Oliver knows how to grow big talent, if local youth are anything to go by. Young performers all get their start under the tutelage of great local teachers.  On the evening of Wednesday May 1, some of Oliver’s classy youth take centre stage at Showcase of Talent in the Venables Theatre atrium. Music students will perform selections from recent Kiwanis Festival competitions, highlights from musical theatre, and recital pieces from their studies.  Their repertoire is wide-ranging: not just classical. All performers will be acknowledged with bursaries to assist with their music education. Many Showcase “graduates” have continued performing as adults, even professionally. Meet the performers at the reception following:  autographs are welcome!

The students play the Petrof grand piano, a memorial to local music teacher Agnes Sutherland. The intimate setting has warm acoustics, with the sound floating to the mezzanine above.  Evening views from the rotunda windows add visual beauty to the beautiful sound.

Showcase of Talent begins at 7:00 p.m. Admission is by donation. Refreshments will be served.

Showcase of Talent is sponsored by Oliver Kiwanis, and presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council.

Land + a plan + plants = Action!

Over the years the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre has had several major upgrades: insulated bay doors, new lighting, kitchen cabinetry, an accessible washroom, and several coats of paint applied to the smaller Studio Building. Most recently, radiant heat was installed in the Big Blue Building, home of SOAP Theatre. Now it’s time for a facelift outside.

Beginning last spring, a landscape committee has been tasked with planning for driveway signage and xeriscaped beds along the street frontage. On the planning team are four OCAC Board members: Caroline Whyte (landscape designer), Janet Bednarczyk, Bertie Barens, and Penelope Johnson. They have given careful consideration to the placement and illumination of a sign (to identify the property to traffic), and the colourful plants and hardscaping that will reflect elements of the arts council logo.

Plants will include the grasses: feather reeds and blue oat grass, flowers such as day lilies, salvia, iris, and succulents and cacti like hens and chicks and prickly pear. Drought-tolerant shrubs and trees have been selected with care. The committee selected slow-growing, weeping, or dwarf varieties: barberries, potentilla, kinnickkinnick, oregon grape, evergreen shrubs (juniper, spruce and pine) and deciduous maple and dogwood.

A “Quail’s Nest Arts Centre” sign will be illuminated with solar lighting. The design also includes the physical address, the quail logo, and the arts council name. It will be placed parallel to the south side of the driveway, visible from both traffic directions.

The landscape committee now seeks a team of “hardy perennials” to help install a beautiful new garden in front of the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre. Landscape plan posted on our website. We already have machinery + labour for the major prep work and for installing the new sign. The committee needs many willing hands to assist them with: laying landscape fabric, mulch, and plantings. We also need a few trailers and trucks for a short haul of gravel and river rock. The garden will be installed mid-May to mid-June. Dates & times are flexible — determined by the team. Come learn some great landscaping tips, as well as socializing, and yes, some exercise!

Contact to join in! We’ll schedule specific dates with the whole landscaping crew.

Heritage AGM on May 8th

The Oliver and District Heritage Society holds its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday May 8 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre.

Longtime Oliver resident Yvonne Moore (below) will provide an informal talk entitled “School Days at Testalinda & Oliver School Memories” about her experiences growing up and attending the Testalinda Creek, Oliver Elementary, and Southern Okanagan High Schools.

The talk will begin after the business portion of the meeting, accompanied by refreshments and a photo slideshow of local schools. Yvonne’s stories of herself, her siblings and her friends are sure to educate and entertain. After the talk, we’ll open the floor for your own reminiscences about schooling in Oliver.

Yvonne Moore was born and raised in Oliver and briefly lived in Victoria before returning to the South Okanagan. Her father Frank Venables was school board chair. She worked as a telephone operator at the Oliver Exchange and as a homemaker while raising 6 children. She graduated in 1952.

The AGM will take place May 8th at 7:00 pm at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre at 5840 Airport Street, Oliver. All are welcome to attend.

Picture of Yvonne Moore at the former site of the Testalinda School, erected in 1927.

Texassippi soul chases away blues

Long been referred to as the Real Deal, mixing Southern Soul, Americana, Blues and Gospel, Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi are back at Medici’s. Tickets available at Medicis in Oliver.

“Listening to Danny Brooks is like driving out of Memphis, Tennessee on a sunny Saturday morning into the Mississippi Delta listening to WDIA. It’s one of those things where time stands still. A dash of Eddie Hinton, Solomon Burke, Rev. James Cleveland and Howlin’ Wolf are all ingredients in Danny’s soulful musical stew,” states Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters. Maybe Greg Quill, noted musician and arts writer for the Toronto Star, sums it up the best: “This is Roots music of great distinction.”

