WOW Trade Show February 18

shopping-coupleThe Trade Show began in 1993 as a fundraiser for Soroptimists International of Oliver. When that group disbanded in 2003, the Trade Show continued through the work of the WOW Club.

The Trade show title “Mainly for Women” reflects our mission statement, with the funds raised going to support our projects which focus mainly on women and children within our community.

Trade show displays feature everything from beautifully handcrafted jewelry to pottery, wood crafts, fibre art, health products and services, real estate and investments, home improvement, fashion, food, and many more themes.

The ‘Mainly for Women’ Trade Show occurs every February, on the third Saturday of that month.  Forty to sixty individual vendors showcase their wares in the Oliver Community Centre, where there is free parking for patrons.  A lunch and snack area is available.

If you would like to be part of the next Trade Show, please download

WOW Trade Show Entry Form 2017

WOW Trade Show Info Sheet 2017

Women's Oliver Trade Show Poster

Christmas Concert donates food, cash

The arts council hosted the annual Community Christmas Concert (held on November 27) as admission by donation with proceeds going to the Oliver Food Bank. Entertained by dancers, choirs, soloists, and humorous narration, the audience once again opened their hearts and pocketbooks to people in need. Proceeds of $500 and bags of groceries were presented to the food bank. Pictured are Brian Mapplebeck (right) presenting Jim Ouellette of the Oliver Food Bank with monies and food collected. Thank you to our audience for their generosity! The arts council board is already brainstorming ideas for next year’s revue!CCC Donation to OFB 2016


“A Tribute to Dave Brubeck” January 27

IMG_9657hWhen the Remi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble performs “A Tribute to Dave Brubeck” words like “dazzling virtuosity and stunning maturity” come to mind. Bolduc, one of Canada’s best jazz saxophonists will be on stage at the beautiful Venables Theatre, Oliver, at 7:30 on Friday, January 27 as the third concert in the South Okanagan Concert Society’s 2016-17 season.

Remi Bolduc brings with him guest artist Montreal jazz pianist, Francois Bourassa, as well as Fraser Hollins on double bass and Dave Laing on drums. Together they will be performing the music of Dave Brubeck who in 1950 to 1960 reigned with his celebrated band as the most influential and popular American jazz ensemble. Brubeck created the album Time Out, one of the most famous and best-selling albums in the history of jazz to this day. Take Five, Blue Rondo a la Turk and several other compositions from the album are on the program.

Remi plays sax with intensity and control, breathtaking precision and a magnetic stage presence. He is acclaimed at venues from New York to Paris by way of Geneva, Tokyo and Beijing. With his band he composes and plays numbers that “convey his formidable energy and spontaneity, allowing his organic sound to breathe freely.”

Teacher and head of the McGill University jazz department, Remi has won awards for the best jazz album of 2011 and the Opus prize for Jazz Concert of the Year in 2013.

On his latest album recorded in collaboration with Francois Bourassa and released to much acclaim, the joy these two musicians share in playing together is palpable.

Pianist and composer, Francois Bourassa, is the son of Robert Bourassa, Premier of Quebec from 1970–1976 and 1985–1994. Francois, as a side project, has recently finished his first concerto for orchestra and percussion while maintaining an international concert tour on three continents with his jazz quartet.

Fraser Hollins, Remi’s man on double bass, studied music at Ottawa University and later in Montreal at Concordia.   He regularly plays with groups of national and international artists.   He lives in Montreal and teaches at McGill.

David Laing, on drums, grew up in a musical family, studied at McGill and began his professional career shortly after. In the past fifteen years he has recorded, toured, and performed with national and international stars. He currently resides in Montreal where he also teaches at McGill.

Those requiring bus transportation from Osoyoos can call Maureen at 250 495 7978 to make arrangements.

Assigned seating tickets for the event on January 27th can be obtained online at, at the theatre box office now open from Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or at the Door. Single entrance is $22.50 and students under 17 are free.


Remi Bolduc SOCS

Review: Saratovsky Brothers at the Venables

by Jan Nelson

In anticipation of Sergei and Nikolai Saratovsky’s piano duo concert in December, I was brought back to my own childhood piano concerts. Under the tutelage of Agnes Sutherland, I spent many years sharing the piano bench with friend and classmate Eryn Moore. Aggie repeatedly stressed how the success of a piano duet was reliant upon an implicit trust between the two performers, and how their unspoken communication and ability to share the joy of making music together was key to a good performance. Nikolai and Sergei have managed to put aside any sibling rivalries and have perfected this combination; a blind trust in the other’s ability to perform, a deep respect of the other’s skills, and a true sense of joy in sharing the stage together.

