It’s Time for Colour

Time For Colour Quilts

Event organized by the Canadian Quilters Association, the national organization of quilters

36 small quilts were created and donated by elite Canadian quilters who have won major awards at the prestigious Canadian National Juried Quilt Show. Oliver artist Marianne Parsons along with Judy Harpur and Miriam March from Rock Creek have created pieces for this event.

Each quilt is available for purchase, as are beautiful greeting cards featuring the quilts. Proceeds from sales of the quilts and cards will go to the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada: (

The 36 quilts were split into two shows to travel to most provinces and the Northwest Territories until June 2015. Then they will be combined again into a full show at the CQA/ACC annual conference, June 4 – 6, 2015 in Lethbridge AB. After the conference, the quilts will be mailed to their new owners.

You can see the full group of quilts at the Canadian Quilters Association’s website:  Click on the CQA blog button on the right, then click on ‘It’s Time For Colour’ in the top menu bar.

18 of the ‘It’s Time For Colour’ quilts will be coming to Oliver March 9 and 10 and the public is invited to a free showing of them at Beyond Bliss Esthetics at 6250 Main St.  They will be on display from 11-5 on Monday, Mar. 9, and from 9-5 on Tues. Mar. 10. Everyone is invited to drop in and check out these creative fabric artists from across Canada over the 2 days.

Time for Colour

Whew! What jazz!

Offrampby Bob Park

Sometimes it just pays to shop locally. Such was the case Friday when the South Okanagan Concert Society presented the  Okanagan-based Offramp Jazz Sextet from right “next door”. Already well-known for their outstanding performances at Penticton’s Jazz Festival and other venues in the valley, these six excellent musicians puts on shows that are the equal of jazz found anywhere.

Performing at Oliver’s Frank Venables Theatre on Friday January 23, Offramp checked all the boxes that I usually look for in an outstanding show, and a few extra ones I hadn’t thought about before. They left us feeling thoroughly entertained, with a sense that we’d been part of something special. It was as though we were included in the obvious friendship that the musicians had for each other, and the delight they had in the superb music they were creating individually and as a group.

Offramp 1

Aidan Mayes is a gifted singer who really knows how to put across the emotional content of a song. Her sultry characterization of the old Peggy Lee standard, “Fever, ” and Amy Winehouse’s sorrowful “Back to Black” really grabbed us. Given Winehouse’s tragic death, the words to this song became even more poignant. Aidan gives an authentic jazz flavour to a wide variety of musical styles that are not usually associated with jazz such as the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” and Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”

On the saxes Larry Crawford and Stan Sabourin seemed like the old master and the young hot shot, subtly egging each other on to greater heights. Remember, these guys are improvising. That’s not sheet music they’re looking at, it’s chord charts that only provide the basic structure of the tune. They’re thinking of a complex musical phrase and producing it instantly for us to hear!  I particularly enjoyed the moment in “Sunnyside” when the rest of the band “laid out”, and left us with just the two saxes creating an almost Bach-like polyphonic effect.

Justin Glibbery, jazz pianist par excellence, sometimes reminded me of Count Basie with his light, almost minimalist approach, not always playing a lot of notes, but coming up with interesting phrases.  It was fun to see the eye-contact with the bassist and the drummer, and the obvious communication that was going on.  It’s amazing that such a tight and well-rehearsed performance  still allows for lots of room for “letting things happen”. I always love it when jazz musicians start laughing and give each other the ‘look’ that says: “Where in the world did those notes come from?”. Jazz at its best! Of all the neat things he played, Justin’s rendition of Brubeck’s classic “Blue Rondo a la Turk” was a tour de force.

In every jazz group, it’s the bassist who makes it swing and is the glue that holds it all together. Stephan Bienz is no exception: he definitely made it swing!  His virtuosic bass fiddle playing was a constant, even singing at the same time for some pieces!  Unforgettable, also, his solo chops, such as in the intro to “Lullaby of Birdland”.

Offramp 2

And then there’s “the drums”. What can one say about Mike Treadway’s drumming except maybe :”Whew!” Capable of soft, delicate nuanced playing as well as high energy intensity while always keeping the groove going, this guy was born to play the drums. Mike’s performance kept surprising us, not least in the encore. He led the band in a beat-box loop station high-speed  version of  “It Don’t Mean a Thing” that really defies description. Again: “Whew!”

As we filed out of the theatre, I sensed people were still mentally humming their favourite tunes from the performance. We are so fortunate to have musicians of this calibre also working as music teachers in this valley. Lucky students! Lucky valley!

Mark your calendars for the next performance brought to you by the concert society: pianist Sara Davis Buechner, on Friday, Feb. 20.

Winter sale at Painted Chair

Clothing 2

The Painted Chair 

Spacious new look      

Sale $5 a bag     

Wednesday January 28


Saturday January 31  

Open 9 am –  12 noon  

5857 Sawmill Rd., Oliver 


hovanes-chairFurniture sold at the Painted Chair is creatively upcycled by clients of Hovanes Community Services Ltd. Clothing is donated by the public.


