News from the Events Design Festival and our Partners

Student program was a resounding success!

Two weekends ago five Coldharbour Institute students met with seven students from the San Luis Valley and San Miguel County and went to an abandoned cave in Telluride and made art and science and alliances.

The program was a resounding success!  It was an opportunity for the kids to discover how they can operate in any environment, and learn any skill…beautifully.  Carlos Lerma is their first Coldharbour Youth Development Initiative (CYDI) student ambassador.  Maria and Veronica are two students being brought into the program.  Christian Arel is an MEM/Vista student whose project is developing the CYDI program.  “Max, my kid, started the whole crazy gig last year by meeting and falling in love with Erin Ries, TFF Executive Director and amazing soul,” says Suzanne Ewy, Executive Director of Coldharbour Institute.

“Connecting Gunnison and WSCU’s MEM, Art, etc., with Telluride makes all kinds of great sense.  They have so many of the same issues going on around art, cold weather, high altitude sustainability, agriculture and food, remoteness, need for higher education, and bursting creativity, that working together is a no-brainer. Come join us in January for the Fire Festival, January 20 – 22 – it’s magical.  We’ll have the kids’ sculpture up and running – it’s going to be fabulous.  Not quite green, but lots of sustainability in every other arena for these kiddos,”  ” continues Ewy.

If you miss the Festival, we’ll be bringing the sculpture to Gunnison and the San Luis Valley eventually.

Thank You Mountain High Fire & Safety!

We wish to thank Mountain High Fire & Safety for their continued support of the Telluride Fire Festival. We are so grateful for their sponsorship as we head into our 3rd annual event. We could not do it without you!

2-Day High School Student Workshop Collaboration: Nov. 19-20

2-Day High School Student Workshop Collaboration:
Create a fire art installation
November 19 and 20

The Festival has created an amazing two-day program for local and regional students involving five educational themes. Art teachers will engage students in nontraditional areas of education that are sometimes overlooked in rural areas due to funding constraints and transportation challenges.

The students will spend two days with artists, teachers, scientists, engineers, and crafts persons who will mentor them in the areas of their expertise.

These areas include art through welding, carpentry, pottery, chemistry, safety measures, math, physics, and, above all safety. The students and their mentors will then create a group art installation using their newfound skills and knowledge, which will be showcased at the January 20-22, 2017 Fire Art Festival in Telluride, and then in each of the student groups communities, if practical.

Details: $400 tuition includes lodging, meals, transportation, materials for 15 participants. Scholarships are available. Send an email to with two paragraphs about why you need a scholarship (Deadline November 1). Click to sign up.

Special Lodging Discount

telluride-guestroomDiscounted room rates for Festival guests from The Hotel Telluride are available for a limited time only. Please click here to get the deal.

The Hotel Telluride is a boutique chalet with a European feel in Town, close to Telluride’s signature shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Guests can take advantage of the complimentary shuttle to the Gondola to ski or view fire performances at night and then relax after with a soak under the Telluride sky in their beautiful outdoor hot tubs.

A Shack To-Hell-U-Ride Thank You!

Garret Gruener for webThe Telluride Fire Festival art car is about to embark on its second pilgrimage to Burning Man this coming Labor Day weekend. And, the Shack To-Hell-U-Ride has many people to thank for making this important journey possible. We hope to meet new artists and spread the word in Black Rock City about the January 20-22 Festival in Telluride.

Leif Juell, owner of Alternative Power Enterprises in Ridgway, CO, generously provided a substantially discounted 8-panel solar system of seasoned, reused components. Complete with a solar charge controller and deep cycle batteries, the now solar-powered sound and light system make the Shack a more environmentally-friendly art car by eliminating the need for a noisy, polluting (and often temperamental) generator.

Many thanks, as well, to Maciej Mrotek of Dance of the Sacred Fire of Carbondale, CO, whose pyrotechnic expertise has made the Shack more fiery. When we won Best of Parade after accidentally torching the Town of Telluride’s 4th of July banner, it was clear his efforts were successful and sure to entertain at Burning Man.

Bud and Leslie Crane, Damon and Lanie Demas, Marshall Whiting and Richard Arnold, and Curtis Marble have all helped provide temporary residences for the Shack so that we could continue to have it nearby to work on it.

Kudos must also be given to Adam Messier, owner of Telluride Complete Auto Repair, without his can-do-attitude, expertise, and responsiveness in repairing the trailer, Eurovan and truck (all needed for the trek), we wouldn’t be hauling the Shack to The Playa.

