The Penticton Peach Festival welcomed in a new president, executive and several new board members at their annual general meeting held on Oct. 27.
Stepping down from his 13-year run as president is Don Kendall, who helped create the premium festival that brought in the Snowbirds, top-notch musicians and events.
Vice-president Shawna Guitard was nominated and unanimously elected as president, while Kendall will step into the role of past-president.
“I am incredibly proud of what the board, volunteers and our generous sponsors have accomplished during my run as president. Together we were able to bring Peach Festival back as the premiere event for Penticton,” said Kendall. “I am confident that under Shawna’s leadership, Peach Festival will continue to thrive and grow.”
The 2022 Peach Fest was the biggest and best yet with at least 85,000 people taking in the 75th year of Canada’s largest free festival from Aug. 3 to 7. The five-day event brought in people and around $4 million to the local economy, said Kendall after the festival.
Guitard has worked in a variety of areas over the past eight years in the Okanagan and has sat on the Peach Festival board of directors during that time. She is passionate about her community, having grown up in Penticton, and attending the many festivals, markets and events.
Guitard previously ran the Downtown Community Market and city of Penticton’s civic events.
“Although there will be big shoes to fill, I am excited to lead Peach Festival along with this amazing board of volunteer directors. Big thank you to Don Kendall for all the hard work he has put in over the years to make Peach Festival an event everyone in our community can be proud of,” said Guitard.
With the leadership change, also comes a new executive to join already sitting vice-president Colin Campbell and secretary-treasurer Angie Vriends. The new executive includes Josh Shulman (vice-president) and Chuck Thompson (vice-president). A number of individuals were also newly elected to the board of directors including Subrina Monteith, Matthew Quick and Graham Vriends.
Retiring from the Peach Festival board is Bill Kolter, who was the entertainment director for the past 25 years. He was previously presented with a special plaque for his hard work and dedication. The festival also thanked retiring director Paul Borba, who took on a number of leadership roles over the past 10 years.
Peach Festival recently lost a long-time friend with the death of Bill Morey, who joined the Peach Festival board in 2014 as the director in charge of the Square Dance Festival. During his many years on the board, he also worked on the Peters Bros. Grand Parade and assisted with volunteers.
The Peach Festival volunteer board of directors has already been working on next summer’s five days of free, family fun which will take place Aug. 9-13, 2023.
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