Choir donates to CreateAbility music workshops

The Oliver Community Arts Council says THANK YOU to the Sage Valley Voices Community Choir for their generous donation of $1276.74 to our CreateAbility program. These monthly workshops provide art instruction to developmentally and physically challenged adults. The program is in its second full year of workshops, and has proven to be popular and fulfilling for clients, caregivers and instructors alike.

Above, the Sage Valley Voices present the cheque at their Christmas Concert. CreateAbility chair Janet Bednarczyk (left) accepts the cheque from Sue Morhun (right).

With these funds, CreateAbility will run a series of music workshops (“MusicAbility”). Adults with mental and physical disabilities will engage in music, rhythm, and sound as a creative outlet. Joint instruction from staff and students at Oliver Elementary School is planned. This program will be the first of its kind in the south Okanagan. Thanks to the leadership of Lori Martine, choir director and music teacher at OES, the grade 4 students will become the instructors for this special group of adults and their caregivers.

Below, Janet Bednarczyk is shown with Donna Biedler, a supporter of the choir and active participant in the CreateAbility program.

Funds for this project came from proceeds at the mass choir Extravaganza concert in Penticton last November, hosted by the Sage Valley Voices. The choir voted to donate the proceeds to two local charities: Highway to Healing and the Oliver Community Arts Council.

AGM coming for arts council

All Oliver Community Arts Council members and visitors are welcome to the OCAC’s Annual General Meeting on Monday February 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Road.  Memberships may be renewed and purchased at the meeting. Coffee, teas, and refreshments are provided.

The AGM focuses on two main items: a year-end review, including the Treasurer’s report and financial statements for 2018, and the election of the 2019 officers and directors. We appreciate the services of Addventive Bookkeeping for the thorough external review of our books.

Thanks to all members of the departing Board who served during the past year: officers Penelope Johnson (President), Janice Goodman (Vice President), JoAnn Turner (Secretary), Diane Gludovatz (Treasurer), and directors Roberta Barens, Tiffany Beckedorf, Janet Bednarczyk, Andrea Gunnlaugson Furlan, Adrienne Herbert, Bernice Myllyniemi, and Caroline Whyte.

With one exception, all officers and directors have offered to let their names stand for another year. The Board says a fond farewell to Andrea G. Furlan, who is stepping down after her term, in order to focus on a new artistic venture. 

While Andrea’s departure leaves a vacancy, ALL positions are open for nomination. Please consider standing for election. No artistic talent is required. Some familiarity with the arts council and experience on a non-profit board would be helpful. Orientation and training is provided, along with a Board manual.  All those elected will be required to sign their Consent to Act as a Director. For information about nominations, or to nominate someone, email OliverCAC @

Linger longer! After the AGM, everyone is welcome to stay for refreshments and to share local arts news and views. What OCAC events and projects are planned? What’s buzzing about our business members? What art groups are getting creative? Group and business reps, please bring your latest updates!

Dresses for Africa

Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa gathered recently at the home of Christina Ruddiman to enjoy a meal together and to hear about Hilary Drummond’s recent trip to Africa. 

Hilary was given a number of pillow case dresses, socks and some shorts for boys to distribute wherever they might be needed.  Although the Stephen Lewis Foundation we support is focused on grass roots community development and not ‘give away’ programs, we do occasionally ask friends going to Africa to distribute these cute dresses made with love locally by women in our community.

Hilary told of her experience.  “We drove down a long, red dust road in the middle of Benin, West Africa, looking for the small village where we were to observe a voodoo celebration.  Our bus parked outside the village as the roads were not meant for driving.  As we approached, curious children gathered and we could hear drumming.

Soon we saw different groups gathered.  Some were on the drums, some were talking and some were involved in ceremony.   As the voodoo ceremony started, our guide approached me and suggested this was a good place to give some dresses.”

“We went into a small building and there were about eight little girls between the ages of 5 and 8 waiting with excitement.  We were able to give each girl a dress and pair of socks,”  Hilary told us.   She added,  “I wasn’t sure what they would do with the socks since none of them had shoes to wear but they were happy to receive them.  They put the dresses on over their shorts and t-shirts and smiled for the camera.”

Hilary told us that she distributed similar clothing in several sites in both Benin and Togo.  Mothers and children clamoured to have them.  The new clothes gave the children something to wear besides simple school uniforms at play time.  School uniforms are treasured and handed down to others in each family.

Hilary and the local Grandmothers found they were soon engrossed in discussions of effective community development work in Africa.   What is the best way to support local institutions and initiates when we want to help? Hilary had some good tips for other travellers.  She recommended that in future donated items such as clothing and school supplies be given to local organizations like the school or an orphanage rather than to individuals. 

The evening ended with camaraderie and stimulating conversation.  If you are interested in the Oliver Grandmothers for Africa and learning more about the 140 community-level organizations and projects in 15 sub-Saharan African countries we help support, give Eunice a call at 250 498-6840 and join us at our monthly meeting.

Firehall Brewery hosts Desert Arms

The Desert Arms band had its inception in April 2015 when guitarists Wes and Ben started working on building a rock band of original music. Harry and Derek joined soon after. Together they bring high energy beats, melodic vocals and heavy riffs that at times remind us of punk rock, prog, metal and blues. In March 2017, Desert Arms released their 3 track self-titled demo.

See them live at the Firehall Brewery this coming Friday February 15 at 7:00 p.m. Entry by donation. Great beer on tap!

3 – 7 Tuesday – Thursday
2 – 9 Friday & Saturday
Closed Sunday & Monday
We will always stay open later if there are events happening!
6077 Main Street, Lower Level, Oliver, BC

Oral history workshop for families

Family Day Celebration Planned

It’s time to celebrate family at the Oliver Museum. On Friday, Feb. 15th from 2 – 6 pm, the Museum will be hosting a free, all-ages Family Day Celebration. This is a one-day event featuring a free half-hour workshop on recording family oral histories, a child-friendly family tree craft and colouring, activities and snacks! Come use our Selfie Station to take some old-fashioned family photos, mark your family’s origins on our world map, and celebrate your family!

Recording the stories of older family members is an important way to preserve memories and experiences for the next generation. Want to learn how it’s done? Come join our family oral history workshop, offered in two separate sessions at 3:30 and 5:00 pm.

Workshop participants will learn how to collect and preserve their family histories using equipment like voice recorders and cameras and will learn how to sign out equipment from our new oral history lending library after the event. Participants in this hands-on session will learn how to set up and run the equipment, how to brainstorm lists of questions and topics, and how to encourage candid and flowing conversation.

Workshops are led by Collections Intern and experienced oral history practitioner Cassandra Colman. Both sessions are child-friendly and include time to practice. Plus these make great family projects and are an excellent way to get quality time with your loved ones. So come out to the Museum on Feb. 15th and have some fun!

This event is supported by the Province of British Columbia. Our thanks to the Province and the BC Museums Association for helping to make the event possible.

info @