After years of honing his writing and performing skills in Canada, picking up nominations and awards along the way, Brooks is at home in the Texas music scene and traveling throughout the USA. He is recognized as a prolific writer and dynamic live performer, and is constantly on the road. Making Llano Texas his home (just west of Austin), ‘Texassippi Soul Man’ Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi released their second ‘Texas’ studio recording ‘This World Is Not Your Friend’, back in January of 2015, and currently working on CD # 12 and their 3rd CD (together) ‘Where Will You Stand’ and will be doing more recording in Muscle Shoals later this year. Look for a late 2019 or early 2020 release. Title Song ‘Where Will You Stand’ was praised by NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest as an Americana Anthem.

Brooks has worked with legendary producers Jim Dickinson on ‘It’s A Southern Thing’ which received high priase from Cub Coda (Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room/All Music Guide), Johnny Sandlin, (Capricorn Records Producer) on ‘No Easy Way Out’, that featured the legendary Muscle Shoals musicians; David Hood, Spooner Oldham, Bonnie Bramlett. Frazer Mohawk (Elekra) and Bassist Tim Drummond (Bob Dylan/Neil Young/James Brown) referred to Brooks as the real deal on Northern Blue’s Recording ‘Saved! The Northern Blues Gospel Allstars’. On the first two Soulsville recordings, Brooks credits Richard Bell, (Janice Joplin/The Band/Colin Linden) who produced and played keyboards as preparing him for the world stage. It should be noted that Louis X. Erlanger (Mink DeVille guitarist) produced “Texassippi Soul Man”.

‘Texassippi Soul Man’ Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi have been touring constantly these past 10 years, promoting and building their reputation throughout North America. As a duo, they make a good racket on assorted guitars/stomp-board/harp-rack/cajon/percussion and singing with all their might. They prefer driving as they can carry all their own gear and PA System. As situations dictate, they perform with both Canadian and American bands. Info on the Canadian and American bands is available on the website. Their duo live show has drawn comparisons to White Stripes/Black Keys/Keb Mo/Allman Bros. and North Mississippi All-stars.

Dazzling artistry from Brazil

Friday May 10 at 6:30 p.m.
AXÉ CAPOEIRA
Family ShowTime Series

Axé Capoeira (pronounced AH-shay capoh-AYrah) has performed worldwide since its conception in Brazil, making its Canadian debut at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival in 1990. Featuring traditional capoeira music as well as upbeat Brazilian vocals and instrumentals, performances showcase professional capoeiristas and dancers at the height of their skill. With exciting choreographed dances, internationally acclaimed capoeira, high-flying acrobatics, invigorating music and dazzling costumes, Axé Capoeira performances have enthralled audiences of all ages and sizes in thousands of schools, festivals, and theatres across the globe.

​​TICKETS: $12.50 www.venablestheatre.ca

Hilarious comic strip

A fictitious male stripper troupe, played by a cast of some of Canada’s best improvisational comedians, performs a sexylarious improv comedy show. These guys try to be sexy… it just comes out funny. Come and join the explosion of ridiculousness that was the smash hit of the Adelaide Fringe in Australia and has recently been selling out theaters all over Canada and the US.

Guys, you should come too. Don’t worry, their comedy bodies will make you look good.

Winner of ‘BEST LIVE PRODUCTION’ at The Canadian Comedy Awards 2016
★★★★★“Extremely funny !” – UK Fringe Review 2013
“Have not laughed this much. Ever.” CB
“One of the best nights ever! You’ll laugh until you cry!” RL
“So much laughing and smiling that my face still hurts…loved,loved,loved it!” KS

WARNING! No extreme nudity, just extreme hilarity

THE COMIC STRIPPERS
A MALE STRIPPER PARODY & IMPROV COMEDY SHOW (19+ only)

Saturday May 11, 2019 – 7:30
Presented by Venables Theatre

TICKETS: $35
Groups of 10 or more $30 (please call the box office to purchase at group rate)

www.venablestheatre.ca

Och, ye’re a wee bit Scottish

Musaic Vocal Ensemble presents
From Here to There
choral music from Scotland & Canada
Friday May 10 7:30 p.m.
St Saviour’s Anglican Church, Penticton
Saturday May 11 2:30 p.m.
St. John’s Lutheran, Summerland
Sunday May 12 2:30 p.m.
St. Michael’s Cathedral, Kelowna
$15 Adults $5 Students

Tickets available at the Dragon’s Den (Penticton) or at the door.

Musaic Vocal Ensemble presents a concert of Canadian and Scottish music.

Have you been looking for an opportunity to wear the tartan kilt that have been gathering dust in the back of your closet? Well, here is your chance!! Join Musaic Vocal Ensemble for its spring concert, a celebration of choral music from Scotland and Canada in three performances – in Penticton, Summerland and Kelowna.