The Saratovsky brothers, originally hailing from Russia, are masters of their trade. Both display world-class technical skills, a deep sense of expression, a true understanding of the pieces they perform, and a great sense of humour to boot. Sergei, the more vocal and physically expressive of the duo (he definitely lets the audience know when a piece is finished!), guided the audience through a programme featuring some of the best piano duets written. From Mozart to Brahms to Gershwin, their performance tested the limits of the genre and shared with the audience the awesome advantage of having twice as many hands at the keyboard. Sergei enjoys a successful and award-filled career in Canada as a classical performer, having received a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of British Columbia where he studied with Canadian great Jane Coop.

I remember Coop’s performance in Oliver at a SOCS concert in the 1980s, before which she was kind enough to share a meal at my family’s dinner table. We had a few albums of her recordings to which we frequently listened, and as a budding performer myself, I noticed we had one piece of music in common. During her stay, I snuck off to the piano and played the piece in hopes of her noticing my hidden musical brilliance, but I failed to receive the fanfare my 12 or 13 year old brain expected. To be honest, she probably did not even notice my performance as she had a concert of her own to prepare for that evening, but now I was just as happy to have this connection with Sergei even before meeting him. But I digress…

Nikolai is the steady base of the duo, creating an amazing and expressive base for Sergei’s more dramatic performance. As they played, my mind wandered wondering how they managed to divide the tasks of their performance; Sergei dominated the microphone and played the more flowery treble while Nikolai was alloted the role of ‘support’ playing bass. How sibling dynamics must make this simple decision so much more difficult! To our surprise, after the intermission Nikolai appeared alone at the microphone only to apologize for his brother’s mindlessness in forgetting the sheet music for the next piece, offering a jab that only an older brother can. Nikolai then sat down in the treble position and showed us all how fantastic and expressive he could be.

There were some pieces in particular that stood out; their encore of Brahms’ No. 4 for four hands, the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, the Fantasy in F Minor for Piano Four Hands by Schubert, and the Rhapsody in Blue for four hands was brilliant. But more than the awesome spectacle of witnessing these two world-class performers share their gift with the audience on our humble stage was the honour I felt in watching them perform in Oliver.  Having lived in many places around the world, some more ‘cosmopolitan’ than our small town, I am still in awe at the dedication the South Okanagan Concert Society has shown over many decades bringing some of the world’s most gifted performers to the Venables Auditorium. From the first concerts I experienced as a restless elementary school student, to the unforgettable performers I now have the pleasure of enjoying as a parent myself, we are so lucky to have this dedicated group of volunteers who work tirelessly to bring a little more joy to our small community.

The next SOCS presentation is the Remi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble, performing a tribute to jazz great Dave Brubeck. As an ex-saxophonist myself, I am looking forward to enjoying an evening with one of Canada’s best jazz sax performers on Friday, January 27th at the Frank Venables Theatre. The concert starts at 7:30pm, and tickets are available online ( and at the Venables Theatre box office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10am to 3pm.


Ballet Meets Johnny Cash

The music of Johnny Cash will take centre stage as Ballet Kelowna brings 150 Moves to the Frank Venables Theatre on Sunday February 12.

 In Studies of Cash, the Company pays tribute to country legend Johnny Cash. With a heart-rending mix of Cash recordings, choreographer Simone Orlando’s soulful, stylistic work explores some of the country musician’s most famous songs.

 Folk dance, country music and rhythm ‘n’ blues will be experienced in a unique combination of ballet and the works of Johnny Cash. Country fans have the rare opportunity to see their genre of music come to life on an evening you wont want to miss.

 Studies of Cash is one of five pieces which together create Ballet Kelowna’s 150 Moves: A Celebration of Canadian Dance. Other pieces include Romeo and Juliette, choreographed by Joshua Beamish and Canadiana Suite featuring the music of Canadian legend Oscar Peterson.

Ballet Kelowna takes the stage Sunday February 12th at 7:00 at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd) Oliver. Tickets are available online at, at the Theatre Box Office and at Beyond Bliss. For information, please visit our website or call (250) 498-1626.

