As the Invermere MusicFest tunes up for its 6th annual event, organizers are recruiting sponsors, board members and volunteers for instrumental roles in the upcoming waterfront festival at Kinsmen Beach on August 17th and 18th.

Due to health concerns, festival director Troy Cook handed the responsibility back to Jami Scheffer, the executive director of the Columbia Valley Arts Council who organized the event in previous years.

Ms. Scheffer said there is room on the board and encourages anyone who is interested to reach out to her.

There are a variety of sponsorship opportunities available, starting from $250. All sponsorships include festival tickets.

“There’s a way to support the festival for everyone,” Ms. Scheffer said.

She is also “collecting volunteers” for the weekend, each of whom will receive free access to the festival.

The event has been growing steadily, with a huge leap in attendance last year. Ms. Scheffer is hoping for a similar jump again this summer and dreams of seeing 1,000 people on the shore, dancing and revelling in the musical smorgasboard.

“We’re way ahead from this time last year,” Ms. Scheffer said, adding that early birds have already nabbed a couple hundred tickets.

“It’s an outstanding lineup,” she said.

Audience members will hear from Miesha and the Spanks, Elk Run + Riot, The Dead South on Friday and from Mariel Buckley, WiL, Lion Bear Fox, and Alex Cuba on Saturday.

For more information, to snap up tickets, to learn about sponsorship opportunities, to join the board or to sign up to volunteer for the event, visit invermeremusicfest.com, email info@columbiavalleyarts.com or meet with the Invermere MusicFest team in person at the Invermere Farmers and Artists Markets on June 30th, July 7th, July 21st, August 4th or August 11th.

Mariel Buckley

Mariel Buckley grew up in “a pretty musical household,” where she enjoyed all forms of writing. When she learned to play guitar in her teens, the natural next step was to put her words to music. Her interests “paired well together,” she said, and led to the start of a musical career.

Last summer Ms. Buckley opened for k. d. lang. Last week she opened for Serena Ryder. Having the opportunity to perform with such successful musicians is “a huge learning experience,” she said, adding that it’s “an honour and so humbling.”

While Ms. Buckley finds that sharing her experiences is cathartic and “really liberating,” it also allows her to connect deeply with her audience.

Often people will approach her after her shows to say that they saw themselves reflected in her music.

“Art and especially personal song writing and that sort of vulnerability is a really great lens for other people to look through,” she said.