Still Tickets Left for Quartette! Act Fast!

Quartette featuring Sylvia Tyson are on the way!!! On December 7th, Sylvia Tyson and the wonderfully talented women of Quartette: Cindy Church, Gwen Swick and Caitlin Hanford will be at the Venables Auditorium to bring you seasonal cheer!

The great ladies of our local Grandmothers For Africa, along with CAMH ( Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) folks will be in the lobby with some great stuff for you. Road 13 will be there to pour some of the very best from the vine.

And we owe a HUGE thank you to Tom and Hilary of Elm Tree B&B for being such friends and supporters of our music efforts!

The show is on December 7th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $45 each and seating is assigned. Don’t be lookin’ back wishin’ you got a ticket, qet yours quickly at the Venables box office online at or call us at Medici’s at 522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2228


Russian brothers make beautiful music


by Marion Boyd

The South Okanagan Concert Society is very excited to announce that internationally acclaimed pianist, Nikolai Saratovsky, has flown in from Moscow to join his older brother, pianist Dr. Sergei Saratovsky, in concert Friday, December 2nd  at 7:30 pm in Venables Theatre, Oliver.  The accomplished brothers could fill a book with all the music awards bestowed on them.  A dynamic four-hand duo, they delight audiences around the world with their virtuosity and musical interpretations.

Born into a family of musicians in Karelia, Russia, the brothers have chosen to perform popular and accessible classical music from the one piano four hand repertoire.  Mozart, Tchaikovsky (Nutcracker Suite), Schubert, and Mendelssohn are on the programme as well as an arrangement of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” adapted to four hands.

Single entrance tickets for $22.50 are available on line at with guaranteed seat assignments.  They can also be obtained at the theatre box office on Mondays from 11 to 3 pm*  or you can take your chances and try for seats at the door.  Students under 17 are free.   Aspiring small town kids deserve to hear the very best!  Older folk in need of a bus ride from Osoyoos can arrange it by calling Maureen at 495 7978.   They deserve to access fine music too.

As an extra benefit to the community, the brothers are providing a 2 hour Master Class for local musicians before Nikolai flies back to Russia.  Nikolai, who has performed since age 6, has won the Russian President’s award in recognition of his musical accomplishments and his talent for educating a growing generation of young musicians in Russia, Japan and the USA.  Brother, Sergei, in addition to his performing career, enjoys giving master classes and is in demand as a guest clinician and jury member of international and national competitions and festivals.

Sergei became a resident of Canada in 2002 and was granted his doctorate from the University of B.C.  He too has received a reward from Russian President, Vladimir Putin, recognizing his achievements in music.  He also performed for Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean.  His international awards are too numerous to detail and include an award for Best Canadian Artist from the Montreal International Musical Competition.

Sergei’s concert engagements span the world.   He has performed for audiences in Russia, Portugal, Italy, France, Canada, the USA and Australia.  His fascination with chamber music has recently led him to establish the four-hand duo with brother Nikolai.

These gifted siblings have already swept the Russian public off its feet.  Come to Oliver on Friday, December 2nd, and discover what all the fuss is about!

Prepare to be dazzled as our lovely grand piano responds to four enormously talented hands!socs-december-2016-2

Ringing in the season

cliff-pix“Joy to the World” is the exultant first line of the old Advent carol. There’s a lot of joy and high spirits among the Oliver Handbell Ringers as they rehearse an exciting mixture of carols and songs for the coming Christmas events. Appropriately called “Bells Ringing, Angels Singing”, this year’s programme offers a time of candles and audience participation, music and fun with bells and singers, for all the family.

For the Ringers and Singers this is serious work –indeed at least one of the team comes to rehearsals in shorts because otherwise she gets too warm! Swinging handbells is a physical, as well as musical, workout! Practice began in September; but now it’s time to put a final polish on each musical item – as well as polishing the instruments themselves, so the glinting bronze sheen complements their ethereal sounds.

So be sure to place this concert on your list of family events for the Christmas season. Performances are at Christ the King Catholic Church on Friday December 9, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday  December 11, at 3:00 pm. . Entry is free and a free-will offering will be taken to offset costs.

Photo credit: Cliff Gay


cowboy-christmas-1The Oliver Sagebrushers join Rustico Farm & Cellars Winery In presenting their Annual Cowboy Christmas.

Saturday November 26th 2- 5 pm

Saturday December 3rd 2- 5 pm

Come and enjoy hot chili, buns, warm beverages and music around the old fashioned campfire.

Family and friends are welcome. Dress warmly.

Donations go to the AGNES SUTHERLAND MEMORIAL FUND towards the purchase of a Grand Piano for the foyer of the Frank Venables Theatre for everyone in the community to enjoy.

