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Wings over the Rockies Nature Festival - then and now

Views of the Columbia River and wetlands with the Rocky Mountains in the background. Courtesy Claude Rioux

In 1996 a group of enthusiastic naturalists and adventurers got together with the desire to share the beauty of the Upper Columbia Valley with other like-minded people. The following year with the support of local businesses, government, wildlife specialists and patrons like the wildlife painter Robert Bateman, the first nature festival was born celebrating the return of Spring. Over the following years, the festival expanded from a birding event to a true nature festival.

For over 25 years, the beautiful Upper Columbia Valley has celebrated the return of the Spring migration, and the re-awakening of nature, with the Wings over the Rockies Nature Festival. The rich and varied habitats found along the Columbia River, flanked by the Canadian Rockies and Purcell mountains, offer a welcoming environment for wildlife, and for the birds returning to their nesting sites.

Wings over the Rockies Nature Festival is based out of the mountain town of Invermere, B.C., with the events stretching from Golden to the north, down to Wasa in the south. One of the premier Nature festivals in Western Canada, participants can choose from over 100 events during the seven days from in-the-field excursions, luncheon and evening presentations, a gala dinner with keynote address, and large music concert.

Our presenters and field leaders aim to improve our understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the natural world around us through diverse and engaging events.

Come and join us May 6 - 12, 2024, for the week-long nature festival. Our theme this year is “Wings ‘Way Over’ the Rockies - The Big Picture. “The festival will focus on the interconnections of wildlife, landscapes, people and beyond into the starry skies. The live music concert will feature the Juno award nominated duo “Over the Moon” band.

The traditional gala dinner will feature keynote speaker, Bob McDonald, CBC Radio Quirks & Quarks host.

The 2024 Events Calendar preview will begin March 28, 10 a.m. MDT. On-line ticket sales will begin April 9, 10 a.m. MDT.

Come join like-minded lovers of nature and enjoy the wonders of the Upper Columbia Valley.

American Coot with baby. Claude Rioux photo
Osprey with a fresh catch. Claude Rioux photo