Starbelly Jam (Photo credit Louis Bockner)

Kootenay Lake East Shore events celebrating history, arts and culture

Starbelly Jam, East Shore Community Culture Day and Museum Days celebrating Kotenay Lake life…

Kootenay Lake’s East Shore is always hopping in the summer, and this one is no different, with a few events coming up that are sure to draw the attention, and excitement, of visitors and tourists alike.

Starbelly Jam

Up first is Starbelly Jam, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary as it runs July 19 and 20 in Crawford Bay. The Friday evening lineup includes bluegrass, blues and rock on two stages, culminating in a performance by BC/DC, the popular AC/DC tribute band.

“Saturday is an amazing mixed bag of talent from all over the world,” said a press release from the event. “But we’ve really put the spotlight on B.C., and the majority of acts come from across the province, including Snotty Nose Rez Kids, our Saturday night headliner.”

As anyone who’s been to Starbelly will know, the experience is about more than the music. The family-friendly festival kicks off Saturday with a yoga and ukulele jam, followed by dance troupes, intimate workshops and the famous Giant Parade that turns Crawford Bay Park into a “kaleidoscope of fun”.

East Shore

Community Culture Day

July 21 marks the first East Shore Community Culture Day, running from Kootenay Bay to Wynndel. Focusing on history, recreation, arts and culture, and well-being, it includes a farmers’ market, trail ride, volleyball tournament, gallery and history tours, and live music.

Organized by Building East Shore Tourism, project manager Farley Cursons saw it as an opportunity for both visitor retention following the two-day Starbelly Jam and to attract more families to East Shore.

“I brought in some strategically placed activities and nestled then among existing activities,” said project manager Farley Cursons.

As he’s planned the daylong event, Cursons has enjoyed the chance to reach out to businesses up and down the lake, and thinks visitors will appreciate the uniquely Kootenay culture they find in the area.

“I think it’s because of the East Shore’s relative isolation,” he said. “What I see here is a little bit of a preserved culture. We’ve got that in spades that weekend.”

Museum Days

Always a popular event, Museum Days hosted by the Gray Creek Historical Society, is back from July 26-29 at the Gray Creek Hall, a piece of history itself at more than 100 years old.

New displays will commemorate the passing Greyhound in Western Canada (the route used to pass through Gray Creek), offer a closer look at the sinking of the SS City of Ainsworth, and show maps of the area, including some by explorer David Thompson.

Newfound art by Will Bayliss, vintage cookbooks with recipes from skunk to moss bread, and new stories by and about Colin Haddon, the McClure family and the Gold Boulder will also be part of the event.

To learn more about these events, visit, or @graycreekhall on Facebook.

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