Lynda Tutty

Special to the Pioneer

Are you ready for Wings over the Rockies?

The amazing thing about Wings over the Rockies Nature Festival is, after 26 years, there are still exciting events that highlight nature in the upper Columbia Valley. 

Do you know why bluebird nest boxes are monitored? Have you heard of protected ecological reserves? Would you like to take better nature photos or build a clay birdbath or paint an owl? Would your kids like to hunt for mini-monsters, sketch outdoors or go on a nature scavenger hunt? 

“Although some events sold out quickly, there are still many opportunities to experience, enjoy and learn about nature in the Columbia Valley,” says Brian Wesley, Wings board member. “For example, luncheon and evening presentations feature experts sharing fascinating research and new projects.” 

Observing and learning about the natural world around us is exciting. But celebrating nature is part of the fun of Wings over the Rockies. The Spring Soirée on Saturday, May 13 at 5 p.m. is a fresh new evening celebration  – a time to share Wings experiences with friends, food, art and music. You can also check out “Tastes of the World” appetizers and desserts, Kevin Olson’s classic folk music, Wings week in photos on screen, and a stunning display of art – a very special event.

And the highlight of the evening,  guest speaker Dr. Dale Leckie, geologist, scientist, and author presents “Wildlife & Landscapes,” insights and stories from his professional career. Dr. Leckie’s best-selling books are guides for everyone to enjoy and understand the natural world. Soirée tickets are available at

Not to be missed is the Wings finale concert. Sean McCann, co-founder of the iconic Canadian band Great Big Sea and recipient of the Order of Canada, takes the stage at the Columbia Valley Centre on Sunday, May 14. In a rollicking mix of songs, stories and laughter drawn from his Maritime roots, Sean’s concert features the “Great Big Songbook” – a tribute to 30 years of Great Big Sea music.

Wings On-line Auction has a great range of nature-inspired items – Glamping on Brisco Mountain, a Sun Dolphin kayak, a private guided hike, stunning nature -inspired art, and so much more. The auction opens May 5 at noon and is easy to access at All funds raised help sustain the Wings organization.

Many nature lovers are also excited about photographing what they observe. Wings over the Rockies photo contest invites photographers, youth and adults to submit their favourite photos. Check rules and categories at and enter photos taken in the last year in the East Kootenays. There are prizes for all categories and the grand prize is a pair of Nikon Prostaff P3 binoculars sponsored by Nikon and The Camera Store, Calgary.

The variety of fascinating topics and inspiring special events to choose from makes Wings over the Rockies a not-to-be missed festival. Tickets for all events are only sold on the website 

(Photo submitted)