Are you a scribbler?

writing-group-1If you’re a writer or ‘wannabee’ writer, you may want to consider joining this new writing group.

We will focus on honing writing skills through ‘short short stories’ (also known as Flash Fiction). We’ll focus on various aspects of writing including, grammar, punctuation, word usage, phraseology, point of view, style and more. It’s always more fun to have a goal when embarking on something new. Our goal will be to produce an Anthology with our writing collection and—publish it! We will also register Oliver Scribblers with the Federation of BC Writers.

For those not familiar with Flash Fiction here is a very brief description:

A Flash is a story with beginning, middle and end in approximately 1000 words or even less. It’s not just a matter of writing something and then trying to reduce the number of words. It’s deceptively complex. It involves painting a picture that encompasses a mystery or a twist with an emotional impact. It means selecting the right words with the right shades of meaning without strangling the plot or characters.

Writing Flash is not a fad, it’s an art. Some contemporary Flash writers are Meg Pokrass, Sherrie Flick and Stuart Dybek. One of the masters is Hemingway. Here is an example of Hemingway’s famous six-word story. ‘For Sale: baby shoes, never worn’. The last two words evoke a powerful image —grieving parents coping with tragedy and writing this classified ad.

Developing skills to write Flash is an excellent basis for other writings – novels, memoirs, family histories, business letters, letters to editors, essays and biographies.

If you are seriously interested in sharpening your writing skills, join Oliver Scribblers. The tentative plan is to meet once or twice a month for a couple of hours in the morning. The venue will depend on the number of people in the group. All the details will be decided at the first meeting to be scheduled later.

I’m a member of the Federation of BC Writers (FBCW) and you can view my profile at

Use this one February 2010

Simply click on the address and it will take you directly to my profile.

Oliver Scribblers – Head Scribbler -Vi Brown vi.oliverscribblers @

“Musical adventure” this season


Imagine yourself the evening of November 11th arriving with friends to the bright lights of the Venables Theatre and hunkering down to the virtuosity, musicality, elegance, sensuality and humour of Quartango.    Four highly accomplished musicians and two tango dancers evoke deep emotions as they share their passion for this Argentinian musical tradition.

Then imagine an evening of this calibre available at only $16.15 until November 10th.   The South Okanagan Concert Society, very close to full capacity audiences, has created this “on-line incentive” as we join the modern age and use the new technology of online ticketing in our own new theatre.   You can now be confident that when you arrive with your ticket you will have an assigned seat and no anxiety at the door.   Tickets will also be available at the theatre box office on Mondays from 11 am to 3 pm and at the door.   If you need assistance during the transition from our old flex pass system call Janet at 495 6487 or Bob at 498 8889.  Ticket prices after November 10th are $22.50 with those under age 17 free.

The season this year brings lots of musical adventure.  The November 11th performance will undoubtedly be a sell out so don’t sit on your hands.   Get your tickets and hear Quartango shed new light on the music of the tango with its international take on an Argentinean musical tradition.

Then on December 2nd come to hear Russian-Canadian pianist, Sergei Saratovsky, show off his skills on our new grand piano.   Sergei has been recognized with awards from Russian President Putin and Governor General Michaelle Jean.   Coming to Canada in 2002 he now has a doctorate in Piano Performance from UBC.   His younger brother, Nikolai, is coming from Moscow to join him in a dynamic concert of well known one piano four hand repertoire.

When we enter the new year, Remi Bolduc, one of Canada’s best jazz saxaphonists, will be on stage.  Mark January 27th when his ensemble will captivate our audience with stunning virtuosity in “A Tribute to Dave Brubeck”.   Acclaimed from New York to Paris via Geneva, Tokyo and Beijing, this performance will lift any winter blues sky high!

For over fifteen years, critics have praised the ‘artistry, poetry and impeccable technique’ of Duo Concertante.  Partners in life and in music, Nancy Dahn and Timothy Steeves are Canada’s premiere violin and piano duo.  They will come to us February 24, 2017 to close yet another satisfying South Okanagan Concert Society season of music.

