'Just pure joy': Ignite the Arts smashes its own records in Penticton

Biggest, best arts fest yet

The biggest and best Ignite the Arts Festival yet is over, and organizers are thrilled with its success.

All weekend long at almost every downtown Penticton arts venue imaginable, artists and creators gathered with the public to celebrate music, dance, theatre, visual art and much more with a spirit of community and collaboration.

And the weekend was just the cap-off, after a week of artistic workshops and performances around the city.

"It was so fun, I don't know how to describe it any better than the fact that it was just pure joy," said Chelsea Terry with the Penticton Art Gallery, one of the festival organizers.

"Everyone had such a blast. People kept coming up to me telling me more and more of what they had discovered."

Terry said she does not have a hard number on attendees at this time, but it is definitely far bigger than the first two years of the festival.

"I'd say a good 1,000 people attended in some way," Terry said, adding word-of-mouth started boosting day-of pass sales throughout the weekend, as talk of the good times got around.

"[The festival has] exponentially grown."

More than 200 artists participated in the event, and Terry said they even started collaborating on pop-up events that the festival had not organized — which is exactly the spirit of creativity the festival aims to foster.

"All we got to do is provide the space and then it's really the artists that make it so wonderful," Terry said, adding a sincere thanks to everyone who was involved, from artists to attendees.

"It just was very clear that this is something that Penticton wants, and it is something that Penticton is very unique to handle with all the venues and just the way that everything was laid out. It's just perfect and I really am so happy to see it grow."

Terry and the rest of the organizing team are taking a quick breath to celebrate the success of this year's event, but then it will be right back to planning for next year.

"We just immediately start thinking about the next year and start searching for more funding and start thinking about themes!"

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