Lastly, we thank everyone that donated or backed the Kickstarter Campaign to help raise the money to get her to Burning Man: Annie Williams, Boo Grant, Cooper Cantor, Blake Rhulen, Bryan Pope, Chris Dobell, Dyer Wolf, Diana Sheldon, Douglas Cunningham, Gregg Elbert, Joel Henderson, Judy & Steven Gluckstern, Judy Ries, Karen & Charlie Baughn, Mark Campione, Nathaniel, Robin Schuster, Simon Sommelius, So Rachel Cain, and Trent Hein.

We are indebted and so grateful to all.

2017 Event to Showcase Fire Art on Ski Area

This January 20-22, Festival goers will be entertained by dancing fire spinners and towering fiery art in Telluride Mountain Village, and also be captivated by larger-than-life fire installations on the Telluride Ski Resort, atop the gondola.

Local fire artist and architect, Anton Viditz-Ward will have his magnificent Fire Spinner on the ski slope. Guests attending the Saturday night Fire Ball will have the opportunity to view his interactive fire installation as well as other fire sculptures on a backdrop of glistening snow, 10,000 feet above sea level.

The Festival honors many artists whose works of fire art can often only be witnessed at Burning Man in the Nevada desert of Black Rock City.

The annual Telluride Fire Festival begins January 20 with fire performances and fire art installations in Telluride’s Mountain Village, 5-8pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The outdoor experiences are offered are free to all.

Saturday night will feature the wildly outrageous Fire Ball in North America’s highest (one-night-only) nightclub at 10,535 feet on St Sophia Ridge. This event will wow all with music, fire performers, aerial silk spinners, jugglers, cash bar, yummy food, and more.

Anton Viditz-Ward
Master welder, artist and architect, Anton works his magic in an abandoned mine just outside of Telluride, which he uses as both a studio and starkly minimalist backdrop for creating and showcasing his spectacular, fiery creations. Working with heavy steel on a large scale, Anton constructs three-story tall “creatures” that he loads with wood, torches and spins via man-powered axles—remarkable to witness in person. Anton has received many grants over the years from Burning Man to bring his art to the desert.

Artist Reception at Telluride Gallery of Fine Art
Renowned Burning Man photographer Scott London will be hosted at the Telluride Gallery of Fine art with a kick-off reception Thursday, Jan. 19. Scott is a photographer and journalist based in southern California. His photographs have been widely published, appearing in books, newspapers and magazines in more than 30 countries. Publications include Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, The AtlanticWired, Fast CompanyGQ, Architectural Digest and National Geographic Traveler.

His work has also been exhibited across the U.S. and Europe. Highlights include the “Living” exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and the “Art in an Ephemeral Age” show at the Institute of Art and Ideas in England. His book Burning Man: Art on Fire will be featured at Between the Covers bookstore and Scott will sign books at the reception.

The Festival’s current sponsors include AmeriGas, Hotel Telluride, Lumière Telluride, Madeline Hotel & Residences, Scott’s Printing, Telluride Ski Resort, Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association, CCAASE, and The Victorian Inn.




Dance of the Sacred Fire returns in 2017!

Dance of the Sacred Fire returns for a 3rd year to enchant our guests with fantastic high energy fire sets. Their performances of pure fire shows will include Fire Poi, Fire Rope Dart, Fans, Fire Ropes, Fire Breathing, Fire Staff, Double Fire Short Staff, Fire Play, Fire Fingers, Fire Torches and more!

Pictured here: Fire spinners Melanie Finan, left, and Maciej Mrotek who performed on the deck at Mountain Lodge Telluride for Telluride Fire Festival 2015 and 2016. The performance kicked off the Telluride Fire Festival both years.

About Dance of the Sacred Fire:
Dance of the Sacred Fire has performed on national and international stages, and collaborated on projects around the globe. They manipulate fire using traditional tools, and draw on their experience with fire to design and create new, innovative tools for performances that are nothing short of magical. 

Gunnison teen’s project to highlight Fire Festival 

Excerpted from Gunnison Times: Will Shoemaker, Times Editor

The smell of propane wafted from a long metal tube as Max Ewy flicked a lighter over small drill holes, igniting the apparatus in a long line of short flames. Ewy rushed around the tube to queue punk music, sent through a speaker at one end of the cylinder. As the sounds of The Damned blared, the flames danced along with the beat.

Part science, part art, Ewy’s Ruben’s tube, as it’s called, jumped to life in a swirl of sound and sight. The first project of its kind for the 15-year-old artist and costume designer, the “standing wave flame tube” has been selected to highlight the second annual Telluride Fire Festival, Jan. 14-17.

The idea for creating the Ruben’s tube came from a YouTube video. And after learning of the Fire Festival, Ewy was encouraged to produce the apparatus for the event.

Download the PDF to read more.

Video of Ruben’s Tube

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