Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!

Grizfest 2013

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This weekend was our annual trek up into the Rockies to face paint at Grizfest in Tumbler Ridge.  This is my tenth year face painting there.  The festival hires me and they have a sponsor to cover my fee – for the last several years it has been Capital Power.

It is a long drive, but very quiet – the traffic was light until we got to Dawson Creek, then once we turned onto the highway to Tumbler Ridge I think we saw about six other vehicles in an hour.  It is a really nice drive through forests into the mountains.  The road is excellent with some cool roller coaster sections!  There is one spot with three deep, steep dips in a row that is fun to do!  It can be risky as you cannot see what is below your eye level before you hit the edge of the dip and there could be anything there on the road – a stopped truck, deer, moose, bears, wolves… we haven’t run into anything up to this point.

There are now dozens of giant wind turbines on the mountain ridges near Tumbler Ridge. Last year they were under construction – when I saw the first ones I couldn’t figure out why there were smoke stacks being built-in the middle of nowhere.  This year, they are all complete and turning.  They are MASSIVE.

We arrived in nice weather.  It was quite hot actually.  As I was setting up I had to strip down and roll up my sleeves.  But… as usual, a thunderstorm rolled in.  Pretty much every year there is at least one during the weekend!  There was rain, and lots of lightning and thunder.  We actually packed up, but didn’t load up as it was too wet…

The new tent they provided was really nice – it is a 12′ with sides (in the past it has been a 10′ canopy only)!  They’d set it up with two sides which kept us shaded the whole day, but allowed the breeze through when it was hot and stopped the rain and wind during the storm.  We stayed nice and dry!  It was red with a silver lining.  While it did provide a pink glow to the light it was actually very complimentary to everyone and didn’t distort my colour choices at all.

Here is it all set-up on Sunday.tent2013

I did have photos displayed but all my temporary signage was destroyed in the rain – I had it in sheet protectors but the rain splashed up into them.  I did have enough extra signs to replace them all, but my photo sheets I clipped to a rope and have them laying on the table as they weren’t sized for my a-frame sliders.

Here is a shot inside – you can see the pink glow from the red tent in this one.  It really didn’t bother me at all.

Inside 2013

I tried to get mom to take a photo of me… mom can’t take photos…

Mom cant shoot

I, on the other hand, managed to take one of her!  In the pink light!

Mom 2013

Due to the bad storm on Saturday it never got busy.  Once the rain stopped for a bit people did start coming but the line never got more than 5 or 6 long.  Close to quitting time I think there were 6 waiting which I finished up by going a bit overtime, but seeing as we weren’t painting during the storm it wasn’t an issue.

Sunday was dry all day but still not busy.  Other years I’ve had lines 30 or so long all day, but not this year.  Overall attendance was down.

I did manage to take some photos on Sunday as it was slow enough I didn’t mind pausing the painting to get my camera out.

This was a brother and sister – he asked for a snow tiger and then she wanted the same.  I overheard her and her mother having a “discussion” about what she wanted.  I think the mom won, but she was very happy with what she did get.


This is another set of siblings.  They had been painted on Saturday too and were back first thing on Sunday to get painted again.


And this gal wanted a half tiger, half leopard.


And this was the last thing I painted on Sunday…


Oh and George Canyon was only about four feet from me in the parking lot at the hotel… twice.


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