Saskatchewan’s living skies got even more lively over Swift Current last weekend, with the ever-popular Windscape Kite Festival taking place. 

Variable winds and warm temperatures kept the excitement up at the south Swift Current festival grounds, where people from all over the world gathered for the lively celebration. Held in conjunction with Long Day’s Night Music Festival, Windscape had its 18th installment of fun for all ages, despite some difficulty with funding and volunteering late last year. 

Keely Williams, the Windscape and Long Day’s Night coordinator, expressed gratitude to everyone who made sure the event would continue. 

“We had a bit of a funding crisis and an HR crisis in the fall, it was sad because this is a really important event for not only Saskatchewan and Swift Current, but also for all of Canada, because we are currently the biggest kite festival in Canada,” expressed Williams. “It's free attendance and we think that it's really important to have something that is arts and culture for the people, for free.” 

Canadian kiters came from Ontario, B.C. and Saskatchewan, including WIlliams herself, who flew two 100 kite arches, one representing the city of Swift Current, and one for the event’s title sponsor, SaskPower. Beyond the Canadian borders, celebrity kiters came from Washington, Colorado, New York and Oregon, as well as the distant nations of Columbia and Italy. 

“In the past we have had an economic impact of $2.78 million just for the two festivals return sales back to the community, so it's not only a cultural event but it is a big stimulus for the local economy,” Williams explained. “We want to help keep all our little businesses and our community running."

Of course, the festival is about so much more than just kites, with activities ranging from obstacle courses to juggling lessons. Williams described the most popular activities among young patrons. 

“Obviously the kite workshop, they've been packed with the with kids this whole time which is great,” said WIlliams. “We love to get everybody to have their own kite...That one's good for all ages. The splatter mural is super popular. We've got spray guns, and they get to spray paint onto a big white mural and cover it, so at the end of the weekend, it's all rainbow.”