Firehall Brewery tops out as Top 5 Finalist

The top small businesses in BC were announced on Thursday February 26 at the 12th Annual Small Business BC Awards celebration at the Pan Pacific Vancouver.

Oliver’s Firehall BreweryKim-Lawton-Sid-Marie-Eve22 (Sid and Marie Eve Ruhland pictured  in file photo) competed fiercely in the Premier’s People’s Choice category for the last four months, helped in part by publicity through Oliver Daily News and the Oliver Community Arts Council, of which the Brewery is a member. The Top Five finalists were announced a month ago. Firehall Brewery was among them, swept to the top of the heap by online voting from supportive Oliver fans. Those finalists then had to sweat their way through interviews with a  judging panel a la Dragon’s Den.

The overall winner, announced Thursday, may have been Julie’s Edible Bouquets of Quesnel,  but Oliverites know the Firehall Brewery will always be their TOP People’s Choice! Congratulations Sid – and cheers to your beers!

A note about this award from Small Businesses BC Awards website: “Sponsored by the Government of British Columbia, the Premier’s People’s Choice Award celebrates BC’s amazing entrepreneurs by recognizing a small business that is the heart of their community.  The Premier’s People’s Choice Award is presented to a BC business that can demonstrate that they have the unwavering and loyal support of their community. This award is for a small business that can show that their community thinks they go above and beyond. Using any imaginative, creative, or traditional tactics available, interested businesses will apply for the award, and engage their customers, clients and neighbours to vote for them online.” More news here:

Meet BC Leather Works

BC-LeatherworksBC Leather Works has recently joined the Oliver Community Arts Council as a business member. Welcome!

You will get to meet them — if you haven’t already — at the Spring Arts Faire. They will selling their fine leather products as well as marketing their repair and custom services. Yes, they have belts, purses, and wallets, and yes, they do shoe repair. But did you know they also make clothing (vests, jackets, chaps, aboriginal regalia) as well as holsters, scabbards and sheaths for everything from knives to rifles to your favourite bottle of beer?

Here’s what proprietor Chris Dricos has to say about his love of leatherworking:

Dricos“As I was growing up I remember going with my dad to his shop in Kerrisdale, Vancouver as he was working I would play climbing in and around the chairs and foot stools that lined the wall for people to sit and wait for there shoes to be repaired. As years went by I went from climbing through the chairs to shinning shoes while customers were waiting and learning how to repair & dying shoes back in those days Ladies had satin shoes that they would change colours. Over the years I would work after school and on weekends working along side may dad.

” In 1969 I met Barb my wife and in 1970 got married. In the early 70’s we sold hand crafted belts to the Hudsons Bay in downtown Vancouver. In the later 70’s we moved to 100 Mile House, BC and operated a shoe repair & leather working business for a number of years.

“From there we moved to Oliver, BC not knowing what I would be doing. Just happened that there was a shoe repair that was looking for someone to do repairs. After 1 1/2 years the owner wanted to cease doing repairs and offered the equipment to us. Barb and I talked it over and Realizing what a gift My Father had passed onto me and that it was something we could do into our Golden Years Barb bought me the equipment we started the shoe repair business. I have heard Barb saying to others it is nice to hear me whistling while I work.”

Check out their link on the right side of the page under “Businesses” or here:

Photo Credit: Jack Bennest, Oliver Daily News

“Come here” for Irish celebration


Medici’s is once again both honoured and pleased to present the Okanagan Valley’s concert event of the season. On Thursday March 19th the fantastic Irish Band, Goitse (pronounced gwit-cha) takes to our stage — barely on the heels of St. Patrick’s Day!

Goitse is an informal Gaelic Irish greeting meaning ‘come here’, and come here you had better. This red hot traditional Irish band is finishing off their North American tour by playing their way across Canada before heading for home. We talked our way into a concert here at Medici’s.