Do You Have the Spirit of the Okanagan?

Call to Artists January 1 to 31 2017 for the art kiosk at Kelowna International Airport.
Call to Artists who have the Spirit of the Okanagan

The annual callout to Thompson Okanagan Artists to have the opportunity for a presence at Kelowna International Airport (YLW) in 2017 runs from January 1 to 31st.

All artists who live and work in the Thompson Okanagan area, from Kamloops to Osoyoos, are welcome to submit their work for the art kiosk in the YLW departures lounge.  The kiosk, branded “Spirit of the Okanagan,” is managed by Suk’wtemsqilxw West Kelowna Arts Council (SWAC).

Artists are selected annually via jury, with the focus on the Okanagan theme and quality of work.  The cost to submit work for jurying is $30, which doubles as a membership fee to SWAC.  Twenty artists will be selected in 2017, ideally with half of those artists being Indigenous and half non-Indigenous, in keeping with the philosophy of the Arts Council.

“The goal of the airport art kiosk is to sell, and SWAC is proud to say revenue to Okanagan artists in our first year is around $20,000.  Considering the majority of those sales are between $30 and $70, that’s quite outstanding,” said Julia Trops, SWAC Chair and Spirit of the Okanagan Founder. “We have a very defined set of protocols for the artists, and having this structure is what has made the Spirit of the Okanagan kiosk successful.”

Skyway Gourmet Ventures Inc. processes the sales of artwork, with the artist paying a 30 per cent commission. Revenue generation from the artwork is the priority, and chosen works should be considered mementos, capturing experiences throughout the valley.  All artwork must be original and Okanagan themed, creating an authentic, tangible memory for visitors.

“We’re very pleased to support this program as it creates a sense of place for our passengers,” said John Devitt, YLW’s Manager of Business Development and Community Relations. “With nearly 2,500 travellers through the departures lounge every day, it’s also a great opportunity for local artists to gain exposure.”

Future possibilities at YLW for Thompson Okanagan artists include the artwork displays, to work in the departures lounge and to speak or participate in workshops. YLW plays a vital part in the economic development and prosperity of the Okanagan Valley, and the door is now opened for artists to be included.

To apply or for more information on this program, visit:

For more information, contact:
Julia Trops
Suk’wtemsqilxw West Kelowna Arts Council Chair

Free Paint-In January 9

On Monday, January 9th there will be a free Paint-in at the Okanagan Art Gallery in Osoyoos!  While you’re there, tour their exhibits, and check out the painting classes and workshops they have to offer.

On January 9, there will be painting demonstrations by Sandra Albo, Michael Jorden, Libby Parsons and Bonny Roberts, with soapstone carving by Claudia Punter. You’ll have a chance to join in yourself!

The Paint-in is from 10 to 4 at the Okanagan Art Gallery, 8302 Main Street, Osoyoos, BC. Refreshments will be available.


Friday Night Live is Back at Medici’s January 20th!

Rumours abound that our great host Marcel Morneau will return after a 2 month Hiatus. We have even heard that Medici’s sound master and performer extraordinaire Stephane will also be back!

Sooooooooo, we should be ready to go! We will have our grand opening FNL on January 20th with hearts full, guitars tuned and voices set to warble! Bring your instrument, bring your music, play and be part of the night’s sounds.

People get ready!

Friday, January 20, 2017. Doors open at 7 pm.

Medici’s Gelateria and Coffee House, 522 Fairview Road, Oliver, BC. 250.498.2228       We are licensed.

Zappacosta at Medici’s

Alfie Zappacosta is undeniably one of Canada’s premier songwriters and performers, with a string of chart-topping hits and a recording and acting career that has spanned 40 years. Medici’s is both honoured and proud to present Alfie Zappacosta in concert on Thursday, February 2nd at 7:30 PM. 

Zappacosta has a polished live concert performance that exposes his sophisticated, intimate and intense personality. His performances deliver a blend of acoustic, jazz and pop music, and of course the hits that originally brought Zappacosta to the world’s attention. You will hear them performed the way they were originally written and meant to be heard.

He penned and sang “Overload” exclusively for the multi-platinum soundtrack “Dirty Dancing”. Loverboy recorded Zappacosta’s “That’s Where The Money Goes” for their Wildside album. In 1988, he was awarded Juno awards for “Album of The Year’ and “Most Promising Artist”, an American Music Award for “Most Popular Album of The Year” and named the Canadian Publishers Music Association’s “Best Rock Star. He also starred in musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber, as Christ in Jesus Christ Superstar and Che Guevara in Evita.

