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Local economic engine gains steam

By Ricardo Hubbs

For the first time in its 14-year history Canada’s premiere electronic music festival, Shambahala, has sold out of online tickets in May.  

All this when locals have just said, ‘Goodbye’ to the snow.

“This represents an enormous opportunity for our community,” said Corrine Zawaduk, production manager of Shambhala Music Festival. 

“Our economic calculator estimates the local spin off benefits of over $11 million for our community.” 

That’s equals more job opportunities, increased business revenue and a stronger sense of community. It also places the Kootenay region on the world stage.

Shambhala began in Salmo as a riverside party of 500 people back in 1998. Coupled with the rise of the Internet and the immense popularity of electronic music, Shambhala positioned itself for a ground swell of popularity. 

“We see more than half of our guests now coming from out of province,” Zawaduk said.  “An entire generation of hip and tech savvy youth are flocking to one of the best electronic parties on the planet. Our talent lineup is exceptional and pulls in some of the biggest names in the business.”  

At its peak show time, Shambhala Music Festival will create the largest city in the West Kootenay with a population of over 15,000 — that includes guests, talent, volunteers and staff. 

Add to this the big win of “Best Large Event” by Breakspoll in London, England earlier this year, and this is a local super success story. 

And, mix in the fact that Shambhala ranks number 35 of the top 100 most visible music festivals on Google and the engine is full steam ahead.  

For more info on the festival visit www.shambhalamusicfestival.com.