Forged in the creative crucible of Limerick University’s Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, the quintet have graduated with a musical maturity worthy of the greatest. They are one of the most sought after bands among connoisseurs of Irish Traditional music cross the globe. The band has skyrocketed to the forefront of the traditional Irish music scene.

Their distinctive sound lies in the quality of their own compositions interspersed with traditional tunes from Ireland and abroad. Laying the foundations for their music are World and All-Ireland bodhrán champion Colm Phelan. The fine guitar work of Conal O’Kane. The sweet, charismatic voice and fiddle playing of Áine McGeeney. Multi-award-winning banjo and mandolin virtuoso James Harvey and piano/piano accordionist, Tadhg ÓMeachair.. Lace up your dancing shoes and get ready for a night of wonderful music and fast paced fun with Goitse.

We have planned seating and limited tickets available at $40 / person. Medici’s is at 522 Fairview Road in Oliver (250-498-2228) We will open our doors at 6:30 and Goitse will take to the stage at 7:30. We are licensed! This will be one for the ages; do not miss this!

“Collective sigh” marks audience appreciation


by Dennis Nordlund

On Friday night, the people from Oliver and area who ventured to the Frank Venables Theatre were treated to a very entertaining evening of polished piano music from Sara Davis Buechner. That evening’s performance marked the first time Sara had performed in the impressive Frank Venables Theatre, and on the new Yamaha C3 grand piano.  She had previously visited Oliver and performed at the old Venables theatre four years ago.

Sara’s concert was very entertaining as it included not only exceptional piano performances but also a good number of comedic interludes. Her talents at the keyboard were enhanced by clever stories sometimes carried out in a thick New York accent. Over the years, she has made a concerted effort to include a good deal of dialogue in her concerts after experiencing too many dry and ‘music-only’ recitals as a youth.

She opened the concert with the Fantasia in D minor by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Sara showed a very tasteful interpretation of essentially an ‘improvisational’ piece by including her own embellishments in the whimsical section at the end. Following the Fantasia, she played the Sonata in D major KV576, which was one of the last Sonatas that Mozart composed.  Sara progressed through the energetic Allegro, the relaxing minor Adagio and the contrapuntal Allegretto. The dexterity of both her hands through the scale passages in the last movement was quite impressive.

Sara then played a set of three Viennese waltzes of Austrian composer Eduard Gartner that had been arranged by pianist Ignaz Friedman.  Sara demonstrated her technical abilities in this playful waltz form filled with large leaps and intricate passages.

Sara’s love of music was evident in her artistry and her physical involvement at the piano. Even as she focused on the difficult repertoire you could tell she was enjoying herself at the keyboard. She connected with the audience through her music, of course, but also through interesting dialogue about the compositions and good old-fashioned humour.

Following the intermission Sara surprised the audience with two wonderful Rhapsodies of Johannes Brahms, Op.79. She played the B minor followed by the G minor.  Sara convincingly conveyed both the stormy intensity and the gentle melodies that Brahms is known for in his works.

Moving into the 20th century, Sara chose to play works of George Gershwin.  Gershwin played songs and improvisations to be recorded on piano rolls when he was only 14 years old.  Sara played a set of Foxtrots from this collection.  Some were from transcriptions of the approximately 250 piano rolls that Gershwin recorded over the years, and one was a piece that she learnt by ear from a recording of a piano roll when she visited Japan. It is not often that one hears a concert pianist perform repertoire that he or she has learnt by ear for an audience.

Following her last piece, and a very appreciative applause, Sara announced she would perform ‘The Man I Love” by Gershwin as a final song for the evening. The audience breathed a collective sigh and enjoyed the very sincere rendition Sara offered of a popular Gershwin standard. I am sure that the audience at the Frank Venables Theatre would be very happy to welcome Sara Davis Buechner back for another performance in the future.

Upcoming concerts:

QuintEssence: a cappella chamber choir. Friday, March 27, 7:30 p.m. Venables Theatre. Flex pass or single ticket $20. Available at Beyond Bliss Esthetics.

