Skip to content

Vernon takes national arts and culture spotlight with festival

Three week Sundog Festival kicks off this weekend with dozens of events
Sundog Festival - Vernon Culture Days in Polson Park 2022. (Silamara Emde photo)

Local arts, culture, and creative expression are ready to shine as the Sundog Festival kicks off with dozens of events.

Held in conjuction with Culture Days across Canada, the inaugural Sundog Festival of Arts and Culture was born out of a few creative individuals wanting to work with the Arts Council of the North Okanagan (ACNO) to celebrate the diversity of arts and culture found locally.

The festival not only features free and by-donation activities but is also showcasing ticketed performances taking place over the three-week period from Sept. 22 to Oct. 15.

“Currently, there are 36 free and by-donation events happening that run the gamut from visual art classes and demos, art talks, film screenings, self-guided tours, writing workshops, literary readings, and so much more,” said Shawna Patenaude, ACNO manager, adding funding partners have ensured no one is left out of participating in events.

“The first two events, our Howl of a Night and Kick-off Party, taking place Friday and Saturday at Polson Park, will showcase the varied talents of our local community with live music, cultural performances, artisans markets, displays by our ACNO members, food, and much more. Both events offer free admission and are open to all ages,” said Patenaude.

An official opening ceremony for the Sundog Festival will be held Saturday at the Polson Park bandstand starting at 3 p.m. with special dignitaries.

Several ACNO and Greater Vernon community organizations are hosting Culture Days events this year, including the Allan Brooks Nature Centre, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, Okanagan Regional Library, O’Keefe Ranch, Vernon Community Arts Centre, Vernon & District Immigrant & Community Services Society, Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, and Vernon Public Art Gallery.

The Caetani Centre is also part of the national and local movement to bring arts and culture into the limelight.

The Vernon-based heritage museum and cultural centre, once home to celebrated artist Sveva Caetani, will host free self-guided tours Sept. 28, 29 and Oct. 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. along with a special literary event.

“It’s been a challenging last few years – and last few weeks in the Okanagan – for many of us. At the Caetani Centre, we really believe that participating in arts and culture events helps us to connect as individuals and, more importantly, to come together as a community,” said executive director Laisha Rosnau. “Our namesake and benefactor, Sveva Caetani, used involvement in arts and culture as a way to navigate some of the challenges in her own life and to connect with our local community. We like to believe we’re following Sveva’s lead.”

The literary event titled The Good Companions, takes place Oct. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Sveva Caetani Gallery.

Also taking place during the Sundog Festival is the film screening and awards night for the Okanagan 48 Hour Film Project at the Vernon Towne Theatre and several ticketed performances at O’Keefe Ranch, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, and elsewhere.

A full list of free or by-donation events can be found online at:

READ MORE: What’s happening around the North Okanagan

READ MORE: Bodies break and come together in street dance in Vernon


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

and subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
Read more