Peaceful, rustic vibe at the Unicorn Cup

Published on August 26, 2022 by Bradie Sparrow

Photo: Bradie Sparrow
Speakers on the main stage at the Unicorn Cup in the Kootenays.

There are very few opportunities to immerse yourself into cannabis culture in Canada. This would be challenging anywhere in the world (well maybe not in California), but with legalization here in the Great White North where we are still trying to navigate all these shiny new regulations and finding out how to participate in a way that works for all sides. I have to say that Che Leblanc and his team at The Unicorn Cup may be well on their way to figuring it out.

We seized the chance this month to attend a three-day festival of cannabis, education, and music in the majestic Kootenays, right on the shores of Rosebud Lake. 

The ‘no alcohol’ Unicorn Cup was intimate, informative, peaceful and rustic. We spent our days learning from experts and floating on the lake then enjoyed nights dancing to DJs all while consuming cannabis entered for judging in the Unicorn Cup. 

Winners of the 2022 Unicorn Cup

For the first time ever, a competition was held for legal producers to submit their flower for judging. Fourteen legal flowers were received with the following results:

  • 1st – Sweetgrass Cannabis – Mint Chocolate Chip (25.4% THC)
  • 2nd – Coast Mountain Cannabis – BC Organic Dancehall (8.6% THC 11.3% CBD)
  • 3rd – Joi Botanicals – Purple Punch Mints #11 (25.5% THC)

Additionally, 42 personal flowers were submitted as well as two extract categories. 

All winners have been posted here

The main area of action was the Galactic Centre where the Electric Butterfly Stage was located, plus several vendors. These included various artists, glass blowers, decor and several cannabis agencies such as Route 1 and Sweet Justice. During the day, speakers reigned the stage with chairs in the audience area, while night transformed the space into a light show dance party. Speakers included Che Leblanc, Kevin Jodrey, DragonFly Earth Medicine, The Banyan Tree and BC Bubbleman. An exciting and inspiring womens’ panel mediated by Krystal Waters featured Shannon Ross, Pamela West and Brishna Kamal. Also of note was The Healing Hollow for guided yoga, healing sessions and fireside chats. 

Rosebud Lake is a gem of spot

Rosebud Lake is located about one hour south of Nelson, BC, and cell service disappears about 25 minutes from the lake. There you’ll encounter a turtle crossing on the drive in and if you visit the lake during dusk, you will likely spot their wee heads popping up while they tread water, watching you back. Fish were jumping and darting among the plants while we lazed on our two person floaty during the hot sunny afternoons. The days were hot, hot, hot, and the evenings were chilly. This is real camping out here, so come well prepared. There are no services, plus there was also a fire ban during our stay, so food preparation should be thought out in advance. That said, there were three food vendors on site, cash only sales. While bathroom access was limited, we always had plenty of toilet paper and never waited more than one person deep in a line. 

If you took a walk past the lake, up the road, around the corner, then kept going, you’d find the Dab Bus! Obviously in this area, torches prevailed and concentrates were king. Unicorn Meadow was the name of this space, with tents scattered among the plateau, all enjoying the scenic lake views. 

If it isn’t clear, this property is vast. We did a lot of walking; driving is discouraged as it stirs up loads of dust, making it tough for pedestrians to enjoy. I truly enjoyed walking around to see our friends. Next time, I plan to bring walkie talkies. Several peeps had bicycles, there were a couple motorized scooters and some really cool one wheel skateboard things that guests were travelling about the site upon.

At the back end of the property was the true treasure of Che Leblanc’s land: Rosebud Farms, an outdoor regenerative cannabis facility that is dedicated to becoming one of the lowest impact growers in the industry. This area was not part of the festival but the values of the farm were echoed throughout the festival guidelines and vibes. Guests were asked to pack out what they brought in and the feeling of the entire festival was one of kindness, generosity and sharing. Every single moment was magical and memorable, and I personally hope to make The Unicorn Cup a yearly tradition.

Learn more about Rosebud Farms here.