Jenavieve Moore: lyric soprano.  Friday, April 10, 7:30 p.m. Venables Theatre. Special ticket $20. Available at Beyond Bliss Esthetics.

Book your brain for the quiz

The Premier League tournament of The Masters of Trivia is only 4 days away.Teams are arriving. Hotels are full and library reference books are all checked out on loan. Competitors are registering and claiming team spots…Solo competitors are registering to form teams..The Einstein Cup is being polished to a gleam.The Quiz is ready and the time is nigh.Register your team or yourself quickly while a few spots are still left.

Regards, The Quizmaster


Guild goes spinny

Jen Allgeier SpinsMembers of the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild may be going in circles in late March, but they promise to have something to show for it! From March 27 to 29th, the guild will be participating in a Spinning Workshop at Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos.

Although the classes are sold out, there will be an opportunity for visitors to have a sneak peek at the activities. The public is invited to an Open House on Saturday, March 28th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Fleece, yarn & fibre will be available for sale from the vendors. Walnut Beach Resort is at 4200 Lakeshore Drive, Osoyoos.

Pictured: DSSW Guild member spins at the Country Market A-Fair in Oliver.

Best place to be Friday

Medicis Friday Night Live














Medici’s Friday Night Live with host Marcel Morneau is on again this Friday Feb 20th at 7:00 PM.

Is this the best live music gig in town?….in the entire valley???…If you happen to be here last Friday when Great White North played then you know the answer is yes!! Yes!! Yes!! You don’t want to be anyplace else this Friday night. Big music. Big crowd. Big night. The last one featured the amazing piano work of Ursula Fox, newcomers Chase, also on piano and James on guitar and our great regulars Seradaye, Aimee, Sasha & Emma, Susan James, Evelynn, Rollie back from the infirmary, the return of Joe 50, and our showstopper, 3/4 of our very talented local band Wined It Up dropped in and played some very tight tunes.

Marcel 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.
We are licensed. We have beer, wine, coffees with a kick and our usual great gelato and snacks and sweet treats. Friday Feb 20th at 7:00 PM. 522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2228.

Be part of the billion

VDay 2

A Message from Tiffany Beckedorf, organizer:

V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos has joined the global V-Day movement, whose mission is to raise awareness and funds to help stop violence against women and girls. This year we are pleased to raise funds to support the Okanagan Nation Emergency Transition House (ONTEH), the Penticton and Area Access Centre to facilitate Facets Holistic Self-Discovery programming, as well as Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre.

We would like to cordially invite you to attend our event to celebrate International Women’s Day, ‘One Billion Rising: A Celebration and Art Show’. This unique multi-media art show is inspired by the theme of ‘The Silent Voice’; using art as a vehicle to inspire social change and transform violence into love.

We are honoured that Chief Clarence Louie and Council of the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) have graciously allowed us to hold this event at their community hall. The event will take place on Sunday, March 8th, 2015, at the OIB Community Hall in Oliver, BC from 12 to 4 in the afternoon.

We would be thrilled to have you join us in celebrating women around the world, with guest speakers, traditional dancing, music and other entertainment as well as wine and refreshments. We anticipate a great turnout at this public event. It is good to know that with one afternoon of fun, many hundreds of people can benefit.

Live on Stage

JazzSouthern Okanagan Secondary School

Music Fundraising Concert

Thursday February 19 – 7:30 pm

Featuring Penticton’s Thursday Night Jazz Band and students from the SOSS Band and Musical Futures classes. This evening fundraiser will help local music students attend the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival at the University of Idaho.

Tickets are $10 from the SOSS office, students and musicians or at the door.

SaraSouth Okanagan Concert Society 

Sara Davis Buechner, Pianist

 Friday February 20

7:30 pm

 “Buechner has it all … intelligence, integrity and all – encompassing technical prowess”

The New York Times   

The concert in Oliver is not to be missed, Sara Davis Buechner has graced the stages at Carnegie Hall. Lincoln Centre and the White House.

