Q&A interview Invermere Music Fest:

The fifth annual Invermere MusicFest (IMF) was a huge success this past August 18th & 19th. The weather was beautiful; the crowds loved the mix of music and the magic of dancing under the stars. IMF has worked hard to be profitable Festival and also recently won a bronze award in the Festival category in the Kootenay Business Best of Business Awards. We are at the point where we can leverage this successful festival however we need some assistance from our wonderful community to grow and flourish this event.

  1. Why are Jami Scheffer and Ben Cameron stepping down as Directors of the Invermere Music Fest?

Organizing the Invermere MusicFest (IMF) requires a great deal of time, energy, loyalty and skill. Ben and Jami have volunteered their time for the past five years to bring this Festival to the level of success we had this year. They both have busy lives with family, jobs and life and find that organizing this Festival has taken them from other commitments. Not that they don’t believe in this Festival, but it’s time for new, fresh people and ideas to take over.

  1. What is your hope for the IMF moving forward?

We believe that IMF is at the point where it can be a signature event for the Columbia Valley. Like the Radium Car Show, Bull Riding in the Rockies, Wings Over the Rockies and Bonspiel on the Lake (to name a few). The Columbia Valley could be a destination for a large music festival like the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival. The five-years of planning this Festival has put it on the radar for outdoor music enthusiasts. It’s also convenient for our locals to come down to Kinsmen Beach to enjoy live music in their own town.

  1. Who will be overseeing the transition period should a new director and team step forward?

Jami has agreed to stay on in an advisory position for one-year to help with the transition. Ben will stay involved in the technical aspect, making sure the sound, stage and lighting is of high quality and the change over between bands is seamless.

  1. What will the Columbia Valley Arts’ Council role be in the IMF now?

The Columbia Valley Arts Council (CV Arts) has hosted this Festival from its inception and had faith that the creation of a live music festival was a sustainable opportunity for our valley. The Board of CV Arts supports the concept of the Festival, but realizes that the event has to evolve due to the demand on volunteers, staff, reliance on local financial support and retaining the professional quality of the Festival and in a well-run manner.

  1. When is the cutoff date for deciding whether the IMF will happen again or not?

The IMF & CV Arts Board would like to reach out to the community for ideas, committed volunteers and develop a 5-year plan. We are organizing an open forum on Monday November 13th at 6:30 pm at Pynelogs Cultural Centre. We invite the community to get involved in the future of the Invermere MusicFest. We need to find the support from the community to continue the Festival.

  1. Where will Jami’s energy and efforts be focused as executive director of CV Arts now?

CV Arts relies heavily on grants, donations, local government support and fundraising to ‘bring arts to the people and people to the arts’. We would like to place our focus on other art-related events, fundraisers and projects that support arts & culture in our valley. These are roles that Jami is responsible for as the ED.

  1. Is there anything else you would like the public to be aware of in regards to the IMF moving forward?

If the Columbia Valley is interested in promoting our valley as a destination for travelers, we need to work together to support ideas like 5-6 annual valley-wide signature events. We need all the players at the table to plan, promote and support each other. At the same time, continue to support our local community events that makes our valley such a special place to live. IMF’s success has shown that there is a demand for out-door music festivals in our Valley…let’s make it happen.

Columbia Valley Arts Council Board of Directors

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