Baroque music on period instruments

Masterworks 1

Bob Park and his friends, Tracy Fehr, Dennis Nordlund, Cuyler Page and Liz Lupton, will be playing a concert in Oliver on Sunday, February 1 at 2:00 pm in the Oliver Lutheran Centre (aka St. John’s). Tickets at the door, $20.
Many of you heard Tracy (soprano) and Dennis (pianist) perform for the South Okanagan Concert Society a few years ago. This time,,in addition to hearing Tracy’s wonderful voice, the audience will be treated to the whole Masterworks Ensemble performing their program called “Baroque and Beyond”. Vivaldi, Handel, and many other composers will be featured. Instruments include period instruments (viola da gamba, bass dulcian, baroque violin), as well as viola, violin, guitar and piano in a variety of combinations.

The address is 6431 Okanagan St, where it connects with Veteran’s Way about two blocks uphill (west) of Best of India.

The Masterworks Ensemble will also be performing their program in Summerland and Penticton on the 29th and 30th, in the evening. But for us in the south end of the valley, we can hear it in Oliver on Feb. 1, at 2:00 pm.

NY organist gives recital

Organ Recital

Steven LaPlante, pipe organ scholar and musical director of St. Athanasius Church in Brooklyn, New York,  returns to his Okanagan roots. LaPlante will perform a matinee recital on Saturday, January 24 beginning at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 15244 North Victoria Street, Summerland. Tickets are on sale for $12 from the church or can be reserved by phone at 250-494-9309.

Raised in Summerland where he first learned to play the organ at church, LaPlante went on to study pipe organ at McGill University. Within 10 years, he was one of the youngest guest recitalists on the famed Von Beckerath organ at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal.
 Steven has also studied conducting and has a double major in voice.  Steven currently holds the position of Director of Music at St. Athanasius Church, Brooklyn, New York, one of the largest in the state, with 15,000 congregants. He has directed choirs, sung as a highly skilled countertenor soloist, taught music, composed, and, of course, played organ regularly, and as a recitalist. He has recorded and released several CDs and his music was used in November for a holiday Christmas TV special.

With his parents still residing in the area, LaPlante is keenly interested in performing on the Rodgers organ at St. John’s Church. with a sound rivalling one of his favourite pipe organs.

His set list will include Bach’s Cantata 29 Sinfonia and Cantata 148; John Stanley’s Voluntary in a Minor, Cesar Franck’s Choral No. 1, Louis Vieme’s Naiades and Clair de Lune plus some original work.

Hear the heARTbeat of the arts

quail-2Do you have your finger on the pulse of arts in the South Okanagan? Did you know there are currently about 20 groups and 20 businesses actively pursuing and promoting the arts in our region? Are you staying current on all their arts news? If you’re doubtful, consider a 2015 membership in the Oliver Community Arts Council.

Are you a non-profit society, club or business who has a heart for the arts? Are you taking advantage of the publicity and promotions available with the Oliver Community Arts Council? Let our umbrella organization connect you with other arts lovers. Consider a 2015 membership!

Membership entitles individuals and families to monthly issues of the Creative Minds newsletter, reduced rates on a number of different art show and trade market entries, occasional draws and other special events, rentals, and AGM voting.

Non-profit and business benefits include publicity in Creative Minds, on the website, weblisting and links, in the OCAC brochure, and at arts council events in addition to the monthly issues of the Creative Minds newsletter, reduced rates on a number of different art show and trade market entries, occasional draws and other special events, rentals, and AGM voting.

Rates are unbeatable at

$15 Individual

$20 Family

$30 Non-profit Group

$40 Business

Download the form and mail to the address listed.

Membership Form 2015

More information about membership benefits can be found here:

Levels of Membership

Friday Nights at Medici’s

Medici's Friday Nights

We are BACK for our new season of Friday Night Live music, every second Friday. We closed out last year on December 12 with a huge night thanks to the great artists and friends of the Oliver Sagebrushers. Many kudos to artists Sally Franks and Leann Parrent for making that happen. We now have art on the walls and music in the air. 2014 was a great inaugural year for Friday Night Live and many thanks to all of you who came to listen, came to play, and kept coming back for these great nights. A giant Medici Grazie to to our Hall of Fame pioneer, Brian Highley, for helping us get this started and sticking with us till we learned to fly. This is the live music gig in town and the place where we showcase entertainment gems and those in the making. Host and emcee Marcel Morneau invites you to bring your love of music, your instrument and your voice and become part of the night sounds. We crank up the music shortly after 7:00.

Masters of Trivia: Gather your “pub quiz” team starting now!  A premier league tournament is being planned for February. Past brainiacs are encouraged to test their metal against new challengers. Have no team but want to play? Leave your name and contact info at Medici’s and they’ll do their utmost to place you with a team. More information to follow.

Rumour has it Great White North is going to make their official Medici’s debut. Watch for a concert date….

BUT!!!!….Until Then!!!….

We are licensed. We have beer, wine, coffees with a kick and our usual great gelato and snacks and sweet treats.  522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2228.

Dance the nights away at Burrowing Owl

P1060071Dance shoes dusty? Dance moves rusty? Don’t let that stop you!

Dance to the sounds of Grand Crew with vocalist Iris Larratt (pictured) this winter at Burrowing Owl.