Tickets for all concerts are on sale now.  Don’t wait to secure yours and get dates on your calendars.   All concerts are at the beautiful Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver and start at 7:30 pm.   Those requiring bus transportation from Osoyoos can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 to make arrangements.socs-2016-7

Piano fundraiser in memory of Agnes


Sharing the memories and art, Sally Franks holds a painting done by her mother,during the weekend fundraiser, Agnes Sutherland “For the Sound of Colour”.  Sales yielded $2,450 in sales of art, home baking and canned items bringing the total in the memorial fund to over $7,500. A baby grand piano is in the sights of the organizers who look forward to its debut in the lobby of the Frank Venables Theatre sometime next year.

FNL “Blow-out” to end wine festival

Medici’s Friday Night Live Wine Festival Blow-Out II

by David Badger

Friday Night Live ‘Wine Festival Madness’ continues. If you were here last time around then you were part of, arguably, our best FNL ever. The level of talent, the sheer number of great musicians, the spontaneity of artists jumping into performances that took off into the firmament, the amazing diversity of the artists….yada yada. You can’t predict it but, once in it you don’t want it to stop.
Accolades to some of our great performers of the night; Tom, Larry, Marcel, Bettyanne and Gidd, Seradaye and Trevor, Pasquale and her her amazing band of musical friends, Jeff, Mountainview Drive, James, our newest harmonicat Dean, Evelyn and everyone I missed when I had to make a beer run.

Come kick the doors down with your own vibe this Friday coming. The beer is cold and the music IS of course always sooooo HOT! Marcel Morneau and our wonderfully talented artists will fill the night. We crank up the music shortly after 7:00. The music is huge…Tons of talent…all we need is you!

We are licensed. We have beer, wine, coffees with a kick and our usual great gelato and snacks, sweet treats and of course…our great host Marcel. Medici’s this Friday Oct 14th at 7:00 PM. 522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2228.medicis-22

Laugh along with Lorne

fvet-lorneComedian Lorne Elliott coming to Oliver

Frank Venables Theatre warmly welcomes comedian Lorne Elliott to Oliver as we present his newest comedy show on Saturday, October 22 at 7:30pm.

Lorne Elliott has performed from Newfoundland to New York City, from Los Angeles to Australia and points in between. Lorne started performing in 1974 as a folk musician in East Coast Canada. At the same time, he kept writing fiction as well as songs, monologues and one-liners. The outcome of such a training is a very special show of comedy and music, totally original, entertaining, foolish and uplifting. Along with his unique performance style it is the timelessness of his material, joined with keen observations on today’s trends that make Lorne Elliott ‘s work so special.

“I was born so far back I can hardly remember and grew up normally, I think. I started going on stage at a time when hair like mine was fashionable, and I hung a guitar hung around my neck to complete the look. Somewhere around that time people started laughing at me, and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t join them.”   -Lorne

Tickets for the Lorne Elliott Comedy Show are $35 and $15 for students. Buy online at or in person at the Frank Venables Theatre box office at 6100 Gala Street, Oliver, Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at Beyond Bliss.

Please contact Aimee Grice for more information. tix @ (250) 498-1626

james-keelaghan1by David Badger

The absolute best October night imaginable with the absolute best in Canadian talent.

The great James Keelaghan is coming to Oliver. He’s coming to Medici’s. On October 27th, one of the finest singer-songwriters in Canada will perform on our stage. If you have not heard James Keelaghan sing before you are in for a treat like none other. His songs are magical: his voice incredible. Juno Award winning James Keelaghan is one of Canada’s most successful and respected musicians, and one of the brightest stars on the world folk scene today. His touring seldom stops, taking him across North America, Europe, the UK and Australia on a regular basis.

James is the complete artist. A brilliant tunesmith who has become one of the most engaging performers of our time. You always know the journey with James is going to be great, you just never know what all the destinations are. That is why the curve on his career continues to rise.”

Award-winning American music critic and historian, Dave Marsh , stated that James Keelaghan is “Canada’s finest songwriter.” Those few but powerful words of praise say it all about an artist who continues to set the bar at a lofty height.

This is the second time in our six years history that James Keelaghan has come this way. If you missed him before then don’t make that mistake again. Thursday October 27th.Ticket are $30 and all seats are assigned. Doors open at 6:30 James at 7:30. Medici’s at 522 Fairview Road in Oliver. 250-498-2228

Waxing lyrical about Chelan


by Marion Trimble

Here’s a picture from the Encaustic (Wax) Workshop at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre on Tuesday September 20. Two friends from Chelan, Marilyn Grover and Cindy Ulrich, came up for the class. When they were here at our invitation last year, we signed them up as members of the Oliver Sagebrushers Art Club.  They are the two ladies at the extreme right. We didn’t know they were able to come. So nice to see them again! Kudos to Jan & Wayne Kreut for inviting them to stay overnight at their house.

