In The Dirt

In the Dirt is a 6 minute bicycle-operated film by Tin Gamboa, dancer and movement-based filmmaker, and Forest Borch, musician and composer. The two believe that the intermingling of music, dance and film can spark conversations, ideas, and positively rooted change.

This work was originally commissioned for Vines Art Festival, in Vancouver. It was presented as an installation, in collaboration with Forest Borch. The installation involves a pedal generator that powers the screen that shows the film. An audience member operates the pedal generator, adding a physical component to the auditory and visual and experience. Its goal is to allow the audience to ruminate on their relationship to land and ask questions such as: How much is land a part of my identity? How much do I take from land? How much do I give back to it?



Corin Raymond

Toronto singer-storyteller Corin Raymond is a troubadour whose robust veracity make for good life companions. Raymond’s Juno-nominated 2016 album Hobo Jungle Fever Dreams is described by Acoustic Guitar as “Romantic, immediate, and narcotic.” Which incidentally is how Corin feels about ArtsWells.



Nathan & Logan

Logan and Nathan are a laid back dynamic folk duo, pushing the elements of traditional music. The pair came together by means of a not-so classic story which involved a flood, a brown safari van named Bessie and their shared loved of writing and playing music. Their music allows the freedom to settle into emotions that make us all human while reminding us to appreciate all thats worth loving. Logan and Nathan have their roots currently in Vancouver and are working on their debut LP.



Janet Rogers

Janet Rogers is a Mohawk writer, producer, sound and media artist living as a guest on Coast Salish territory since 1994. She records her poetry with music and has 5 published books. Her spoken word poetry is political, creative and original. You can keep up with all of her travels and tour dates on her poet laureate Facebook page.



Gabriel Palatchi Trio

Join Argentinian pianist, composer, and Billboard Magazine Emerging Artist Gabriel Palatchi for an eclectic musical journey. His original blend of cultures features latin jazz, tango, funk, middle east and more. The Trio featuring Chema Gonzalez (Mexico) on drums and Kerry Galloway (Vancouver) on bass, will be touring across Canada this summer promoting their latest album “Trivolution” (Global Music Awards “Top Ten Albums 2015”, Gold Medal on Composer/Album category, “Fan Favorite” awards) and advancing new songs from their upcoming 4th album!



Karyn Ellis

This indie folk-pop veteran is a prolific member of the Canadian folk music scene and a frequent flyer across lands and oceans. Karyn gleefully returns to ArtsWells bringing her sweet, savoury, tug-at-your-heartstrings dreamy concoction of folky musical goodness. Song and story are woven together with her generous wit and magnetic presence. Listen in, draw closer and feel the feels.

More about Karyn at http://karynellis.com/


Pre-Festival Workshops

Pre-Festival Workshops

Extend your ArtsWells experience by enrolling in one of the pre-festival workshops. Pre-festival workshops run from August 1 to August 4 and offer something for adults and children. This year’s workshops are:

Songwriting with Oh Susanna, Don Kerr & Paul Linklater

Join these three critically acclaimed songwriters for a four-day intensive workshop. Participants will spend time defining and examining those “fundamental ingredients’ of a song through performance, discussion and hands-on writing. If you play an instrument, bring it along, but the ability to play a musical instrument is not required. Participants will have the opportunity to perform their newly created songs as part of the ArtsWells Festival, which begins on the final day of the workshop.

For more information on this workshop or to register click here

Sing About It

Instructor: Melisa Devost
We sing in the car, in the shower, we hum doing our dishes, we sing with other people and for most, singing is something that can bring joy. This workshop will explore some singing techniques, some basic and useful vocal physiology and how to sing with ease and expand upon your skill base. We will also look at how, when we include the whole body in the process of singing, challenges around pitch, volume, breath and nervousness can greatly improve. We will be playing with different styles of singing with a lean toward gospel and soul.

For more information on this workshop or to register click here

Songwriting & Rhythm Day Camp for Ages 6 – 18

Instructors: Corwin Fox, Maiya Robbie and Shawn Stephenson
This course focuses on both writing and performance aimed at facilitating self-expression through music, song and spoken word poetry. Combining elements of musical theory, improvisation techniques, lyric writing, collaboration with peers and working one-on-one with the instructors, students get and incredibly dynamic and transformational experience. This program is suitable for complete beginners, as well as students with prior musical experience. Corwin brings his mobile recording studio to give students an opportunity to record their new tunes and have a CD to take home with them. Students perform their new songs at the ArtsWells Festival. Having taught this course at IMA for the last ten summers, professional BC musician Corwin Fox has developed an incredible program that has been life-changing for many of the young people who have taken part.