Bring your dancing shoes and your attitude for an evening of waltz, samba, jive, foxtrot, cha cha cha and two-step with this hot live band.  Every Saturday  throughout January and February (except Feb. 14). No charge – just a fun evening of music and dancing.

Saturday Evenings

January and February (except St. Valentine’s Day)

7:30 – 9:30 pm

The Sonora Room
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery

Info: 250-498-0662


Great jazz to warm you


Offramp 1

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

As I write this, “the weather outside is frightful” but the promise of music delightful.  On Friday, January 23rd,  the new Venables Auditorium in Oliver will be the scene for an evening of jazz (think Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Diana Krall), some tasty Latin grooves, a bit of boogie (think Michael Kaeshammer) and some beautiful ballads  when Penticton’s OffRamp Jazz Sextet rolls on stage at 7:30 pm.   Hot and satisfying, this is a band guaranteed to lift midwinter blues.

Four admission flex pass tickets for only $70 are on sale at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos or at the door.  The flex ticket can be used in any combination.  Four can go to one concert,  snowbirds can share a ticket or one person can come to all four concerts.  Single entrance is $20.  Students 17 and under gain admission free and those needing a ride from Osoyoos can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 and arrange to come by bus.

OffRamp Jazz Sextet is the brain child of band leader and pianist, Justin Glibbery.   He is also music director at Penticton Secondary School and artistic director for the Naramata Choir.  Originally in 2010,  Glibbery hand picked each member of OffRamp Jazz to form a local group to perform in the Penticton Jazz Festival.   There was an excited audience response and before long the group was playing to sell out crowds at the Dream Café and the Vernon Jazz Club.

So who did Glibbery pick then and now?  If you caught the recent Soundstage production of Les Miserables, you will know Aidan Mayes stunned the audience with her powerhouse voice as the tragic heroine, Fantine.  She is the vocalist for OffRamp and teaches guitar and voice at the Maeve Lily School of Music in Penticton.

On drums, Mike Treadway alone is worth the price of admission to this ‘different’ kind of musical evening where musicians interact with the audience as they announce their pieces but also interact among themselves to decide what to play next.   Treadway teaches drums and percussion at Steve’s Groove School in Penticton.

Stefan Bienz works his particular magic on upright Bass.   He is a member of the roots duo ‘The Darylectones’ and he has played at folk, jazz, blues, bluegrass, country and rock festivals all over North America.

Larry Crawford, a professional sax player who performed for Sesame Street and with many of the “who’s who” of the Canadian Jazz scene was another of Glibbery’s picks.   Crawford has performed with entertainment legends that include Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr., and Harry Belafonte.  Joining him, also on sax is a founding member, Stan Sabourin, who, like Glibbery, teaches music in the Penticton School District.   Sabourin recently took a leave of absence to achieve a Master’s degree in Saxaphone.

Come to our beautiful new theatre!  Relax!  Enjoy!   This one is a “don’t miss”.

Tired of the white stuff? Try colour

Colours in winterThe Federation of Canadian Artists (South Okanagan-Similkameen Chapter)
Launches their 2015 Exhibition Year at Osoyoos Art Gallery from January 10 – 31st.

Stepping into the new year, the Federation of Canadian Artists presents a
juried exhibition of works by members of the South Okanagan-Similkameen
Chapter. Artists in this branch of the national federation come from Osoyoos,
Keremeos, Oliver, Okanagan Falls, Penticton, Naramata and Summerland.

Called “Colours in Winter”, the show will be at the Osoyoos Art Gallery
from January 10 to 31. An opening reception is set for Saturday January 10,
from noon to 2:00 pm. Everyone is invited: come and see the new show and
enjoy the opportunity to meet the artists.

The Osoyoos Art Gallery is at 8713 Main Street in Osoyoos. Winter hours
at the Gallery are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 12:00 to 4:00 pm. So plan to
spend a little time with art! “Colours in Winter” promises to be a great launch to the South Okanagan-Similkameen’s exhibition season for 2015.

Trade show seeks entrants


The Women of Oliver for Women (WOW) Society is calling for entries to its annual “Mainly for Women” Trade Show held on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. – at the Oliver Community Centre. This popular event hosts home business booths such as housewares, preserves, jewellery, photography, clothing, pottery, woodworking, linens, and home decor items. The show also welcomes small business owners who want to promote their services via information tables. Entries must be submitted by February 2.

The show’s wide variety of booths attracts more than women customers. The name of the show reflects the charitable work the society does: proceeds from booth registration goes towards local projects that assist women and children.  Past beneficiaries include worthy causes such as Desert Sun Counselling, a Citizenship scholarship for a student graduating from the high school and a bursary for women who through circumstances need to return to the work force and require further education or training.

An entry form for the trade show is located here, as well as the guidelines for participants:

WOW Entry Form 2015

WOW Guidelines 2015

Download, complete, and mail to the address listed on the form.

Please note that due to the number of interested parties and to avoid duplication of product and services, it is necessary to rent the tables on a first come first served basis, determined by when your completed entry form and payment are received. The successful entrants will be contacted to confirm their table.