Flying Arts Festival returns to multi-day event

The music and arts festival will return to the region for the second consecutive year this summer after a brief absence due to multiple cancellations.

The Flying Arts Festival will return for its 15th edition at Horsefly on July 12-13. The family-friendly and nature-based celebration of the arts is known for its intimate atmosphere, attracting people from all over the region and engaging the entire community.

The festival was founded in 2005 by a group of mothers who wanted to bring music and art to their town and showcase the importance of the Cariboo’s beauty and history. After a three-year hiatus during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent fallout, the festival returned last year with a one-day event with an increased focus on highlighting local acts who have underperformed in recent years.

This year marks the return of the quintessential multi-day music festival, with musical talent from across the province bringing a variety of genres to a solar-powered outdoor stage on the banks of the Horsefly River. The community hall will also feature a second stage to ensure smooth running of music and events.

There will be a children’s area that includes a story walk to salmon spawning channels and a stone-throwing activity in the river. Children under 12 years old are admitted free.

read more: Horsefly students help launch StoryWalk season

“Dancing children make us so happy,” the association said. “We try to make them happy too by taking part in special performances. [and] Art and nature experience.

On Saturday, the auditorium will host a vocal workshop by mother-daughter duo This Mama Tried from 10am to 11am, followed by a guitar workshop by Big Fancy from 11am to 12pm. There will also be workshops, plenty of vendors and family square dancing.

After numerous cancellations over the past few years for various reasons, the Arts Fly Festival Association thought it best to resume at a slower pace.

“We thought it would help us and help them,” vice president Jenny Noble said of the more intimate one-day festival that returned last year.

The festival enjoyed huge success in 2019, with up to 1,100 patrons attending pre- and post-pandemic events, before returning last year, wiping out the next three festivals. The previous festival was the first in three years, having been canceled in 2017 and 2016 due to wildfires and association board disruptions, respectively. The 2022 edition was also canceled due to low ticket advance sales and a lack of camping options.

read more: Arts on the Fly new direction a success

“While the festival has evolved over the years, since the start of the pandemic the focus has been on helping local musicians get back on track,” the association said.

2024 Arts on the Fly Artist Lineup

10 Day Notice, 13 Moons, Bats & Dao, Beaver Valley Symphony, Bernadette Ducharme, Big Fancy & The Shiddy Cowboys, Broken Hill Band, The Burying Ground, Cockerill Brothers, Conor Gains, D9, Danny Bell, Dream Heavy, Entangados, Harmonic Tonic with Chanti, The HubCaps, Interstellar Jays, Milltown Philosophers, Pharis & Jason Romero, Rhododendron, Richard Garvey, Saltwater Hank, Scouts Honour, Shannon O’Donovan, Simbiyez Wilson, This Mama Tried, Wax Mannequin, Wayne Lucier, Zonnis

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