Both Chelan visitors said how much they enjoyed their trip last year and were looking for an opportunity to come back.  This opens the door for our getting an art group having a return trip to Chelan, the “Art Without Borders” exchange. We get emails from Chelan keeping us informed of their workshops too.  To be sure, the Oliver artists will descend upon Chelan once again!

dia-de-los-muertos“Dia De Muertos”

The 2nd annual Day of the Dead Celebration will be held at the Shatford Centre in Penticton, from October 29 to November 6, 2016.

The Day of the Dead is a special day in Mexico, and the ancient rituals are an important part of the celebration carrying a special meaning and purpose; to lovingly remember ancestors, honor their memory, and commemorate their lives. By doing this, life is given meaning and human existence is given continuity beyond the material world.

This year, the celebration will include a Collaborative Altar Art installation featuring the Ripoff Artists, the Sagebrushers group, the Canwax West group, and the 557 Artist Block;  one ancestral altar;  a slide show;  music, food and drinks; art show by norberto rodriguez presenting a brief history of Dia de Muertos; sugar skull face painting; creative stations to learn  sugar skulls painting, pierced paper and more.

Come with your family to see, learn about, have fun, taste and experience this unique tradition at the Shatford Centre on Saturday, Opening Saturday October 29th 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Continuing until November 6 at the regular hours of 9 am to 5 pm.

From Wikipedia:

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry living in other places, especially the United States. It is acknowledged internationally in many other cultures. The multi-day holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

The holiday is sometimes called Día de los Muertos in Anglophone countries, a back-translation of its original name, Día de Muertos. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a public holiday. Prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th century, the celebration took place at the beginning of summer. Gradually it was associated with October 31, November 1 and November 2 to coincide with the Western Christian triduum of Allhallowtide: All Saints’ Eve (Oct 31), All Saints’ Day (Nov 1), and All Souls’ Day (Nov 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Visitors also leave possessions of the deceased at the graves.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world, being absorbed within other deep traditions for honoring the dead. It has become a national symbol and as such is taught (for educational purposes) in the nation’s schools. Many families celebrate a traditional “All Saints’ Day” associated with the Catholic Church.

Originally, the Day of the Dead as such was not celebrated in northern Mexico, where it was unknown until the 20th century because its indigenous people had different traditions. The people and the church rejected it as a day related to syncretizing pagan elements with Catholic Christianity. They held the traditional ‘All Saints’ Day’ in the same way as other Christians in the world. There was limited Mesoamerican influence in this region, and relatively few indigenous inhabitants from the regions of Southern Mexico, where the holiday was celebrated. In the early 21st century in northern Mexico, Día de Muertos is observed because the Mexican government made it a national holiday based on educational policies from the 1960s; it has introduced this holiday as a unifying national tradition based on indigenous traditions.

The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is similar to other culture’s observances of a time to honor the dead. The Spanish tradition included festivals and parades, as well as gatherings of families at cemeteries to pray for their deceased loved ones at the end of the day.

Winners: Fall Art Show & Sale 2016

Diane Gane – “Did You Say ‘Going Wild?’” (pictured)

Watercolour Paintings
1. Luba Chpak – “Wild Sky”
2. Anthea McLean – “The Listeners”
3. Sally Franks – “Wild Seas”

Oil Paintings
1. Arleyene Farnworth – “Wolf in the Wind”

Acrylic Paintings
1. Cameron Ogilvie – “Morning Takeoff”
2. Dawn MacRae – “Dinner for 2”
3. Bev Alexander – “Waiting for the Wind”
3. Sheryl L. Fossett – “Wild in Skookumchuck”
3. Karsten Coty-Scholl – “Stage Fright”

Fibre Arts
1. Kim Wanner – “Going Wild at San Juan Capistrano”
2. Enid Baker – “Purple Rain”
3. Margaret Matthews – “Wild About Tuscany”