For more information on this workshop or to register click here


Corwin Fox

Corwin Fox is a Canadian songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who has been hailed as “a shining light in Canadian roots music” by Doug Cox (artistic director, Vancouver Island Music Festival). Known as much for his studio expertise as his live show, Corwin has toured extensively across Canada, the U.S. and Australia performing his songs on banjo, guitar and ukelele. He has played venues and festivals large and small, some by himself, some with his band Morlove, and some with such luminaries as Fred Penner, Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long, Alex Cuba, Kim Barlow and Raghu Lokanathan. Corwin also has a new duo with Raghu called The Chimney Swallows. Corwin Fox makes a curious and welcoming kind of folk music.

Corwin Fox’s page – www.corwinfoxmusic.com



Interested in being an ArtsWells Artist?

As our name suggests, we are a festival of all forms of art and welcome applications from musicians, performance artists, actors, visual artists, literary artist, filmmakers and other forms of art.  If you don’t see your discipline below, but are interested in being a part of the festival, please contact us.

** If you have trouble downloading any of the applications please e-mail outreach (at) imarts.com or call us at 250-994-3466

We prefer you use our online application form in order to save paper and office clutter.  However, if you need to use hard copy you can request a form at: outreach (at) imarts.com

Mail to: ArtsWells Festival, Box 65, Wells, BC, V0K 2R0  or  Fax to: 250-994-3433  or  E-mail to: outreach (at) imarts.com (don’t forget to include a digital promotional photo and stage plot requirements)

Musical Performers

We are always seeking out new and exciting musical performances.  From gospel to reggae, bluegrass to hip-hop, soul to classical, we want the best of the broadest spectrum of talent at ArtsWells.  The line up is usually announced in the spring.  The application deadline is January 31st.

To apply to be a musical performer, please complete the 2017 Music Application

Visual Artists

Another component of The ArtsWells Festival is our visual ArtWalk which showcases local and regional artwork around the festival site.  This year, ArtsWells is soliciting for innovative art projects/installations to be carried out/presented at the festival.  We are looking for projects in any media that can be displayed in the spaces we have available.  These spaces include many outdoor locations, and some indoor locations.  We welcome proposals that are interactive, innovative, performative, experiential, educational and any and all things art.  Download the proposal form below. Deadline to apply is March 31, 2017.

To apply to have your art at ArtsWells, please email outreach (at) imarts.com.


Another exciting component of ArtsWells are our workshops where people learn and do all things art.  If you have a skill to share, a mini-forum to lead, or possess a desire to bring people together, we invite you to host a workshop.  Workshops have ranged from laughter yoga to classical bass technique, mini journal making to kung-fu, radical folk history to gospel singing, panel discussions to Broadway dancing!  Whatever you can do, come and share it.  The deadline is March 31, 2017

If you have a workshop you would like to propose,please email outreach (at) imarts.com.

Performing Arts

As a multidisciplinary arts festival we welcome artists of all disciplines to perform pieces (of any length) during the festival.  This category can apply to a wide range of artists including, but not limited to, poets, dancers, clowns, roving performers, puppeteers, magicians, authors, mimes, stilt-walkers, fire-spinners, jugglers, or any and all things art.  You can download the application form here.  Deadline to apply is March 31, 2017.

If you want to perform at ArtsWells, please complete the 2017 Performing Arts Application 2017



ArtsWells invites you to submit your films for consideration.  ArtsWells encourages filmmakers from diverse genres to apply.  From animation to documentary, short fiction to full length feature, come and be a part of the reel experience at ArtsWells.  Have a favourite film/documentary that you didn’t create?  Many films are available for screening purposes simply by requesting them from the filmmaker.  Get the reel rolling today.To apply to have your film screened at ArtsWells, please email outreach (at) imarts.com.  Deadline to apply is March 31, 2017.  


Every year ArtsWells has a strong component of literary artists that contribute to the festival.  In fact, ArtsWells has had a literary portion every year since its inception.  Poets, spoken word artists, novelists, historians and avant-writers of all sorts are welcome to apply and join us for ArtsWells in all its resplendent revelry.   Deadline to apply is March 31, 2017. Literary Application 2017


The festival has a growing history of theatrical events, not in any small part due to the One-Minute Play Festival.  Come and share the stage with us this summer in Wells; the ArtsWells Festival of All Things happens at a theatrical epicentre of the north.  Come and share the stage with us at the historic Sunset Theatre and in Barkerville at the Theatre Royal.  Artists are encouraged to submit works for presentation during the festival weekend. Deadline to apply is March 31.  Apply to perform by completing the 2017 Theatre Application



ArtsWells Stages & Venues

Wells Venues

Community Hall 
(Music, theatre)

The Wells Community Hall was built completed in 1938 by the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company as part of their mandate to develop an entire community rather than a typical “company town” The first social gathering held at the hall featured the local Wells Orchestra. Back in the day, the Hall featured a billiard and reading room (now the ballet room) and a pistol range in the basement in addition to the hall/gymnasium and kitchen. The gymnasium was boasted to be the largest dance floor in the BC Interior.

