The Squamish Constellation Festival started in 2019 and was put together by artists Tamara Stanners and Kirsten Andrews but the ongoing pandemic had to be postponed last year and this year. Not to fear, however, Stanners and Andrews have been steadily working behind the scenes, and have been joined by former Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman and say they are confident they will deliver a phenomenal festival in 2022.
What I think is really cool about this festival is the focus on grassroots and community. I’m not much of a festival-goer these days, but I have seen the way large festivals can wreak havoc on the surroundings and throw the road systems into disarray, and that’s something the trio is also very focused on minimizing.
As Heintzman says “the whole intention of this passion project that the three of us are really dedicated to is — it is grounded in community… We don’t want to have people driving tired and we want to minimize road traffic. We want to be as green as possible, as a festival, so we are looking at those alternatives”.
The biggest size they would like to get to in terms of attendees would be between 12000 to 15000. Heintzman also adds that her skills in planning “[are] really the core of what I bring to the table. That ability to speak the government language and hash out all the plans and all the logistics, I have seen it from the other side, so I can understand the needs of the city, the needs of the different departments of the city and to get to the heart of what their intention is and come out with a positive solution.”
It’s pretty impressive when you get a former Mayor involved like this, but Heintzman and Stanners have been friends for over 20 years and encouraged Stanners and Andrews when they first announced their festival for 2019. Back in 2016, the Squamish Valley Music Festival closed up its doors and Heintzman says she “Immediately” started to think of what new festivals could happen but this time with more of a focus on the community. As the festival grows the trio is thinking of other things to incorporate not just music but arts and perhaps even camping.
With Stanners, Andrews and, Heintzman being as involved as they are I imagine Squamish Constellation Festival is going to be incredible. They have all additionally been putting this project together out of love for their community and don’t get paid for it, so I thought this would be a good time to plug their website, where you can learn more about the festival, its lineup, how to support them and donate.