When I was first asked if I wanted to go to CanolaFest 2015 I wondered to myself, why was canola being celebrated and how many canola products could there possibly be to make a whole festival surrounding it. It turns out CanolaFest was much more than the celebration of a plant that is harvested in the Peace Region (all those beautiful yellow fields make up almost 95% of the canola produced in BC)…it was a music festival! A sold out country music festival to be exact. I started wondering what does music and a plant have in common and then I remembered a gardener once telling me that a study showed if you play certain music to plants they react and grow better! So, we were going to stimulate the canola in the region with a night of music.
I must admit I didn’t grow up listening to country, so a country music festival was down on the bucket list of activities, but when my sister told me they had a camping spot and we could make a weekend out of it I jumped on the opportunity. I picked out some cheap camping chairs from Walmart, packed our limited gear into our truck and off the husband and I went to Peace Island Park just over the bridge from Taylor. Being able to camp a few kilometres from our home is something we are not used to. In reality we never camped in Australia, (don’t get me wrong there are places to camp in Sydney, but they are a couple hours out of the city) being outdoors is a new adventure for us and we realized we need to acquire a lot more equipment…quickly!
We reached our campsite at the Big Bam Ski Hill (another new discovery for us – who knew there was a ski hill in Taylor! Will have to return to this later in the year) and were wonderfully surprised the organizers set up a free shuttle service from the campgrounds to the event. If the shuttle service was anything to go by we were in for a surprise when we got inside. There were food vendors (the waffle stand with their waffle dogs was to die for!), the pre-purchase of drink vouchers kept the line moving quickly and smoothly, the small market stalls had a lot of interesting products, the girls and boys restrooms were a nice touch, the stage and sound were right on the mark and the atmosphere was energetic and entertaining.
Despite the on/off rain showers all the performers, especially the Road Hammers had great stage presence and got the crowd dancing and singing along. The Road Hammers were a great finale to a wonderful first year event. Everyone involved should be very proud of themselves and I can’t wait for what they have in store for next year!
Interesting fact: Canola was developed in the early 1970’s using traditional plant breeding techniques by Canadian plant breeders to remove the anti-nutritional components from the rapeseed to assure its safety for human and animal consumption. The name “Canola” cames from “Can” for Canada and “ola” for oil low acid.