“Variety’s our spice!” sing nuns

Nunset Boulevard Nuns 1 small

“That’s why we do musicals – variety’s our spice!” sing the stage-struck nuns in the South Okanagan Players’ upcoming show, Nunset Boulevard. Highly anticipated ever since SOAP performed the original Nunsense in 1998, the new musical marks the return of some of the favourite characters to grace the local stage.  It hits theatres in the last two weeks of November.

In this Dan Goggin musical, five talented nuns from Mount St Helen’s convent make their way to Tinseltown, on the strength of a contract to perform at the famous Hollywood Bowl. Even when they find out they’ve been conned and are only a lounge act at the Hollywood Bowl-a-rama, the stars in their eyes are not dimmed. The nun troupe is determined to give the bowlers a song-and-dance revue to remember.  The show quickly goes sideways when the sisters discover a new Hollywood movie (the “Nunset Boulevard” of the title) is auditioning roles suited for nuns.  To prepare for the casting call, the nuns pull out all the stops.

Each sister loves the spotlight, performing in her own style. Reverend Mother (played by Diane Gludovatz) has vaudeville in her veins, revelling in slapstick comedy. She gets the biggest sight gags, impersonating such famous Hollywood dames like Mae West. Sister Hubert (Terri Thompson) has a heart full of soul, a bluesy voice, and the rousing gospel number. Sister Robert Anne (Aimee Grice) belts out cabaret songs in her tough Brooklyn accent. Her risqué humour keeps Reverend Mother on her toes. Sister Amnesia (Chelsea Cameron-Horner) has been forgetful and naïve ever since a crucifix fell on her head. Her memory is in fine form however, when she sings country and MC’s the quiz show. Ambitious Sister Leo (Penelope Johnson) believes in her potential to be the convent’s “triple-threat” performer. The plot turns on her dream of breaking into show business with her singing, dancing and acting.

Hummable songs span the genres from ‘50s do-wop to cabaret, hip-hop to ballads, country twang to soul.  Says Thompson, “I love the catchy music for all the songs. I find myself humming a different tune from the score every day.”  The musical is packed with laughs including rapid-fire impressions of movie one-liners, a film quiz with prizes for the audience, and “The Price is Righteous” bowling game.

Ray Turner, who directed the original musical Nunsense, returns to the helm. Gludovatz reprises her hilarious turn as the Mother Superior. Johnson also returns although in a different role. While Nunset Boulevard is the sixth in the series, no previous knowledge of the nun’s escapades is required to enjoy their new antics.  Music director Lisa Ante accompanies on piano and leads the small stage band.

Right now the cast is fine-tuning their many dance numbers. Choreographer Robin Stille is putting the nuns through their paces. Nuns doing Rockette kicks? They’re working on it.  Gludovatz explains: “Dancing while singing harmonies does not come second nature to me… I know, shocking!” Johnson agrees: “There’s one number requiring us to sing and dance in wheelchairs. Not easy in a habit!”

Nunset Boulevard runs Friday November 21 and Saturday November 22 at OSS Theatre (Osoyoos)Friday November 28 and Saturday November 29 at Frank Venables Theatre (Oliver). Tickets are $18 advance, or $20 at the door, and are available at Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos). All shows 8 p.m.  Information and tickets for groups of ten or more: soap @ telus.net 

Pictured: In this scene, the sisters are delighted to find a movie audition suited for singing nuns, a movie entitled “Nunset Boulevard”.  Standing (L-R): Diane Gludovatz, Chelsea Cameron Horner, and Terri Thompson; seated (L-R) Aimee Grice and Penelope Johnson (with casting paper).

Are you one of the billion?

2014 0129- VDAY Transparent LOGO








by Tiffany Beckedorf

V-Day Oliver Osoyoos is looking for volunteers! We are a community based group who are going into our third year of campaigning, raising funding and creating awareness to stop violence against women and girls.

On March 8th of 2015 we will be hosting an art show to celebrate One Billion Rising; in an effort to ‘show the power of art and the astonishing and political alchemy that occurs when art and activism happen simultaneously’.  One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action in human history.

The campaign, launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.  We will be sending out a call to artists with this year’s theme for the art show very soon, so keep your eyes open for that.

Then in April, we will be staging The Vagina Monologues.  ‘Hailed by The New York Times as “funny” and “poignant” and by the Daily News as “intelligent” and “courageous,” The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed off-Broadway by Ms. Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences.  Ms. Ensler has performed the play to great acclaim throughout the world – from Zagreb to Santa Barbara, from London to Seattle, from Jerusalem to Oklahoma City.’  V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos is thrilled to be making a return to this piece, after the great success we experienced in 2013.  We are looking for readers to participate onstage, as well as behind the scenes crew members.

