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New arts and culture festival set to shine in Vernon

Sundog Festival will celebrate local art and culture Sept. 22-Oct. 15
As it has many times before, Polson Park will be the site of a community event. On Sept. 22 and 23, it will host the first events of the inaugural Sundog Festival. (Photo via Tourism Vernon)

A new festival is coming to Vernon to kick off autumn and celebrate the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

Supported by the Arts Council of the North Okanagan, Tourism Vernon, and the Regional District of the North Okanagan, the inaugural Sundog Festival will kick off on Sept. 22 and run until Oct. 15.

The festival gets its name from the sundog light phenomenon, which occurs when light is refracted through ice crystals in the air. These patches are said to bring strength, unity and good fortune — virtues that the festival aims to foster in the community.

While a full schedule is yet to be finalized, the festival will officially begin at Polson Park with a pre-kick-off party, called the Howl of a Night, which will feature a sneak peek of what can be expected during the festival, including live music, an artisan market, local vendors and more.

The following day, the official kick-off party will take place at Polson Park from noon until dusk. There will be a full day of entertainment including live music and a headlining performance by Daysormay, whose members are originally from Vernon.

The kick-off party will also include cultural performances, family activities, food trucks, a market, a beer garden and more.

The festival’s organizers hope that businesses and organizations in the Greater Vernon Area will launch new events and activities as part of the festival.

“Vernon is a vibrant community with a budding arts and culture scene and the Sundog Festival provides an opportunity for visitors to get to know our city in a fun, thoughtful way through arts and culture,” said Torrie Silverthorn, Tourism Vernon manager.

Opportunities for local businesses and organizations to participate in the festival are still available. Anyone interested in doing so is encouraged to visit the Sundog website or contact Shawna Patenaude, co-chair of the festival and the manager of the Arts Council of the North Okanagan. Patenaude can be reached by email at

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