On January 9, 2017 the Social Planning Council of the North Okanagan, The Downtown Vernon Association and the Allan Brooks Nature Centre announced in Vernon City Council Chambers that funding had been received by the Government of Canada for a community-wide event to be called RespectFEST 2017 to recognize the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.
In a news release, the Honourable Minister Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage said: “The North Okanagan RespectFEST will be a wonderful chance for Canadians to increase their environmental conscience and celebrate cultural diversity. It will also be an opportunity to highlight the important contribution of Indigenous people of the North Okanagan region. For the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I invite all Canadians to celebrate in their communities and strengthen the bonds that unite us!”
Please read the full media release here: Canada 150 Activities Announced for Vernon
On January 25, 2017 more than 35 people representing 22 local community agencies and partner organizations gathered together with a collective focus to energize the beginning phases of planning for RespectFest 2017. To read more and see photos of the day, please click here: Respect in Action
On February 21, 2017 18 members of the community met to discuss RespectFest Art and History Walks to take place between September 18 – 23, 2017. Representatives from Caetani Cultural Centre, Vernon Public Art Gallery, Arts Council of the North Okanagan, Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, Mackie House, Centre Cultural Francophone de l’okanagan, City of Vernon – Vernon Councillor, Social Planning Council North Okanagan, Allen Brooks Nature Centre, and the Downtown Vernon Association. Read more about the Art & History Walks
On March 28, 2017 the Downtown Vernon Association issued a call for artists to create a Participatory Public Art Piece as part of RespectFest 2017, funded in part by the Government of Canada, the DVA and the City of Vernon. Read more about it here: Participatory Public Art Piece