The best way to find out if this is a campaign you might want to be a part of is to come out to our next meeting on Thursday, October 23 at 7 pm at the OIB Resource Center (located to the right of Sen Pok Chin as you drive in).  Please join us as we strive to empower women to find their collective voices and demand an end to the violence that affects one in three women around the world.

Fall Frenzy

gogossubmitted by Marion Boyd

Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa are inviting everyone to come and get a jump on their Christmas list.   They will be holding a

Fall Frenzy

Saturday, November 1

10 am to 2 pm

Medici’s Gelateria


It’s the perfect time to get some friends together, drop in, treat yourself to a latte or a wicked little dish of gelato and have some fun selecting gifts from a variety of handmade items from Africa and Oliver.   All the proceeds from sales are donated to the Stephen Lewis Foundation to support African grandmothers raising children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.   Your purchases are carried forward and do some good in a troubled world.

Sometimes there is a sense of overload as the news reports quickly move from one disaster to another.   What’s happening in Haiti?   Did Afghanistan drop from world view?   What happened to those 200 kidnapped girls?  Will they shoot the students in Hong Kong?  Who killed the protesters in Mexico?   And on it goes.

Those of us who have chosen to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation know one thing for sure.   No matter whether the news focuses on them or not, African grandmothers don’t quit.   They can’t quit.   They have to swallow the grief of losing their kids and dig in for the day to day work of raising their grandkids.   And they do.

At this end we cannot imagine the pain of watching our children die but we also know that should that happen every one of us would use every possible means to keep the next generation alive, to see that grandkids have some security, know love, have basic food and education.   We know all this deep in our hearts and for this reason groups like the Oliver Grandmothers have sprung up all across Canada and are making a significant difference in Africa.

The job of nurturing and mothering the young is often a thankless job but it is the most important job there is.   It isn’t a quick fix.   It takes years to raise a child.  No.  African Grandmothers can’t quit and we lucky Oliver grandmothers can’t quit either.   We need to stand together.  We see in these amazingly resilient      African grandmothers hope for healing and hope for a new generation able to care and relate to others despite the terrible trauma of their early years.

Come to Fall Frenzy and be part of the solution.   Those interested in also joining the local group will be warmly welcomed.

Art, entertainment, and wine meet

The Oliver Community Arts Council’s Fall Art Show and Sale gets better every year.  “An impressive display of artwork” and “Best art show ever” were two of many comments from visitors to the annual 2-day show held over the weekend at the Oliver Community Hall.

Saturday’s opening saw a hundred pieces of artwork in 9 categories displayed.  Guests to the show were treated with art provided by the novice and professional; and the young and old. Many talented artists entered their best art into the show viewed by a crowd of visitors.

As the art lovers mingled, enjoying the artwork, and meeting the artists,  Brock Jackson, morning host of EZ Rock lent his smooth charm as M.C.  in directing the evening opening reception’s festivities. Musical entertainment was provided by the ever popular group, “Jazz Out West” featuring the vocals of Iris Larratt.  Joining her throughout the evening playing crowd favorites, was band members; Jim Wyse, Bob Park and Bob Larratt. The talents of all these wonderful entertainers soothed the crowd well into the evening as everyone anxiously awaited the results of the days voting.

It was a hard choice for the viewers to mark their ballot for the best of each category as noted by 4 tie votes.  In the end, Michael Jordan of Osoyoos, won Best in Show, for his Oil painting, “Thin Ice – Blue Lake”. Se below for all the category winners.

Sunday’s show was a feature of Oliver’s fabulous Festival of the Grape. Legions of wine lovers took the opportunity to break from the heat and come into the cool to view the many talents of our local and area artists. Some impressed enough to take home a purchased piece of original art.

The fundraiser draw replacing the previous silent auction was a big hit.  Everyone wanted to be a winner but there was only one ticket drawn. Shirley Munro, a newcomer to Oliver, won the draw for the wine fridge filled with generously donated bottles of wine from local wineries.

The Oliver Community Arts Council congratulates all the winners and thanks the many volunteers responsible for making this show a huge success.

