Beer and firefighters paired up for two-day spring festival

Nine local and visiting bands to provide music for event featuring firefighter competition and craft beer

This spring’s Brewloops event combines two unlikely things: the event’s usual bevy of craft beer and music, plus dozens of firefighters putting their physical fitness to the test and pushing themselves to the limit for the sake of competition.

The Brewloops downtown block party will take place May 25 and May 26 and run alongside the 2019 southern B.C. FireFit regional championships.

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FireFit is a competition where firefighters put their skills to the test, completing tasks they might perform in real emergency situations, like climbing stairs, carrying and pulling fire hose, rescuing victims and opening a hydrant — and they will have to do many of these tasks in all of their gear, racing against the clock and their matched opponents.

Kamloops firefighters have an exceptional record when it comes to firefighting competitions, especially as of late.

Firefighters from the department won world championships in 2011, 2012 and 2015, won the national championship from 2009 to 2013, took national individual titles in 2010 and 2011, relay championship titles in 2010, 2011 and 2013 and won dozens of regional championships.

At least one of those championship wins was from Kamloops Fire Rescue firefighter Graham MacKenzie, who took first overall in the national FireFit competition individual category in 2018.

MacKenzie also won last year’s B.C. regional championship and three other Kamloops Fire Rescue members, Mark Brise, Shawn Davidson and Scott Wasden, finished in the top 10. The foursome also won the team event.

That team, plus Mike Brown, will be attending the FireFit event in May, Brise told KTW. He also said there will be at least one more KFR team on the pavement that day.

The KFR team is still looking for corporate sponsors ahead of the event, and Brise said anyone interested in sponsoring the firefighter team can contact event partner Tourism Kamloops by emailing

The music lineup for the event has also been set.

Saturday’s acts during the day include Kelowna-based pop artist Andrew Judah, local jazz group Aaron MacInnis Ensemble and Kamloops folk/pop artist Jared Doherty, who also plays with bands Mother Sun and At Mission Dolores.

On Saturday evening, Small Town Artillery will headline. The Vancouver-based rock and brass band originally from Kaslo last played Kamloops in January. Also playing Saturday night will be Gleneagle, a rock ’n’ roll band originally based in Kamloops (now Vancouver), and Thunderchild, a local funk band.

On Sunday, catch local jug band The Dungbeatles, folk singer-songwriter Deandra Dey and folk duo Johnson Sandwich.

Putting the brew in Brewloops will be more than 20 breweries and cideries.

The event will be held in the parking lot on the north side of Sandman Centre at 300 Lorne St.

The free and family-friendly events will run each day from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with beer service beginning at 11 a.m.

On Saturday evening, there will be a ticketed Brewloops party event beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets for that event are available at the Kamloops Live box office, 1025 Lorne St., 250-374-5483 or online at

© Kamloops This Week


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