FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A different kind of countdown is on for the Energetic County Fair: though the planned music festival itself is months away, a series of four deadlines that must be met for the event to go ahead have been agreed upon by the City of Fort St. John and the event organizers.

Exactly what this process will look like for the Energetic County Fair was nailed down by the city this week after a meeting with organizers in early April.

The requirements of each of the four preparation stages laid out must be met by the deadlines in order for planning to progress on the event’s tight timeline.

The director of community services, Karin Carlson, ensured that city staff were “communicating regularly” with organizers and that the process was clearly laid out with links provided “at every single step of the way.”

The department is hopeful that the requirements for the first deadline will be met and will report back after May 20th.

Showcasing great music, Indigenous and cultural art, and a variety of exciting food, the Energetic County Fair was announced this January and is planned for the 14th to 16th of July.

Local promoter and owner of Energetic Productions Inc. Dale Plourde has big plans for the event both this year and in the future, intending to create an annual celebration featuring both prominent artists and the best of the region. Kim Mitchell, Emerson Drive and the Washboard Union are headlining this year’s show.

The inaugural event, however, has not been without its organizational hiccups.

The city turned down the event’s original site, Centennial Park, over concerns for the park and its limited capacity to accommodate an event of that size.

The original proposal also asked the city to sponsor the event, which was not accepted for a myriad of both financial and legal reasons.

Other missing plans and documentation, like parking access and risk management, among others, raised questions and concerns from council members.

After the original proposal, discussions between Plourde and the city found the festival a new home on vacant lots owned by the City at 100th Avenue and 102 Street.

On March 28th, the city resolved to help facilitate, but not sponsor, the event and to proceed with the special event application once further planning needs were met.

The full report to council can be viewed below:

Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.