Paintings by the late Agnes Sutherland may be purchased in the Quail’s Roost Gallery as well as other wonderful gift choices.

Rustico Farm& Cellars Winery will be open their regular hours for Winter in Wine Country Festival.

Grandmothers provide aid

aiding-grandmothersWORLD AIDS DAY DECEMBER 1st

Oliver Grandmothers for Africa would like, more than anything, to be able to announce that the AIDS pandemic is over. Four years ago optimism was high that AIDS was in retreat and could ultimately be eradicated. Sadly, although the rate of infection did drop for a number of years it has stabilized with about 2 million new cases a year. The death toll has also stabilized at about 1.5 million a year.

Two-thirds of all HIV positive people are in Africa with an even higher proportion of AIDS deaths there. So why? One of the reasons is poverty. Yes, the big pharmaceutical companies have drugs that can make HIV positive status a lifelong issue but not a death sentence. Unfortunately, the drugs are so expensive that most Africans can’t afford them. So they die.

For Oliver Grandmothers for Africa this means continuing to work hard with all the other Grandmother groups to support our African counterparts through the Stephen Lewis Foundation. African grandmothers are the hope of the children. They love them, care for them, find ways to get education for them, encourage the young girls to break the cycle of poverty by staying in school, find daily food and sustain self help associations of people living with HIV and AIDS. They do it often with tears in their eyes but smiles on their faces and a determination almost unknown in this part of the world.

Fall Frenzy, the last local fundraiser here, saw Medici’s packed with people buying some beautiful hand crafted products. Some items disappeared so fast, the Oliver Grandmothers gathered for a sewing session on Nov. 3rd to replenish the supply.

They will be on sale in the lobby of Venables Theatre on December 7th when Medici’s
presents “A Quartette Christmas”. Come and have a look. Make your Christmas gifts support a good cause and if you want to join us, just say the word. Our motto is ‘Do what you can, when you can’ and we try and making the doing fun!

Here is a work party of the Oliver Grandmothers for Africa hard at work creating bowl buddies for future sales to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Grandmothers here are dedicated to support grandmothers in Africa raising children orphaned by AIDS. From left to right:

Eunice Marriott, Ruth McLarty, Helen Foreman, Christina Ruddiman

Festive concert celebrates local talents

Oliver Dance StudioRinging in the festive season are local dancers, carollers, bell ringers and entertainers at the Community Christmas Concert on Sunday November 27 at 2:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Theatre. The annual musical revue is a family–friendly event with quizzes and prizes to be won throughout the show and goody bags for children at the end of the concert. Last year, the concert was packed to the rafters with a few latecomers turned away, so organizers are hoping for another enthusiastic throng this year. Admission is by cash donation, and goods for the Oliver Food Bank are also welcome. The concert is a co-presentation between the Oliver Community Arts Council and the Oliver Community Theatre Society.

The show gets off to an energetic start with the Oliver Dance Studio troupe (above, file photo), under the direction of Leah Moen. Talented soloists will perform a mix of lyric, jazz, and hip-hop. The full company, ranging from elementary students to seniors, are also rehearsing a seasonal tap number as their grand finale

sage-valley-voicesChoristers will sing familiar carols and new favourites. The Sage Valley Voices set the mood in traditional Victorian costumes (left, file photo). The Oliver Elementary School Chorus will be sure to light up the audience with smiles.  Chiming in the season will be the Oliver Elementary Handbells Team. Spirit-of-Oliver winner Lori Martine conducts all three, demonstrating she has Christmas “spirit” as well.

chase-alaricSolo entertainers will showcase a multitude of talents. Mat Duffus mixes songs, jokes, and a few surprises that will delight the kids. Storyteller JoAnn Turner performs both a seasonal poem and one with a humorous twist. Chase Alaric (pictured), teen phenom who performed recently with Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, tickles the ivories.  The audience will be sure to toe-tap their way home after the sprightly final dance number.

Quizzes and prizes between sets will ensure there is never a dull moment at this concert. Adults and children have many chances to win if they can correctly answer questions holiday traditions around the world, winter activities, and knowledge of seasonal songs. The Oliver Ambassadors play “elves” doling out prizes through the audience. Prizes have been generously donated by Your Dollar Store with More. Goody bag sponsors include No Frills, The Bargain! Shop, and Buy Low Foods.

Ken Lavigne’s Christmas Musical Roadshow Comes to Oliver!

ken-lavigne-christmas-image-4Imagine for a moment reliving a simple family Christmas of decades gone by: The family gathers around the radio while snow falls outside. In this cozy room, candlelight sparkles on the tinsel, glass ornaments shine in the reflected light of the fireplace and the family sings along to beloved Christmas classics while stockings hang from the mantle awaiting the arrival of jolly Saint Nick.

