Meadowlark Festival spreads its wings

The South Okanagan may be one of the most arid areas in B.C., but that just makes being aware of water issues all the more important.

The South Okanagan may be one of the most arid areas in B.C., but that just makes being aware of water issues all the more important.

That’s one of the reasons water was chosen as the topic for this year’s Meadowlark Festival, said Sally Kilburg, chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance, the festival sponsors.

“Not only are we in an arid area, we also have a large agricultural component that uses a lot of water,” said Kilburg, adding that residential development of the valley is also putting a stress on the water supply.

Kilburg said the festival is looking at water from the point of view of conversation and  protection, noting that the spring runoff supplies much of the water used in the valley.

“If we use more than that, then we use the lake,” she said. “The lake really only holds about 50 or 60 years of our annual use and it would be gone.”

While most of the tours, which include events like birding and biking tours with biologist Dick Canning, are modifying their program to include water, there are some that focus entirely on the festival theme, like a visit from the Vancouver Aquarium’s Aqua Van.

The van will be at the Penticton Visitors Centre on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it’s free for children and families to enjoy the interactive displays featuring B.C. marine animals. Also, a 200-litre mobile touch table will let children get up close with cold-water marine invertebrates and fish.

Also at the visitor’s centre, Kilburg said the OSCA will be setting up a tent from Thursday to Sunday, where people will be able to purchase tickets for various Meadowlark tours.

Of the 90 events on the schedule for this year’s festival, Kilburg said 20 are sold out completely. Some of the remaining ones only have a few tickets left, but there is space in others, especially for the bigger events like the Thursday evening keynote address from internationally recognized water expert and activist Maude Barlow.

“A lot of festivals will have just a few events that many people come to. We have many events that a few people come to,” said Kilburg. “We try to maximize the experience in nature for the people that participate, but we also want to minimize the impact they have on the environment. So we tend to have events that only fit between 15 and 20 people.”

Some events, like Barlow’s talk and the Monday morning Breakfast on the Lake, do have more seats available.

That one features author Allan Casey, who will be doing readings from his book Lakeland as the Casabella Princess does a breakfast cruise.

“In order to write his book, he did a lot of research on Okanagan Lake and the water systems here,” said Kilburg. “It’s kind of a nice easy way to say goodbye to the Meadowlark Festival.

For more information on the festival, visit the website www.meadowlarkfestival.bc.ca.

 

Just Posted

Apex hosting Canadian selections mogul event

Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team are competing

Video: Update one man arrested in Okanagan Falls

The RCMP has requested the school go into lockdown

Okanagan Taste: Favourite food and drinks of the past year

When it comes to food and drink, the most frequent questions I… Continue reading

Christmas hamper volunteers pitch in to give back to Penticton

Volunteers begin work in preparation for Salvation Army hamper distribution

New acting vice principal for Penticton Secondary School

The Board of Education of School District No. 67 (Okanagan Skaha) announced a new appointment

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read