Since 2015, the Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey, under the leadership of biologist Rachel Darvill of Parson, B.C., has engaged more than 170 keen volunteers in documenting more than 322,000 birds in the Columbia Wetlands. From revenue generated through its annual events, Wings Over The Rockies has contributed funds toward this valuable endeavour. Photo by Pat Morrow

Adventures and explorations

Wings Over the Rockies

By Pat Morrow

Wings Over The Rockies

As one of many engaging events in this year’s Wings Over the Rockies (WOTR) festival, we encourage you to join the students of Martin Morigeau Elementary School in Canal Flats for a walk along the trail to the headwaters of the great Columbia River.

Since January, these budding naturalists have been building models of watersheds and Indigenous tools as well as collaborating with the Ktunaxa and Shuswap local bands, artists, Wildsight’s Ecostewards program and the Columbia Lake Technology Centre.

Part of the Wings Over the Rockies fundraising component is the live and silent auction. Items will be available to view and bid on starting on Tuesday, April 30th at Pynelogs Cultural Centre, headquarters for the festival. These pieces will range from golf games, dining vouchers, art/photography, home décor, jewelry, overnight stays at local resorts, adventure activities (paddling, zipline) and adventure travel. While visiting Pynelogs you will also find the Lil Peeps Art Show, exhibiting the art from the local daycare centre kids. At the same time, check out the world class cuisine served in the art-lined walls of Café Allium. It’s a great place to meet up, and admire Lake Windermere from the deck.

This year’s live auction item is for a berth for two people aboard Ocean Endeavor with Adventure Canada on a Circumnavigation of Ireland! Adventure Canada continues to collaborate to support this festival and invites patrons to experience exceptional expeditions to some of Canada and the World’s most beautiful, fragile and bird-rich environments. To place a bid on this item you will need to attend the Gala Dinner on Saturday, May 11th.

Embedded within WOTR this year is a Paddling Film Festival. You’ll be inspired to sign up for a range of guided live events for first hand experience of the world class waterways here in the valley.

On a guided paddle of the Upper Columbia Wetlands to Lake Windermere with Dr. David Bird, you’ll have a chance to identify some of the 250 bird species that live or migrate through and discuss how they have adapted to living there. Paddle into the evening on the Columbia River, Radium to Edgewater, enjoying the twilight and the sounds of the birds and wildlife before they settle down for the night. Another river outing during the day offers a barbecue lunch on the river. If sitting on the water isn’t your cup of tea, try our Stand Up Paddle (SUP) Tour of the Columbia Wetlands. A perfect accompaniment to any of these trips is the Akisqnuk First Nation Cultural Welcome event.

For some dry land adventure, sign up with “A Bar Z Trail Rides” to explore the woodlands around Fairmont Hot Springs, and catch a glimpse of wildlife framed within panoramic views of the Rocky Mountain Trench.

And if your mouth is just plain dry, you might consider attending the Masters of Infusion event. Taynton Bay Spirits infuses its products using real fruit and loose-leaf tea. Come learn about their process, and enjoy a flight of samples as you chat.

The dates of this year’s Festival are May 6th to 12th. To sign up for events or learn more about the Wings Over The Rockies Festival, please visit

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