Left photo: Armored youth do battle with weapons made of rattan

Nakusp goes Medieval

Cresting the hill leading from the parking lot to the festival grounds was like walking through a portal into another time and place.

RYAN WILLMAN

Arrow Lakes News

Cresting the hill leading from the parking lot to the festival grounds was like walking through a portal into another time and place. Like a reverse sunrise, the tops of the tents adorned with flags snapping in the breeze ushered the start of a visual unveiling of the sprawling field of medieval fanfare and excitement that drifted in and out of the rolling fields and far off into the distance.

More than 325 Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) members set up camp on the festival grounds and over the course of two days shared their knowledge in all things medieval. Sun Lodge Farms field just outside of Nakusp along the Nakusp Hot Springs Road was an ideal venue for the medieval event.

Good natured, friendly and learned at a scholarly level, the members of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) did more than stage exciting performances and demonstrations, they invited festival guests to be part of the world they recreated. There were lots of hands-on opportunities for festival guests who were willing to engage with the learning experiences and the brave were rewarded with knowledge and inspiration.

SCA events take place almost every weekend throughout the year, but this event was unique, being the first time the SCA has partnered with a local society and the first festival open to the public as traditionally SCA events are closed to the public save for the occasional isolated demonstration.

The festival and its success is largely attributed to the joint efforts of local Nakusp Medieval Society member Daniel Abraham and SCA event chatelaine for the Principality of Tir Righ, Kimberly Stratford. Both were impressed with the success of the festival.

“I think it went pretty good. Everything that I have heard has been pretty good. The feedback I have gotten from the guest experience has been really positive, so for a first year event, I am really happy” Abraham said.

“We really enjoyed our time in Nakusp,” Stratford commented, “and were thrilled by the welcome we received from the village.”

The conversation about a follow-up event has already begun with the SCA expressing interest in returning to Nakusp next year.

“The SCA wants to come back in much larger numbers,” Abraham explains, “but that is a lot of planning; I am looking forward to it, but it is a little bit intimidating; I think it is going to be much bigger and much better next year.”

The Nakusp Medieval Society is not a member of the SCA, and there is no SCA group in the Nakusp area, but after the positive community response in the aftermath of the festival, Abraham is hopeful that an SCA group will form locally.

“I know the numbers are here to do it. What would be ideal is an SCA chapter or shire forming here independently, and that would make the planning progress easier because then we would have a local group to liaise with because my liaison was from Victoria and the market planner is from Kelowna, so it has been a really remote set of contacts that I have had to work with. If the Nakusp Medieval Society retains it presence on the planning side and we had a local chapter of SCA, that would be the ideal scenario.”

As for the result of the war for the unclaimed land of Nakusp, the Principality of Tir Righ could not fend off the onslaught of the newly created Kingdom of Avacal. Calculated through the awarding of “war points” for the heavy battle, equestrian, youth armored combat, rapier and archery events, Avacal won four out of five. Tir Righ took the rapier point.