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Local non-profit seeking to restart summer festival

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Feb 15, 2023

The Crowsnest Pass Sun Dawg Festival is seeking a comeback and fundraising efforts have started.

Fundraising has started for the Crowsnest Pass Sun Dawg Festival with the ‘Shamrockin’ at the Greenhill Hotel taking place on March 17 at 7 p.m.. 

The organizers are hoping to revive the festival after it originally got its start in 1978, with a celebration of the longest day of the year. According to Spencer Krkosky the first one was held at Dutch Creek across from where the campground now is.

“We didn’t think much about it, but we said we’ll do it again the next year, then we decided to bring in one bluegrass band... it got pretty big. At least 500 or 600 people, maybe more,” said Krkosky.

After a few years of the event, it began to lose interest in the community. He said the idea to revive it again circled in his mind for years before he got in contact with Pat Rypien.

Rypien said the first thing the group had to do was develop a budget. They got help from members of Community Futures and established a budget for the event. From there they made cuts where needed, to achieve a more reasonable dollar amount.

“I worked on sponsorship packages, but we really need to look at fundraising to get to where we can even get going with this [festival]. Instead of planning it for 2023, we pushed it back to 2024,” said Rypien.

They began brainstorming a few fundraising ideas before they landed on ‘Shamrockin’ at the Greenhill Hotel. A few local musicians have offered their time to raise money for the fundraiser with On the Rox, Larry Whan and Shane Painter set to perform. On the Rox, a seven-piece band, will be headlining the event. 

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Greenhill Hotel, costing $20 if purchased in advance or $25 at the door. All proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards funding the Crowsnest Pass Sun Dawg Festival. 

Recently, the group applied for non-profit status and is working on more events to help make the festival a reality. The plan is to sell 100 tickets for the Friday evening show.

The other members of the group trying to bring back the Sun Dawg Festival are Gord Gosse and Walter Gail. For more information or to inquire about sponsorships and fundraising contact Pat Rypien at

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