Wings Over the Rockies Festival booking now open

Booking is now open for the Wings Over the Rockies Festival, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

  • Apr. 4, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Come out and experience the 2011 Wings Over the Rockies Festival, starting May 2 to the 8, and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the valley-wide event.

“Celebrating our valley, celebrating our people” is the slogan for this year’s festival, which first began in 1997.

“We’re recognizing the people who were a part of this from the beginning, who had the vision, and also the people of the valley who had the vision to save the wetlands,” said Jami Scheffer, events co-ordinator for the Wings Over the Rockies Festival.

This year’s festival involves many new guides, presentations and more to help better celebrate the valley. Scheffer explained that this year, many of the professional presenters are valley-locals, as there are “so many experts in the field in our own area”.

The K2 Ranch, which has been beautifully restored, will be a spot of celebration for local ranchers and their role in sustaining habitat and producing locally. Presentations by ranchers, the Windermere Farmers’ Institute, a historical tour, a slide presentation on the life of Conrad Kain and a delicious barbecue ensure a time to be enjoyed by all.

The week will celebrate the return of water birds, song birds and raptors. Randy Hopkins will be returning to this year’s festival to lead a wide range of birding field trips and Kowa Optimed Inc. will be demonstrating their new equipment. Randy Moody, Mark Zehnder and Judy Burns of the Invermere Veterinary Hospital will also be giving presentations on the birds and an injured raptor rehabilitation program.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the founding of Parks Canada, and to celebrate Parks Canada will be offering field trips throughout its stunning locations in Kootenay National Park during the festival week. Several speakers will be presenting as well, including a presentation by Parks naturalist Sharon Morgan about what Parks Canada has achieved over its one hundred-year period of operation.

While there is usually a large gala to end the festival week, this year there will be an old-fashioned barn dance instead. The Invermere Community Hall will be decorated for the occasion, and a presentation will be given by Larry Halverson, Deb Griffith and Bill Swan – three of the Wings Over the Rockies original organizers being celebrated during the festival. Local band L8TE will also be performing that evening.

“The fact that participants are coming back year after year really says something,” said Scheffer. “People come from Vancouver and Calgary just for the week.”

Booking for the event has begun, having started on April 4. An online day planner has also been added to the official festival website at

For more information, or to book for the event, call 250-342-2473 or email