meadowlarx

Biologist and MP Richard Cannings leads a bicycle tour during a past Meadowlark Nature Festival.

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Meadowlark Festival is set to take flight again.

Event organizers announced this week they intend to relaunch the South Okanagan’s premier nature festival the weekend of May 20-23, 2022, following cancellations of the 2020 and 2021 editions.

Founded in 1998, the festival has prided itself on diverse, nature-oriented programming with a variety of events, including hikes, tours, lectures, dinners and assorted field trips all across the region led by experts in the field.

Such experts have included MP Richard Cannings, a biologist and birding expert, who’s cycling tours have consistently sold out.

Festival co-ordinator Paul Lockington said the focus will stay the same for 2022, although organizers are looking to put more emphasis on climate change and Indigenous culture, while relying even more heavily on outdoor venues in order to comply with public health rules.

Organizers are also trying to just get the event back on people’s radars, leading to this week’s announcement that the festival is returning with more details to follow.

“We’re sort of working on timelines to get some funding in place and some awareness in place and then kick the thing back into gear,” said Lockington.

Proceeds from the festival support the work of the non-profit Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Association.

Organizers have estimated the annual economic impact of past events, which draw hundreds of people, to be in the range of $625,000.

For more information, visit www.meadowlarkfestival.ca.