Tickets at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos or at the door

KennySchell Shock Entertainment 

KINDA KENNY with special guests Marty Edwards & The Revival

Friday March 13

7:00 pm

This #1 Kenny Rogers tribute act has been seen across North America, Europe and Southeast Asia. Coming to Oliver along with the hot new 60’s & 70’s tribute act ‘Marty Edwards & The Revivals,’ KINDA KENNY promises to be a memorable night of music and entertainment. Tickets at Beyond Bliss on Main Street in Oliver.

QuintSouth Okanagan Concert Society presents 


Friday March 27, 2015 

7:30 pm

QuintEssence offers a fresh, innovative concert experience for lovers of music of any style. Their concerts showcase cherished opera repertoire of phenomenal quality and exotic musical gems by celebrated songwriters spanning Schubert to Britten and Gershwin to Weill. They will dazzle you with vocal pyrotechnics, melt your heart with beautifully sung poetry, and stretch your musical frontier to the limit with adored music from off the beaten track. Tickets at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos.

JenaSouth Okanagan Concert Society 
Jenavieve Moore

Friday April 10, 2015


Lyric soprano, Jenavieve Moore is currently studying opera at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Originally from Oliver, Jenavieve’s career makes her equally at home on the opera and concert stage and has performed across North America, the UK, Germany and Malta.

“Jenavieve’s voice is beautiful…she positively embraced the stage and captivated our audience.”   Rosemary Thomson, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra

Tickets at Beyond Bliss Esthetics in Oliver, and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos.

Are you a Master of Trivia?

Trivia 1Masters of Trivia Returns

submitted by David Badger

The Masters of Trivia returns to Oliver on Friday, February 27th at 7:00 p.m. This is the Premier League Tournament. At our last great battle we saw The Mighty Pixels have their supremacy challenged and actually tied ( you know, the dead heat thing) by the upstart, yet laden with gobs of useless information, team of John Won’t Care. These two teams of snobbists don’t regard any other challengers with any respect nonetheless, we can fit in 8-10 more teams of hopeful trivialists and their dreams of glory.

Team Trivia a la pub quiz style. It’s Trivial Pursuit minus the board, dice and those little wedgie things. The battle is for the coveted Einstein Cup that is now being claimed in an an ego tug-of-war by the aforementioned two premier league teams.

The Mighty Pixels are down a player and scrambling for help (Ronaldo has been contacted) while John Won’t Care has added French Diva Helene who apparently knows way too much stuff no one cares about. There’s a twelve team/table max and teams consist of 3 to 5 players each. You can register as a team or come alone and be put with other players to form a team.

The questions are general knowledge and roam around the categories of the mind at will. It’s a great way to spend a night of interactive fun. We will see you on February 27th when the front doors and the big minds open.

Register early. $5 per head. See you at Medici’s at 522 Fairview Rd. in Oliver. 250-498-2228…and by the way, who did the best cover of Bob Dylan’s It Ain’t Me Babe????….huh?.

UPDATE: The Premier League Tournament of the Masters is coming in a week and a half if…if…if…we have enough committed teams. So far, the two co-champions have registered their intent, but so far only mumblings from the ranks about maybe putting in a team to take on the titans. Truth be: if we don’t have enough teams we won’t run the event. Come on’s CHEAP….it’s FUN. You can win money and a trophy! Register your team or as a single and we will build you a team. Keep Oliver as Canada’s home of the most trivial people!

Great White North hits local stage



Friday February 13

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Great White North at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets $15 and selling fast!

Medici’s Gelateria and Coffeehouse

522 Fairview Road, Oliver BC


Do not miss this!!!


Recognize these faces? These local guys are one of the best bands in the valley. They are folk, rock, boogie and blues and they are almost HERE!!!

