Monashee Music Festival organizers have been given the go-ahead to begin planning and applying for permits for the 2023 edition.
Founder Andy Bowie addressed the Sicamous Council around Wednesday, November 30 to review the success of the 2022 festival and request the Council’s support in applying for permits for next year’s shows.
A major impediment to the festival’s success was the lack of camping near Sicamous Dog Park where the festival was held. Sicamous motels and campgrounds were used, but another campsite was needed near the festival. Bowie explained that many of the guests had to return to Kelowna or Kamloops after the shows, and so they weren’t able to spend a lot of money on the drinks available at the festival or at local restaurants. This affected the profits of the festival.
Sgt. Bowie said Murray McNeil and Sycamos Fire Chief Brett Ogino also have concerns about people crossing the highway to get back to their campsites with the lighting dim on a busy road.
For this year, Bowie has asked the council to review the ALC’s position regarding where camping is allowed on properties near a dog park.
The non-agricultural use application for the area expired September 20, 2022 and the Board recently authorized another submission to the ALC. A condition of this application is that if the dog park is being used for community events, no other properties can be used for camping nearby.
A council meeting is planned for later this week to discuss this request, and has approved the request to remove this requirement.
If a local property owner in the area wanted to host camping, they would have to file a non-agricultural use application on their personal farmland.
From July 22-23 last year, the festival weekend saw around 3,000 guests attend the live music event at the dog park. Bowie noted that hotels, campgrounds, small businesses, and local services have benefited from the influx of tourism brought by the festival, and that nearly $10,000 has been raised for the Mamas to Mamas charity, which supports low-income moms and caregivers. In addition, more than 500 tickets were awarded to first responders, nurses and care assistants.
The festival has received positive feedback from guests, both locals and tourists, the former mayor of Sicamous and the police.
The council expressed its support for the return of the Al-Manshi Music Festival, pointing to its popularity and attendance. Bowie was encouraged to move forward with a proposal to be submitted to Sicamous County.