Once called Harper's Camp, the small community of Horsefly, BC, is situated on the banks of the Horsefly River. Horsefly is said to be the site of the first gold discovery in BC's Cariboo region, and has been a community since 1859 (excerpt from horsefly.bc.ca). These days, we're a friendly community of ranchers, loggers, miners, artists and folks involved in the tourism, service and other industries.
For your festival provisioning Horsefly has a general stores (with liquor sales), a cafe, pub, gas station, and hardware store. The festival site is located in downtown Horsefly.
The First Festival - 2006
Arts on the Fly began in 2006 as a typical small town 'everyone knows everyone else's business' scenario. A couple of friends would run into each other at a local Horsefly hotspot and share their visions of an event which would both promote tourism in the area and fulfill their zeal for all things creative. Through similar conversations with other locals a common thread was woven, and a meeting was called. The original Arts on the Fly members were Chanti Holtl, Cindy Isaac, Klara Henz, Dina Stephenson, Dora Gasser, Carmen Mutschele, Taina Sipponen, Christina Mary, and Corinne Stromsten.
The Horsefly School grounds played host to Arts on the Fly Music and Dance Festival on July 8, 2006. After the blood, sweat and tears of orchestrating an event with just a membership of 7, Arts on the Fly 2006 was a success! Gratefully, many community members and even some who lived in other areas stepped forward, to donate their time before and on the day of. About 400 visitors enjoyed themselves here in Horsefly on in that first festival, where children of all ages flocked to the 'Imagination Station' and their hula-hooping and face-painting dreams came true! There was a dress-up parade which wound its way through the crowds during a break. Vendors sold their wares, some with handmade creations.
A GROWING FESTIVAL
Arts on the Fly was registered as a non-profit organization, the Arts on the Fly Festival Society, in 2012. In addition to the annual festival, we host a number of other events in our community throughout the year, including musical coffeehouses, fashion shows, chili cook-offs and much more. All are a part of our organization mandate:
To create a variety of venues for music, arts and dance in the community of Horsefly
To create, support and sustain an annual arts festival
To inspire and encourage youth in the arts
2013 brings our 8th annual festival! Over the past years we have introduced artists from around the world to our small community, growing to a two day festival with multiple venues, workshops, kids areas and more. A growing festival, it is a highlight of the summer for many in our area as a much-enjoyed creative, cultural, tourism and economic boost to our small community at the end of the road.