With a massive catalogue of songs in many genres, Zappacosta’s true art is in his words and his god-given voice. Zappacosta is a gifted artist and performer extraordinaire.

It’s a treat when an artist of this calibre comes by. Do not miss this!!!

Tickets are $25 in advance and seating is assigned. Some tickets have already sold, so don’t leave it too late.

We are at 522 Fairview Road in Oliver, phone 250-498-2228.


Art for Peace and Solstice Celebration at Shatford Centre, December 21

Come to a Celebration of the Solstice, Peace Talks and Art for Peace exhibition at the Shatford Centre

Activities at the Shatford Centre begin at 4 pm on Wednesday, December 21st and we hope you can come to this community event. 

As in years past, some people will go to Munson Mountain to be at PenHenge at sunset around 3:30 pm on December 21st and has been our tradition, they and others can come to the Shatford Centre for warming beverages and some snacks afterwards. 

Dr Chris Purton, PhD Astronomy will begin the conversations around 4 pm to kick-off this event. There will be some references to how different cultures celebrate solstice around the world, which includes Christmas. 

Norberto Rodriguez will talk about the Art for Peace exhibition and his passion for being an artist with social activism and a lot of passion to bring peace to the world. 

Peace Talks begin around 5 pm with speakers such as:

Randy Janzen, Director of the Mir Peace Centre, Selkirk College in Castlegar. The Mir Centre builds and understands cultures of peace through learning and dialogue. Our programs and lectures make a significant new contribution to Peace Studies and Justice Studies in Canada and the world.

JJ Verigin will be speaking and brings his UN and world view to the conversation. From the internet: J. J. Verigin received his post-secondary education in Canada, Russia and Germany, and in addition to extensive world travel, spent a decade employed as a peace and disarmament advocate with Non-governmental organizations in Ottawa and at the United Nations in New York.  Returning to his home town of Grand Forks, BC in 1990, Mr. Verigin was initially employed as a USCC Executive Assistant and Working Group Coordinator, and for the past decade, as USCC Executive Director. 

Paul Crawford, Director/Curator of the Penticton Art Gallery will be speaking. Paul has curated exhibitions from artists in Syria and other war torn countries in the world. 

There will be a ‘humble meal’ with donations of produce from our farmers and food that we will bring together for this community event. 

This event is by donation, suggested to be $10 and $20 for families.

A new piano!

agnes-sutherland-by-j-bennestby Marion Trimble

News from the Agnes Sutherland Memorial Committee…….WE HAVE A PIANO!

The Venables Theatre lobby has a magnificent addition.  The Grand Piano we’ve been hoping for exceeds our expectations.   It’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship lovingly cared for in its past life – a glossy black instrument with rich tones.  Such a blessing to have it installed in its new home before Christmas.

We know Agnes would be thrilled looking down, enjoying this moment, imagining with us the many possibilities the piano will give Oliver in filling our lives with more music in this marvelous setting.
Thanks to the generosity of the former owner and the donations received so far, we have managed to pay a substantial amount of the total price, and to purchase a cover and a rolling platform for the piano.

There is a small balance owing, so we continue to fundraise and hope to have it fully paid off this spring.

Towards that end, talented painter Robert Woods from Gainsborough Gallery in Calgary has kindly donated an oil painting for us to use for further fundraising.  We’ll display his very collectable work and sell tickets, hoping this will raise enough money as the final step in acquiring the piano in memory of Agnes Sutherland.Venables piano Sutherland

In the meantime, a celebratory welcome occasion is being planned for sometime after Christmas.  All the donors and everyone responsible for achieving our goal will be invited, and together we’ll experience the first exquisite melodic strains heard from our stunning grand piano.  We are so excited!

Editor: Agnes Sutherland, a founding member of the Oliver Community Arts Council was both a painter and a piano teacher. Her home was the venue for many house concerts over the decades, and became the inspiration for the OCAC’s “Showcase of Talent”, a regular spring event featuring local music students, organized faithfully by Sally Franks, Agnes’ daughter. After Agnes’ passing on March 25, 2016, the Agnes Sutherland Memorial Fund was established by an independent organization for the sole purpose of raising funds for a grand piano for the Frank Venables Theatre.


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