Great White North began in 2012 as the solo project of Mike Szalay. Through a debut EP, he was able to channel some soft folk sounds. The project built up its foundation with the help of a number of cast members rotating through the onstage lineup. As the live-sound grew into a hard hitting folk-rock performance, Great White North showed its new face with the permanent additions of long time collaborators, Sid Ruhland, Carson Ruhland, Polo Vientimilla and Sean Petersen. The new sound continues to bask heavily in its acoustic folk roots, as well as diving into the harder rock, country and blues sounds that have come with the addition of a full band.

Great White North can still be witnessed in a number of settings, all of which may fall somewhere between a traditional solo singer-songwriter project to a full-scale band. With help from a large group of musical friends, a live performance may feature anywhere from one to six or seven band members playing the music of Great White North in a one-off, unique fashion.

It’s a sweetheart of a concert right at Valentine’s. Tickets are $15. Seating is planned and we will be packed. Tickets are going very fast and when we are sold out you’ll be asking yourself why you waited….so don’t!!

Electronic music for teens

EMCAMP for teens is a new initiative presented by the Penticton Academy of Music in the Leir House that will take place during Spring Break 2015. Teens are invited to sign up and come explore the rich and diverse world of electronic music – edm, pop, techno, dubstep, trance, house, ambient.  Students will learn the technical side of electronic music creation (including recording, editing, multi-tracking, beat sequencing, and mastering), explore the history of electronic dance music and receive hands on tutorials to create their own composition. No prior musical experience is needed. With lots of one on one time with the instructor, Andrew Wedman and his assistant, Allan Eggert, this course is suitable for all experience levels. A large focus of this course will be on experimenting with different compositional techniques and finding your own personal style. Equipment is provided but students are asked to bring their own set of headphones. Each student will finish the camp with their own original track that is mixed, mastered and ready for the DJ.

Instructor Andrew Wedman formed the techno duo Tinkertoy with former punk / ska singer Paul Shrimpton in 2000. After releasing on their own record label Lautmaschine, Tinkertoy was signed to Noise Factory Records, released two albums and performed live electronic music in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New York, Cologne, Berlin and Barcelona. Andrew now performs experimental music using pianos with alternate tunings most recently in Toronto and Berlin and works as a certified piano technician in the Okanagan. Andrew Wedman holds an ARCT in piano performance and he majored in music theory and studied electro acoustic composition for his undergrad at McGill University.

EMCAMP runs Monday to Friday from 10am – 3pm March 16 – 20 and March 23-27. Sign up for one week or two. For more information and to download a registration form visit, visit the Academy of Music office in room 1 of the Leir House or call 250.493.7977. Space is limited so register early to avoid disappointment.EMcamp

Come sail away at the Oliver Library










Itchy feet? Wanderlust? Ever dreamed about weighing anchor for a life aboard ship? Find out what it’s like to “live the dream” at the Oliver Regional Library. Meet Aubrey and Judy Millward, who sailed away in the 32-footer, Veleda IV, for SIXTEEN years!

Follow their story in slideshow format as they lead you down the Mississippi, across the Atlantic, around the British Isles, down the rivers of Europe, and through the Mediterranean.

Living the Dream (Part 1)

Thursday February 26

7:00 pm

Oliver Library

FOTOL 2Here are some of the highlights from their journey:

  • Their voyage from Toronto down the Mississippi, across the Atlantic Ocean to England and up the Seine River to Paris
  • The Mediterranean Sea from Barcelona to Tunisia, Turkey, Israel, and Egypt
  • The Black Sea from Istanbul to Sevastopol and The Canal du Midi from the Mediterranean to Bordeaux and their second crossing from the Canaries and Cape Verdes to Antigua and the Caribbean
  • They will talk about their liveaboard lifestyle for 16 years.

Pictured above: Veleda IV up the Bosphorus in front of the Rumeli Fortress in Turkey.

Visit their website at  for further info.

And while you’re at the library, just think of all the travel books and sailing adventure stories just waiting to be checked out!  Ask the librarian for suggestions.