CALGARY, Sept. 19-20 – Way Out West Fest (WOW Fest) is celebrating it’s fourth year with a smaller COVID-19 friendly autumn version, encompassing seven exclusive events, and an online western art and artifact auction.
It’s no secret to the people who call the West home that it is truly a special place. WOW Fest events, which are held within Calgary and points west of the city, offer up a truly remarkable set of inclusive experiences of adventure and learning, sport, music, art, history, culinary, craft, in which participants can expect a healthy bit of Wild West tossed in. The event typically runs in early June and this year was ready to roll with 24 events, a makers and artisans market to be held at Fort Calgary, and the third edition of the Pure West Art & Artifact Auction, all of which was of course, cancelled when the pandemic hit.
Organizers have handpicked seven events for this edition of the Fest – all with social distancing and COVID-19 protocols in place. Each has a distinct element of exclusivity – meaning you won’t find this experience just anytime, or anywhere. Examples include:
- Learn the art of fly fishing from Alberta’s best fishers, followed by trout delicacies prepared by the Deane House restaurant.
- Sketch in the Charlie Russell way at a privately owned, once dude ranch to WWII pilots, tucked away in the foothills.
- Explore modern West architecture with a day at Carriag Ridge northwest of Cochrane, winner of Best Cabin of 2017 award.
- Major sponsor Eau Claire Distillery will once again host an exclusive event at their quintessential West distillery in Turner Valley.
- Seeped in spirituality and culture, a First Nations artisan lead will lead a medicine pouch workshop.
- Take a ride on the wild side, with a ride up to historic John Ware’s ridge followed by an exceptional gourmet lunch.
- Join a debate and bring your opinion and support to a panel discussion on the open pit coal mining projects proposed for the foothills, with Käthe Lemon, editor of Avenue Magazine (Calgary), as moderator, followed by a dinner at the Deane House.
As always, WOW Fest acknowledges and embraces local producers and food purveyors with tastes of the West, such as the award-winning Alberta Whisky Cake at their events.
Due to COVID-19, organizers are presenting a special online version of the third annual Pure West Art & Artifact Auction, with a juried selection of western art and artifacts and a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Stardale Charities, a group that works with First Nations girls.
The Festival’s mission statement is seeded in appreciating the richness of living in the western way, recognizing its authenticity and celebrating how it enriches all of our lives. Each and every of the Festival’s workshop leads and members of our team are deeply connected to the West, and committed to preserving it. Each event offers up a portal to an authentic West.
Follow along with Way Out West Fest at http://wayoutwestfest.ca
On Instagram at @wayoutwestfest and Facebook at @wayoutwestfestyyc