Acrobats of classical music

Quartetto gelato

by Marion Boyd, South Okanagan Concert Society

Known as the ‘Cirque du Soleil’ of classical music, Quartetto Gelato, is variously described as supremely talented, deliciously smart, endlessly creative, refreshingly funny and totally surprising.   Joyful and polished, this high impact quartet proves once again there’s no such thing as highbrow and lowbrow music.   Their performances of classical masterworks, operatic arias, tangos, gypsy and folk songs are presented with pyrotechnics, acrobatics and whatever else inspires them to create music in new and entertaining ways.  Classical in training – eclectic by design!

They will be on stage at the new Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver on  Monday, October 20th at 7:30 pm. It will be the first concert of the season for the South Okanagan Concert Society.

Four admission flex pass tickets for only $70 are on sale for the series 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 4 concerts.  A single entrance is $20.

Students 17 and under gain admission free and those needing a ride from Osoyoos can call Maureen at 495 7978 and arrange to come by bus.

Peter DeSotto who started the Quartetto some 20 years ago is a remarkable talent who’s chameleon like abilities allow him to perform on the violin not only as a seasoned classical violinist but also as a dazzling gypsy virtuoso.   On top of that he has a fabulous tenor voice that draws rave reviews.

Peter’s ‘best friend’ is Belarus born, Alexander Sevastian, who launched his professional career in Russia, moved to Canada in 2001 and is a four-time world accordion champion.

For this concert, cellist Lydia Munchinsky will replace Elizabeth McLellan who is expecting a baby any day.   Lydia was performing around the world before she reached her teens and had completed her ARCT in performance for both piano and cello before starting her post secondary studies.   Now living in Toronto, Lydia has premiered solo cello and chamber music works and plays also for music theatre companies.  While not making music or looking after her baby born the same day as Prince George, Lydia enjoys tennis and soccer, painting and making ice cream.

The newest member, Calgary-born Colin Maier, plays oboe, clarinet, English horn, violin, banjo, bass, piano, saxophone, flute, guitar, and mandolin.   He is a professional actor and he is an acrobat, dancer and martial arts expert.  His passion for music and theatre leads to ground breaking performances.

In 1997 Canadian astronaut, Robert Thirsk, took 2 Gelato CDS on the space shuttle Columbia.   This music is really ‘out of this world’!

And speaking of gelato. there will be an open reception for the musicians after the concert at Medici’s Gelateria just a short walk from the theatre.  Come and enjoy!

Results for the Fall Art Show and Sale


1st   Nancy GRAY         `27 Olds

2nd  Anthea McLEAN      Liberty Liberty

3rd  Janice GOODMAN   Wishin` I Was Here


1st   Michael JORDAN                 Thin Ice– Blue Lake (Best in Show)

2nd  Colleen POLYCHRONIOU      Higher

3rd    E.Arlyene FARNWORTH        Ocean Front Property In Arizona

3rd   Olena LENNOX                      The Kiss – Raven and the Dove


1st  Dianne BERSEA        Sky Dance  (pictured with Sally Franks & Marion Trimble)

2nd  Sheryl FOSSETT         Untitled

3rd   GARCILAZO                Cave of Lost Dreams

3rd   L. Leann PARRENT     Romancing the Desert

Fibre Arts:

1st   Janice GOODMAN       Trio

2nd  Shirley NILSSON             Tea With A View

3rd   Marianne PARSONS       Stone Stories


1st   David KOENIG          Moon Thief

2nd   Yvonne MOORE         Come Sail Away

3rd   Dianne BERSEA         Channel Inn Whimsy


1st    Paul EBY                       Keeping Watch

2nd   Paul EBY                         Three’s Company

3rd   Merle SOMMERVILLE     Autumn Fantasy – Silver Poplars

3rd   Darrell URUSKI               Golden Sunset on Vaseau Lake

Other Media:

1st     Sue McCARRELL Cabinet of Dreams

2nd    Sandy BOBLIN         Rustic 3

2nd    Anthea McLEAN      Dream of the Navajo

3rd    Diane GANE             The Evolution of Magda

Emerging Artist:  Category not judged. Not enough entries

Participating Certificate        Kallie MARSEL            Turtle Mania

Participating Certificate        Paige RILEY                  Madelyn in Mountains

Budding Artist:

1st    Benjamin KOENIG        Dragon Rider

2nd   Emma LENNOX                Dreams

3rd   Emaya VEGA BARIC        Night and Day

Photo Credit: Jack Bennest, Oliver Daily News

RipOffs in the swim at Fall Art Show and Sale

9314697Visitors to the Fall Art Show and Sale as well as the Festival of the Grape this weekend will enjoy dipping into a cool exhibit of the RipOff Artists’ latest challenge: “Queen of the Fish” by Mimi Parent.

