Singer Aimee Lezard was one of the opening performers on the main stage at the Aboriginal Cultural Village Friday.

Singer Aimee Lezard was one of the opening performers on the main stage at the Aboriginal Cultural Village Friday.

Aboriginal Cultural Village draws a wide audience at Peachfest

It’s only been around for a few years, but in that short time the Aboriginal Cultural Village has become a deeply-rooted feature of Penticton’s Peach Festival.

It’s only been around for a few years, but in that short time the Aboriginal Cultural Village has become a deeply-rooted feature of Penticton’s Peach Festival.

“It started on that main stage four years ago, when I was asked to co-ordinate an opening ceremony honouring the Okanagan Territory,” said Kym Gouchie, a First Nations performer and Peachfest director.I said, ‘How about not just the opening ceremony, how about an opening evening of aboriginal entertainment?’”

From that start, grew the Aboriginal Cultural Village, which is now ensconced in Gyro Park and featured two days of entertainment this year, with two dozen aboriginal artists on the main stage as well as a powwow.

Gouchie said that because of the work she does in the community with youth, music and culture, many of the participants are drawn from her wide circle of contacts.

“Pretty much 90 per cent of the people that were on the stage or helping out are people that I know personally,” she said. “It really is a community collaboration.”

And being tied in with Peachfest, Gouchie said the event effects  both the community and the nation, helping to undo negative stereotypes about aboriginal peoples.

“It’s fantastic to be able to hear and see firsthand non-aboriginal people saying, ‘Wow, you people have an amazing culture. The regalia was beautiful, the drumming,’” said Gouchie, adding that they work hard to keep the event an authentic experience.

That also means finding the right people to help out, like calling on Elaine Alec and Arnie Baptiste to organize the powwow.

“Elaine pulled together her own crew and really, the success of the powwow was her doing,” said Gouchie. “I don’t want to fall backwards in any way, I want to keep moving forward and growing and have the right people in those key roles.”

Her committee has met to start planning for next year, as well as to celebrate and share stories about last weekend.

“Everybody is excited, we know that this is going to grow into something probably bigger than Gyro Park, and we’re getting prepared for that,” said Gouchie.


Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read