 The world may have changed a lot but popular Vancouver Island singer Ken Lavigne hopes to bring the past to life this winter as he tours the Island, B.C.’s Interior and Alberta with his freshly-revamped second annual Ken Lavigne’s Christmas Musical Roadshow.

 Ken and his road show crew will be in Oliver on Sunday, December 4 at 7:30 on at the Frank Venables Theatre. Buy tickets online here.

 “This is year two and we are so excited. It’s a throwback to the golden age of live radio, evoking the sounds of radio drama, with special sound-effects, and presenting a Christmas story, putting our own modern spin on it, Lavigne says. “We will be dressing the stage as an old time radio studio, as best we can. It’s entertainment, sharing stories and the Christmas spirit – which is all about joy.”

Lavigne, who has charmed his way into the hearts of concert goers across North America with his exciting blend of classical tenor sound and modern style, was a founding member of The Canadian Tenors and co-founder of the successful tenor trio ROMANZA, and has been touring and recording solo since 2008. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, worked extensively with famed producer David Foster and toured across North America.

A lifelong fan of the festive season, the multi-faceted entertainer can be counted on to showcase Christmas favourites, ballads, show tunes and classical crossover hits as well as telling funny and touching seasonal tales.  “Everybody has their favourite Christmas songs and you can’t do them all. I think I know my audience pretty well now and know what they are going to like,” he says. “The beloved classics such as White Christmas and Deck the Halls will be well represented – Blue Christmas may make an appearance as well.”

 As well as getting ready for tours, Lavigne has been busy recording this year.

Grab a mug of hot chocolate and have a listen to one of Ken’s Christmas songs by clicking here. Beautiful! ken-lavigne-christmas-image-3

Quartette Christmas at the Venables

Cindy Church, Caitlin Hanford, Gwen Swick, and Sylvia Tyson are Quartette and they are coming HERE for Christmas. Medici’s and their co-sponsors, Oliver Grandmothers for Africa, are bringing them to the Venables Auditorium on December 7th. 

Since their debut in 1993, the four members of Quartette have been both publicly and critically acclaimed for their lush harmonies and delightfully diverse repertoire. These incredibly talented women are seasoned singer/songwriters whose influences range from blues and gospel to folk and country to jazz and pop.

The ladies have two Christmas CDs under their belts, “A Quartette Christmas.” and “It’s Christmas!” They deliver a unique blend of Christmas music in their trademark harmonies for a show that is truly reverent. They are, more than anything else, ultimate professionals.

If you were lucky enough to catch them in an intimate concert setting at Medici’s two summers ago, then you know just how good they are. We could have sold out that show 2 or 3 times over, so we are moving to the big venue at Venables to give you the concert of the season. 

An evening with Quartette is always magical and oh so amazing. Come have one of those!
Quartette performs at the Frank Venables Theatre on Wednesday, December 7th at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $45 each and seating is assigned. Get yours quickly at the Venables box office, online at or at Medici’s at 522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2228


Artisans apply!

wiwc-website-headerWinter In Wine Country Festival will be running from November 25th to December 4th this year.  We would love to have several vendors that are interested in having a space at the winery to exhibit their crafts.

There is no charge but space is very limited.

Please let me know as soon as possible if you would like to exhibit.

We have openings for the weekend of November 26th and 27th.

Hours of operation(10am to 5pm)  will be marketed the same as previous years, using social media, posters, postcards etc.

Please contact me here at Tinhorn Creek Winery by November 16th if you are interested in exhibiting.

Marilyn Jeffrey

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards – Assistant Hospitality Manager

t: 250.498.3743 ext.113 | tf: 888.484.6467

e: marilyn @ | w:


Take 5 International presents
The Lonely Hearts Tour

Tuesday November 15

7:00 p.m.

Frank Venables Theatre
Special Guest Performances by Laura & Jessie Sawyers

Silent Auction

The Gumbo Square Band consists of musicians who have come together from all over the world. The musical genre is connected to jazz but with an electro touch. The R&B and soul roots are very present, which gives it an unexpected contrast to the melodies. This “Musical Gumbo” will take you into a timeless journey where you will rediscover jazz through a musical kaleidoscope. The Gumbo Square Band’s commitment to a better world is a major concern. This is why the band has very generously agreed to perform their music for a fund raising event for the Lonely Hearts Foundation.

The Lonely Hearts Foundation is presenting a free concert as a benefit for the homeless, with the Gumbo Square Band and friends. Cash donations are welcome.