RespectFest needs artists

North Okanagan RespectFest 2017 is now taking free registrations for workshops in August and early September.

Groups and individuals are invited to help create a river mosaic of tile that winds down the sidewalk of a downtown Vernon city block.

“Under the guidance of artist Gabrielle Strong, each workshop takes about three hours and allows participants to create their own design following a shape template,” said Lauren Giley, with RespectFest.

“This project is free of charge and is open to most ages including older children accompanied by an adult. With hundreds of sections to be created, volunteers, corporate and community groups, teams and clubs are invited to get involved. The Buoyant Buddies Dragon Boat team is one group that recently created their mosaic tile piece.”

If you would like to get involved through volunteering or organizing a private group session, contact Open registration is taken online for any of the many scheduled days and times at

Also, in the weeks leading up to RespectFest, there will be workshops on the history of the first people facilitated by Mollie Bono. These workshops are designed to develop a greater understanding of local First Nations culture and history and are open to the public and interested agencies. Pre-registration is required.

Sept. 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. — the Okanagan and other Interior Salish people pre-contact

Sept. 12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. — Interior Salish people and early contact with newcomers

Sept. 16 from noon to 4 p.m. — Understanding and responding to the fallout of colonization, loss of land and resources

Details about all RespectFest events are available online at The event runs Sept. 18 to 24.

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