Buchanan, was another experience only available on Saturday night. It also proved to be one of the most popular with a line-up of both kids and adults waiting to take a ride on one of the three chairs being whipped around the downtown core on bicycles ridden by volunteers wearing retro ski outfits.

The Powder Slug returns to Revelstoke, thanks to Trent Kappler, Sarah Peterson and Rob Buchanan.
Photo: Matthew Timmins

Vanessa Morrow’s daughter Leah even got to have part of her 10th birthday party at Luna Fest’s opening. Riding The Powder Slug was top on their list of activities to experience.

“The kids right away, as soon as they saw (The Powder Slug) they were ‘we have to find that, we have to find that’,” said Morrow.

The Snow Globe was another installation popular with children and youth exploring the festival on opening night.

“It’s amazing, it’s super fun for kids,” Jesse Fowlie said. “They (her children) did not want to get out of there.”

By 7:45 p.m. a total of 200 people had been counted going in to explore The Snow Globe installation at Grizzly Plaza, said Victoria Strange, executive director of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre and festival organizer.

Rain didn’t stop anyone from taking a stroll down Umbrella Alley, created by Lucie Bergeron.
Photo: Matthew Timmins

“It feels so rewarding. I’m so happy. Even despite the rain for the first two hours we had so many people down here,” said Strange.”It’s just been so much fun and so great. There’s a variety of things to see and do. It’s just been awesome. There’s such a great variety. How amazing for people to be able to experience something so unique.”

Strange said it was encouraging to see the various demographic groups who came out for the opening of Luna Fest.

“We’ve had everybody from visitors to young families and just an entire demographic that are experiencing this. It’s been really fun,” she said.

Luna Fest runs until October 7.