Denise Hoffgaard, Fairmont Hot Springs, volunteer lead of Wings first annual Photo contest. (Photo courtesy Wings Over the Rockies 2021)

Denise Hoffgaard, Fairmont Hot Springs, volunteer lead of Wings first annual Photo contest. (Photo courtesy Wings Over the Rockies 2021)

Wings Over the Rockies nature festival returns to the Columbia Valley for 25th year

The festival is based in Invermere from May 9 to 15, with events taking place from Wasa to Golden

The Wings Over the Rockies Nature Festival returns to the Columbia Valley next month, running from May 9 to 15 with more than 100 activities and events focused on wildlife and the environment.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Celebrating Nature, Winging it for 25 Years’ and will be centred in Invermere, with events in various locations from Wasa to Golden.

All events and presentations are led by knowledgeable nature enthusiasts who are pleased to share their expertise, explained a press release from event organizer Brian Wesley.

“Wings is delighted to welcome Dr. Harvey Locke, conservationist, writer and photographer as the guest speaker for the Wings Gala on Saturday, May 14,” Wesley wrote. “A former lawyer, Dr. Locke changed his passion into a new career, becoming an authority on national parks, wildlife, large landscape and connectivity conservation and climate change. His work with international organizations to conserve biological diversity and halt biodiversity loss has been recognized with a number of prestigious awards.”

There will be an online auction starting Friday, May 6 at 12 noon.

“This is an opportunity to acquire amazing adventures, extravagant art, learning opportunities and one-of-a-kind items. The auction closes Sunday, May 15 at noon,” said Wesley.

The Wardens, a Rocky Mountain-based band, will be returning to Invermere for the event as well on Friday, May 13, at the Columbia Valley Centre.

There is also a photo contest open to photographers young and old.

“Photos in four categories for adults and a special category for photo buffs under 16 may be submitted online. [There are] prizes in each category. The Grand Prize is a two-day workshop with nature photographer Denise Hoffgaard,” Wesley said.

“Wings Over the Rockies Nature Festival theme for our 25th Festival, ‘Celebrating Nature…Winging it for 25 Years’, recognizes the vital role that the outdoors plays in our physical and mental well-being but also that humans have a responsibility to protect these special natural places,” said Wesley. “The Columbia River Wetlands is one of the largest intact wetlands on the continent, sheltering elk, deer, wolves, cougars, grizzly bears, fish, amphibians, insects, more than 260 bird species and nearly 40 threatened animal and plant species.”

Tickets for each event are available online to purchase, and the entire event schedule is available at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.