1. Diane Gane – “Did You Say ‘Going Wild?’” (pictured)
2. Dawn MacRae – “Secret Garden”
3. Pamela Klassen – “Untitled”
















1. Brandt Leinor – “Untitled”
2. Vi Brown – “Sound of Snow”
3. Jack Bennest – “Osoyoos swiws”

Other Media
1. Katherine MacNeill – “Hydraulic Gold Mining Site – Going Wild”
2. Lorraine Horn – “Untamed Reef (diptych)”
3. Joyce Bunge – “Wapiti”

Emerging Artist
1. Emily Muller – “Sky God”

Budding Artist
1. Morgan Bohn/MacRae – “Little Wonders”
2. Emma Millward – “Wild Winter Sun”
3. Emily Bidmead – “Safari Zone”

Agnes Sutherland: For the Sound of Colour



Agnes Sutherland left a legacy of love and commitment to our community.  She also left  a large amount of artwork when she passed away earlier this year.  Agnes worked in oils, pastels, acrylic and collage.  Her family are offering her works for sale to raise funds for the Agnes Sutherland Memorial. The goal is to raise $16,000.00 towards the purchase of a grand piano for the lobby area of the Frank Venables Theatre.  To date the fund has collected over ¼ of that goal.

A grand piano to grace the lobby area of our beautiful landmark theatre opens up so many more opportunities for the space.  Already accommodating receptions, recitals and small social events, the piano will allow an additional variety of musical programs to enhance our community life.

“For the Sound of Colour” takes place Thanksgiving weekend.  Hours are Saturday, Oct.8, 3pm to 9pm and Sunday, Oct. 9, 12pm – 5pm. An opening reception will be held on Saturday from 7pm to 9pm during which time former piano students of Agnes will provide music.  Besides artwork, published books of  Agnes’s poetry will be on sale.  Since the event is Thanksgiving weekend, a table of canning and baking will also be offered.  Everyone is invited to enjoy the memory of Agnes through her art and add her art to your collection.

The event takes place at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre at 5840 Airport Road in Oliver. Thanks go to the Oliver Community Arts Council for generously enabling this fundraiser to take place through their Contracted Service Agreement program.Quail Logo Slide




If you can’t make it to the event but wish to make a donation to the memorial, you can do so either by mail:  cheque made out to “Agnes Sutherland Memorial” c/o M. Trimble, 967 Panorama Cres,,. Oliver V0H 1T6  or deposit to any branch of Valley First Credit Union, Account #2826758,  Transit #16650,  Institute #809.

Get your tickets for great music

by Marion Boyd

Quartango (1)November 11th classically trained musicians come together to explore their passion for tango on piano, violin, double bass and bandoneon.   Accompanied by two tango dancers, Quartango, (pictured above) has charmed audiences around the world. 7:30 p.m. If you act now, tickets to this first  concert may be purchased for only $16.25  until November 10. That’s a savings of $6.25 off the regular price of $22.50



December 2nd, Russian concert pianist Sergei Saratovsky has also won acclaim on the world stage.   He became a resident of Canada in 2002 and completed his doctoral studies here.  Born into a family of musicians, his awards would fill pages including a recent Best Canadian Artist award at the Montreal International Musical Competition!   Our new grand piano will get a work out with Saratovsky!




January 27th, 2017, the Remi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble will perform a tribute to Dave Brubeck.  Bolduc is one of Canada’s best jazz saxophonist.  Breathtaking precision, magnetic stage presence and dazzling virtuosity, energy and spontaneity are his trademarks.  He will tour with guest pianist Francois Bourassa.

DuoConcertante cropped



February 24, 2017, Duo Concertante features Nancy Dahn on violin and Timothy Steeves on piano.   Reviews refer to their “artistry, poetry and impeccable technique” and the excitement of “grace and fire… fury and repose”.   From Newfoundland, they are doing a cross Canada tour to follow a tour in Europe.

Now is the time to secure your tickets for the coming season.

Tickets for all Concert Series shows are now on sale. Regular prices are $22.50 per event ($90 for the entire season). But if you act now, tickets to the first event, Quartango, may be purchased for only $16.25  until November 10. That reduces the season price to only $83.75 for four great evenings of entertainment.

All Seats Reserved 
Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3
Buy tickets online for best seat availability: