In Castlegar in 1978, members of the Society for Self Awareness, at their weekly meditation decided to hold a Festival of Workshops on the Spring Equinox Weekend. For six years this weekend became a marvelous Kootenay Event drawing people from all over to join in a celebration of life, love, peace and awareness. The Spirit of the Festival was sensed by many people as an Angel or a Deva, who “overlighted” this wonderful event. The work was all done by people happily volunteering their energy, ( Sid Tayal, and Harry and Nora Jukes among them), workshop leaders graciously giving their time and Selkirk College co-sponsoring the event generously donating the use of their facilities.
In this same spirit of cooperation, in 1984, the healing group in Nelson sponsored the 7th festival at the former Notre Dame University site. Peter and Bonnie Williams, Phyllis Furumoto, Michael Hartley, and a host of many others, took up the challenge. In 1985 the 8th festival moved to the Okanagan where it was coordinated in Vernon for three years by Norbert Maertens and the Halos Society. The fourth year it didn’t happen and Peter Morris who had been an instructor at the previous year’s event wondered why. He asked Angele, organizer of the Penticton Metaphysical Society to find out. When she called the Vernon office they said that for various reasons the Festival energies would lie fallow for a year. Peter convinced Angele that the two of them could put it on. At each meeting she asked for help and slowly people came forward. First Urmi Sheldon and Laurel Burnham, then Dave Cursons, Judy Byer and Marion Walters… and the Spirit of the Festival of Awareness found its home at Naramata Centre, the perfect venue.
The second year the festival was held at Naramata it was on the April 1st weekend. The Jester appeared and the rainbow banners were unfurled as the clocks moved forward one hour.
The Spring Festival continues to bloom each year, providing the opportunity for hundred of folks to experience the magic and wonder of the New Age and the rising awareness of human kind.
As the attendance to the Spring Festival continued to increase it was decided to host a Fall Festival of Awareness so more people could check out the quality of Instructors and wonderment of being in the presence of so many like-minded people. The only date available was Nov 15-17, 1996 and it snowed…but those attending had a great time. We tried again Oct 17-19, 1997 and got slightly more people. At our next meeting Laurel Burnham said she had been talking to Betty Nickerson of the Amazing Greys seminars on the coast and it seemed that ‘women only’ weekends were popular so we called the next event the Wise Woman Weekend and on Sept 5-7, 1998 we had 75 women attend.
Response was now good enough to permanently book Naramata Centre, mid September each year. All continued to flow till 2002 when Angéle meet Richard and decided to move to the Kootenays. Laurel Burnham, Samarpan and Urmi took over the Wise Woman event in 2004 and gave it back to Angéle three years later. Christina Ince encouraged Angéle to take it back as she had found Marion Desborough who was excited at the possibility of being the Co-ordinator of Registrations. Christina continued to look after the healers for both events till the summer of 2009 when she moved to the coast. Sunnaira now looks after the Healers once the event starts and Marion registers ‘everyone’ for both festivals and looks after the many details that make it look so effortless. Angéle continues to network, finding new instructors who wish to share their gifts and the magic continues.