Rarearth Music Festival moves up to Silver Star this summer

Rarearth Music Festival artistic director Kath Raeber performs with her band, Kath and the Tomkats, at last year’s festival. - Lindsay Forslund
Rarearth Music Festival artistic director Kath Raeber performs with her band, Kath and the Tomkats, at last year’s festival.
— image credit: Lindsay Forslund

Mountain bikers, hikers and music lovers have reason to dance when the 2011 Rarearth Music Festival heads up to Silver Star Mountain Resort this summer.

After three years at Kin Race Track in Vernon, the festival’s artistic director and founder Kath Raeber says it was time for a change in both the festival’s location and time slot.

The festival will now take place the weekend of July 23 and 24, as to not go against other area festivals such as Komasket or Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues.

“As a Vernonite for the past 30 years, part of the pride I have is the emerald that sits peacefully to the east of us, our own beautiful Silver Star Mountain, and I am so beyond happy to say that Silver Star has agreed to host the Rarearth Music Festival and the North Okanagan Music Festival Society is excited to bring the event up to the mountain,” said Raeber.

Concerned about low attendance, as well as other issues, the local singer says this year’s festival almost didn’t happen.

“After a very long winter, and a lot of thought, I had pretty much resided myself to the fact that I was going to shelve the Rarearth Music Festival for a year,” said Raeber. “However, with so much time and financial input invested, I went ahead to become a not-for-profit society and in October, 2010, we were granted that status.”

Under the North Okanagan Music Festival Society, Rarearth organizers now have the capacity  to apply for government grants as well as funding through various corporate businesses.

So far a grant of $23,500 has come in from the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program through Canadian Heritage, however, much more is needed to pay artist fees, production costs and everything else, said Raeber.

“Silver Star has been so gracious in helping us with providing a space, as well as camping and accommodation facilities, but we still need funding so we will be pounding the pavement,” said Raeber who will be working with Silver Star’s summer business manager Ian Galbraith and her team to get everything prepared over the next three-and-a-half months.

“Our hope is to literally invite the world to Silver Star Mountain  for two days of action-packed music and fun and make Vernon a destination spot to keep tourists here and create an economic boost for our city.”

The festival also plans to continue with its green mandate, and promote young artists through its Our Kids Have Talent competition.

Raeber is also currently working on booking this year’s musical lineup, with announcements expected to made over the next few months. (Those interested can check out the festival website at  www.rarearthmusic.com for  updates.)

Tickets for the  festival go on sale this week  at  Silver Star Mountain  (1-800-663-4431), Ski Dazzle (250-558-6010) the Bean Scene in Vernon, or the Ticket Seller at the Performing Arts Centre  (250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca).


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