Gateway Gazette

Waterton Festivals on Hiatus for 2020

Akamina Parkway

It comes with great heartbreak to announce the hiatus of the Waterton Wildflower Festival and the Waterton Wildlife Weekend for the 2020 season. It has been a challenging few years after the Kenow Fire with declining participation and revenues. The Waterton Community Joint Venture Board (JV) would like to take the year to investigating the sustainability of Festivals and looking into alternative or enhanced ways the JV might deliver Festival-type programs in the future. This may include reaching out to other groups within and outside Waterton to determine interest and reviewing other viable program delivery options that could be incorporated.
Given this, we say goodbye to two integral people of the Festival Team. Frank and Michaela have decided to step back from the Festivals. They have been a part of this team for the last 5 years, and they have put their hearts and souls into the Festivals. We thank Frank for greeting participants in his pink t-shirt, his technical ability, his organizational skill and his love of Waterton. We thank Michaela for greeting participants with a smile, her laughter echoing throughout the community centre, her organization of volunteers, and the best Artisan fair Waterton has ever had. We will miss them terribly and wish them all the best in the future.
Frank, Michaela and I would like to thank all the presenters, tail-guides, volunteers, exhibitors, partnerships and participants of the Festivals. Thank you to the presenters for providing us with your knowledge, willingness to share your experience, and for offering insightful education for all. To the tail-guides, thank you for always ensuring the safe return of all session attendees; your local perceptive and authentic experience is appreciated. To the volunteers, thank you for giving us your time to set up, take down, check in and everything in between. Frank, Michaela and I could not have done it without you. To the exhibitors, thank you for sharing your art and passion for nature. Thank you to the partnerships that believed and wanted to contribute to the Festivals: Parks Canada, The Waterton Lakes Opera House, The Nature Conservancy and many more. To the participants, thank you to those that attended year after year after year, and for spreading the word on these beautiful events.
Lastly but not least, a huge thanks to Beth Towe, Marie Grant, Holly Lauscher and all of the others that helped to create the spirit of the Festivals. Truly, the Festivals would not be what they are without all of your help, support and enthusiasm.
While we will miss you in 2020 we hope to see the Festivals return in 2021 and will look forward to seeing all your faces back in Waterton Lakes National Park.
Meanwhile we encourage you to come to Waterton to enjoy wildflowers, wildlife, the scenery and the peace this place has to offer. This all is still here. Bring your friends and family and pass on what you learned, experienced and love about the Wildflower Festival and Wildlife Weekend.
Hoping to see each other on the trails…..
Maria, Michaela & Frank

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