Thursday, October 17, 2019
Sun Valley Wellness Festival to Feature New Insight Stage
Traci Ireland, center, will lead an Andean Shamanic Despacho Ceremony Thursday evening, along with Austyn Wells, author of “Soul Conversations.”
Sunday, June 23, 2019


The 2019 Sun Valley Wellness Festival and Conference will offer a free Insight Stage.

A stage in the Experience Hall, which is free to the public and features vendors offering wellness services and products, will be called the Insight Stage, said Andria Friesen, president of the Festival.

“Our program is so strong this year that we have six speakers who could be keynote speakers, and vendors who also could be speakers,” she added. “We’ll have short presentations by exhibitors on that stage, and our speakers will move to the Insight Stage to field questions and answers after their presentations.”

“Best of all,” she added, “It’s all open and free to the public. In fact, we have more free things than in years past.”

This year’s Sun Valley Wellness Festival and conference runs from June 28 through July 1. A Native American Gratitude Drumming and Despacho Ceremony, free to the public, will launch things at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at The Quad on the Sun Valley Community School Campus.

Dr. David Hepburn, one of Canada’s foremost medical cannabis educators, will offer the keynote speech “Hits and Myths: Medical Cannabis” at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, at The Argyros Performing Arts Center.

Last year was a year of many changes as the Wellness Conference moved from Memorial Day Weekend to late June and staged many of its talks at Sun Valley Community School campus.

This year the change will continue with some talks being staged at the Argyros Performing Arts Center and the Experience Hall undergoes a makeover to offer more high quality vendors and the Insight Stage.

“The quality of the programming is optimum,” said Friesen. “This will be the first year we’ve used The Argyros. And the Limelight Hotel has been fantastic with helping to provide housing and receptions.”

Friesen says she has heard from some people who were sad to see the festival move from Memorial Day Weekend when little is going on in Sun Valley to late June. Festival organizers made the move in part to take advantage of better flying weather and the summer flights into Sun Valley from places like Los Angeles and Denver.

“It hurts that a few people are unhappy, but I know you can’t please everyone,” said Friesen. “And the festival is catching the attention of secondary residents in its new time, some of whom had never heard of the festival before.”

Organizers quizzed the community about what topics they wanted covered. Among the things people were most curious about this year was medical cannabis.

“I love the title of Dr. Hepburn’s lecture—'hit or miss.’ He’ll address how cannabis might affect things like joints and inflammation and how it might help athletes since that would be of interest here. And he’ll address what isn’t true,” Friesen said. “Already, people are saying how thrilled they are that this topic is coming to, of all places, Idaho.”

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