By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

The Columbia Valley Arts Council has arranged a beautiful cultural tapestry at the CPR Lodge in Invermere this Sunday, August 3rd.

Each year, the Tour of the Arts invites local and second home-owning artists to celebrate the creativity of the Columbia Valley. The tour had previously consisted of a driving exhibit throughout the valley, and last year evolved into a walking tour around the heart of Invermere. A new approach has been taken this year, as organizers will be concentrating all of this years creativity within a stones throw.

In addition to all of the professional artists who will be participating, a Celebrity Artist Challenge has put the regional mayors toe-to-toe. Gerry Taft of Invermere, Dee Conklin of Radium Hot Springs, and Ute Juras of Canal Flats each collaborated with a professional artist(s) to draw out their own creativity. Similar to how they gain employment, the winning mayor will be determined by a ballot box. Their work has been accumulating votes all summer while on display, but those attending the Tour of the Arts this Sunday will also have the final opportunity to vote, and the highest number of votes decides which mayor wins. Voting costs $1 per ballot, and there is no limit as to how many each voter can cast. The contest finishes at 4 p.m. on Sunday, and those in attendance will have the chance to bid on the piece of art created by Mr. Taft, which will be auctioned off silently during the challenge.

We are so lucky to have so many talented artists in the Columbia Valley… quite the artsy community! saidCelebrity Challenge co-ordinatorBeverly Aitchison.

The Tour takes place simultaneously with the Invermere MusicFest, which will be held on the field adjacent to the CPR Lodge beside Pynelogs Cultural Centre.

The Arts Council has booked The Boom Booms from Vancouver to headline the concert, which begins at 1 p.m. when Cranbrooks Good Ol Goats take the Main Stage. In between the first and final acts will be The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer, The River and The Road, and KellyLee Evans. Come prepared for a day of non-stop energy, because the valleys own Otters, Emaline Delapaix, and SheberDean will be filling the gaps in between on the second stage.

The Tour of the Arts begins at 11 a.m. and admission is $10; children are free with admission. A separate ticket is required for admission to MusicFest, which costs $50 at the gate (or $45 in advance). The MusicFest runs from 1 to 11 p.m.

Chris Jones, board member of the Columbia Valley Arts Council, said this years artists werent synchronized to offer a particular theme, but rather will offer an eclectic presentation of all the art in the valley. Keep an eye out for such local talent as glass artist Sandra Beingessner, photographer Kyla Brown, and wood carver Kyle Burley. Visit for more information.