The collective chooses one work of art by one famous (dead) artist per year to “rip off” as creative inspiration. Each artist then reinterprets the work in their own medium: wood, digital photography, quilting, weaving, felting, 3-dimensional, or a combination of media.The RipOff Artists met for a busy week in August to create and display their works in homage to Parent. The Fall Art Show and Sale (October 4 – 5) will be only the second public showing of the completed pieces.

The original “Queen of the Fish” (at top) was an embroidery with applique, created in 1962. Mimi Parent (1924 –  2005) was a surrealist artist born in Montreal. Between 1942 and 1947 she studied art at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal where she met the artist Jean Benoît (whom she later married). In 1948 she received the Cézanne medal and exhibited at the “Surrealist intrusion into the Enchanter’s Domain” in New York in 1960. She also exhibited in Chicago, London, Lausanne and Frankfurt. Baker 1

Enid Baker (silk embroidery) created details of two fish that accompany the mermaid, mounted in matching shadow boxes. In the photo, Enid is relaxing by zen doodling the fish detail. Hutterli 1








Kurt Hutterli: 3-D sculpture using found objects and paint on panel. His fish hang on hooks  and can be “caught” using a fishing rod. Get interactive with art this weekend by casting a line to catch some artistic fish.       RipOffs Hovanes










Tara Hovanes (Acrylic paint in 2 layers): She painted an undercoat of a somewhat realistic mermaid with fibres for her hair, then painted over that to express her own feelings and ideas about the subject matter. RipOffs Irvine







Terry Irvine (3-D construction of wet felt and needle felting on an upcycled lamp). Layers of dyed wool were needle felted to form the mermaid’s body, around the lamp base. The fish were also constructed of layers of wool needle felted to the wet felted base. She created a beaded wire network and suspended dragonflies from that, made a beaded wire crown for the mermaid, and sewed gemstone beads and shells onto the mermaid. She also created a necklace made of beads gifted to her at a recent art retreat, that had also formed the basis for her pre-piece for this show. RipOffs Levant







Barb Levant: Woven fabric in bamboo and chenille, based on the colours of an abalone shell. The fabric was then made into a vest lined with silk. Ripoffs Pedersen








Leo Pedersen: Wood panel with cutout shapes of the fish, mermaid and dragonfly painted with acrylic paint and mounted. Trimble Parent







Marion Trimble: Assemblage: like a collage but the pieces are both flat and 3-dimensional, a favourite of the Surrealist artists. She created fish scales by painting Tyvek house-wrap with a paint containing titanium flakes, which become iridescent. Then she used a hair dryer which made the Tyvek bubble into organic shapes that had a fishy gleam. She incorporated other 3-D textures as well as papers throughout her piece.






RipOff TurnerJoAnn Turner: Shadowbox (Mimi Parent’s favoured format) made of wood painted with acrylic. The mermaid, fishes and dragonfly were painted on heavy watercolour paper using inks and watercolour paint, then mounted on foam core. Some details were made using paper folded into 3-D shapes. Real beads were incorporated as well. RipOffs Work




Russell Work: digital manipulation. His first project was tessellation, dividing the image into geometric shapes that were rotated into a repeating pattern. From there, he moved onto creating autostereograms, single images that create the illusion of depth through careful spacing on the page. RipOffs Work2The Magic Eye images that used to appear in magazines and newspapers are examples of this.






JoAnn Turner describes what she believes was a common “thread” among the varied pieces created from the 2014 RipOff Challenge. “If there was a single unifying theme in all of our pieces this year, I’d say it was 3-D. All of us got off the flat picture plan in some way. Otherwise, I think this was the widest variation we’ve ever displayed in our approaches to the same piece. Although doing Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” in the style of another artist was very varied as well, but that variation was intentional. In this case, it just seemed to be how each artist approached the piece.”

The Fall Art Show and Sale is held Saturday October 4 (3 – 9 p.m.) and Sunday October 5 (12 noon – 4 p.m.) at the Oliver Community Centre. Admission by donation on Saturday; admission through Festival of the Grape ticket on Sunday. Besides the RipOff Artists, visitors can view another non-competitive exhibit by The Fabricators: “Calendar of the Okanagan”. This group specializes in advance quilting and applique techniques. Also featured at the Fall Art Show and Sale: a competitive art show of 100 entries, public voting, art sales, evening reception and entertainment by Jazz Out West, and an awards show with Brock Jackson as M/C.

Thanks to JoAnn Turner for artist notes.

Photos by Penelope Johnson