Despite a slow start, Spirit of the Sea Festival organizers say they are confident this year’s lineup of activities and entertainment will be a sure crowd-pleaser.
A number of set-backs, including a lack of volunteers, have pushed organizers to work harder to ensure festival-goers will have a memorable experience Aug. 3-6.
“We have a really solid core team that has been able to work some miracles with the limited resources that we have available,” said festival director Matt Todd. “People who come to the festival every year will find that all their favourites are still here, but there are also some interesting new things that are happening as well.”
And while Todd admits many may not find it that interesting, some behind-the-scenes infrastructure has helped the festival team do more with what they have.
“We’re trying to modernize the way the festival is managed. As proud as we are of this festival, it kind of feels like a practice run for the following year. So when people come to the festival, we encourage them to bring forward any ideas they have or suggestions for improvement,” Todd said.
As people are waiting for the Torchlight Parade on Saturday night, there will be Zumba instructors and square-dancers along Marine Drive, by Vidal Street, getting the crowd pumped up.
The goal is to get the crowd more involved, rather than simply stand and watch, Todd said.
“We really want people to … be a bit adventurous. Try a paddleboard, get on it and see what you think. It’s the same with the dancing in the street, with the parade,” he said.
“It’s a really cool way to celebrate the community by being a part of it.”
Another activity that the whole family can join is the painting of three wall murals on the ATM building by the West Beach public washrooms. 4Cats Art Studio will be supplying paints and tools to create a mural inspired by famous artists Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and aboriginal artist Norval Morrisseau.
“Morrisseau has an interesting connection to White Rock, as he lived on the First Nation reserve, so we chose him as a tribute to the great whale that washed on the beach earlier this year,” Todd said.
A number of food vendors will also be set up around the white rock, offering up gastronomical goodies like traditional and Indian-style hot dogs, donairs and pulled pork.
In Semiahmoo Park, the Semiahmoo First Nation will host a salmon bake, while a slew of performers will entertain the crowd over the three-day span.