Since 1938, the Hall was restored twice, in 1967 and in the mid-1990’s. At ArtsWells, it is the largest indoor venue, featuring two stages – one upstairs and one downstairs. It also hosts the One-minute Play Festival and the Volunteer Party on the Monday night.

Outdoor Stage
(Music, yoga, workshops)

The Outdoor Stage comes to life in the Wells-Barkerville Community School field for the ArtsWells weekend. With bleachers and a large tent stage, it has a great outdoor atmosphere where you can dance in your barefeet on the grass and enjoy your lunch with music.

Next to the Outdoor Stage is the kids’ area and Tipi Village. The field is the venue for morning yoga and other workshops.

(Music, literary)

Also known as the United Church, the Tempest Stage is also an original 1930s building reflecting Wells’ heritage. It was originally build as the United Church with a small living quarters in the back for the minister. With the original interior wooden walls and pews, this small venue has some of the most beautiful acoustics for music. The size also provides and intimate atmosphere for acoustic performances and readings.

Sunset Theatre
(Music, theatre, film, dance)

Originally a movie theatre built in 1934, the Sunset has been a dance-hall, BC’s first gambling hall (the Dominion Club), and even a morgue.  The Sunset Theatre has changed hands several times throughout its history and was operated by the Wells Historical Society for many years during the late 1970’s – early 80’s.  In  1999 when the building was purchased and over the past 15 years has been loving restored beyond its former glory offering professional live theatre, movies, boot camps and concert venue.  

Legion Stage

The Legion Stage is in the Wells branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. ArtsWells is grateful to partner with the Legion to provide music in this venue. Another small venue, it offers and intimate atmosphere and is a licensed venue.

Jack ‘o’ Clubs Pub

Formerly the “Casino Stage”, the Jack ‘o’ Clubs Pub is part of the Jack ‘o’ Clubs General enterprise. Originally built as the bar area for the casino in the early 2000’s, the current owners continue to run a pub and venue, hosting musicians, comedians, events and a regular karaoke night.

Access to the Jack ‘o’ Clubs Pub venue is only through the side door from Highway 26.

Bear’s Paw Stage

The Bear’s Paw Stage is part of the Bear’s Paw Cafe’s patio.  Enjoy a meal and a drink while you listen to your favourite bands.

Wells Hotel Pub

The Wells Hotel Pub is part of the Wells Hotel, another 1930s building. It is a small venue, but hosts the largest whiskey collection in Northern BC (potentially all of BC).

Busking Stage

Conveniently located between North and South Wells, there is a small park (parkette) with an inviting red gazebo. Stop by on your walk through town to play a few tunes, jam or listen to some ad hoc, unscheduled music. You never know who you might meet here! The Busking Stage has also be the location for an ArtsWells wedding and for a solar powered green stage. This is also one access to the beautiful Meadow Trails.



Barkerville Venues

There are two venues in Barkerville that are part of the ArtsWells Festival. With your wristband, admission to Barkerville is provided for $5. Barkerville is 7km from Wells and there is a shuttle provided by the Festival if you don’t want to drive, walk or ride a bike.  

St. Saviour’s

St. Saviour’s Anglican Church is one of Barkerville’s iconic buildings.  Construction of the church began in 1869 and was still not yet completed until after Reverend Reynard held the first service on September 18, 1870.  It was built after the great Barkerville fire and the building that stands now is one of the original buildings still standing in the Barkerville Historic Site.  

This historic site is another venue that provides amazing acoustics and memorable performances in a unique location. 

Methodist Church 

Like the Tempest, the Methodist Church is an unassuming building that, in its simple wooden construction makes a beautiful venue. The size and low level of the stage make the performances intimate and engaging for the audience.

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Buy Tickets

Tickets for the 2017 ArtsWells Festival are available online

Countdown to ArtsWells 2017


Pre-Fest Workshops

Come early to Wells and take part in a singing or songwriting workshop! More information on the Pre-Fest Workshops page here.

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