Musaic will be joined by guest conductor, Mark Hindley, and soprano soloist, Julie Harvey, who live and work in Scotland; Scottish Country Dancers from Naramata and Kelowna; and possibly even bagpipes to really get you in the mood! You’re sure to be transported all the way across Canada and over to the land of lochs and glens.

Musaic has a reputation for presenting fine choral music, interesting programming, and joy-filled performances and this program will be no exception. As well as singing folksongs from both Canada and Scotland, featured composers will include Canada’s Imant Raminsh and Allan Bevan, and Scotland’s James MacMillan.

Performances will take place on Friday, May 10th, 7:30pm at St. Saviour’s Anglican, Penticton; on Saturday, May 11th, 2:30pm at St. John’s Lutheran, Summerland; and on Sunday, May 12th, 2:30pm at St. Michael’s Cathedral, Kelowna. And what a great way to celebrate the Mother’s Day weekend than by taking your mother to a wonderful performance of choral music!

For more information about these concerts or to find out where to purchase tickets in advance , go to www.musaicvocalensemble.ca

Early bird tickets for next concert season

The South Okanagan Concert Society announces the 2019 /20 concert season. Reserve your seat now to see all four concerts, and save over 20% on the regular ticket price.

Friday October 4: OFRA HARNOY, Cello

Friday November 15: BERGMANN DUO, Piano

Friday January 31: LIZZY HOYT, Celtic folk singer

Friday March 20: MONTREAL GUITAR TRIO

Early Bird (Tickets until May 31): are $19 apiece when purchasing all 4 shows. If seeing only 2 or 3 shows in the season, tickets are $21 each. A single advance ticket is $23; and a single ticket at the door is $25. Students pay a flat rate of $2.50 per show.

All shows start at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Theatre. Tickets may be purchased in person, by phone (250-498-1626) or online at www.venablestheatre.ca

Ofra Harnoy (pictured above) has established herself as one of the great cellists on the world’s concert stage. She is one of Canada’s most celebrated personalities and is a Member of the Order of Canada. By joining the international artists roster of RCA Victor Red Seal, Ms. Harnoy became the first Canadian classical instrumental soloist since Glenn Gould to gain an exclusive worldwide contract with a major record label.

Ofra Harnoy was born in Israel and immigrated to Canada at age 6. She studied with William Pleeth, Vladimir Orloff, Mstislav Rostropovich and participated in master classes with Janos Starker, Pierre Fournier, and Jacqueline du Pré. She has given concerts on five continents and has played at the request of Prince Charles, President Bill Clinton, three Canadian Prime Ministers, and several times for the Imperial Japanese family.

Ms. Harnoy has won numerous music competitions and was the youngest first prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Award which led to her Carnegie Hall debut.

Ofra Harnoy is a gifted interpreter who wins critical raves for her performances all over the world. She has toured extensively in Europe, the Far East, Australia, and the Americas, and has performed with many of the top orchestras and most noteworthy conductors of our time. Her recording catalog spans many musical styles and genres and she has won numerous awards and distinctions for her recordings, including 5 JUNO Awards (Canada), the Grand Prix du Disque, and Critics Choice Awards from a number of international magazines. Ofra Harnoy was once named by Maclean’s (Canada’s national weekly magazine) as one of the 12 Canadian’s in all fields who bring most credit to their country.

The Bergmann Piano Duo’s dynamic and energetic performances of uniquely eclectic programmes have inspired audiences for more than two decades. Their recitals and concerts with orchestra have taken them to many parts of the world, including the United States, Italy, Germany, Holland, Greece and Canada. They garnered many awards such as first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Caltanissetta, Italy and at The 4th Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and have appeared at
international festivals.

The duo’s CD productions include recordings for the Arktos, KochInternational, Brilliant Classics and Naxos labels. Their extensive repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary and incorporates numerous own arrangements and compositions. In addition to their performing careers they enjoy teaching and working in other capacities
of the music industry. They are Directors at the Langley Community Music School and were recently named Associate Artistic Directors of White Rock Concerts. From 2009-2013 Marcel was Professor of Music at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. They have been on faculty at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary, have been involved in various musical projects at The Banff Centre for the Arts and have served as Artistic Directors of The Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and Foundation in Miami. For a decade they were members of the Calgary-based Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, winners of the 2005 and 2006 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Classical Recording.

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann became a piano duo while studying with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover and later with Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt at the Université de Montréal.

Acclaimed songwriter, Lizzy Hoyt is one of Canada’s most powerful Celtic-folk artists. Known for bringing Canadian history to life with music, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada for her outstanding contribution to commemorating Canadian veterans and Vimy Ridge history through music. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Lizzy toured for ten years as a side musician before pursuing her own projects. She has been praised for her mastery of the fiddle, guitar and harp while her voice has been described as “otherworldly”, “angelic” and “pure”. 

Throughout her career, she has released four independent albums and two music videos. Lizzy’s fourth album New Lady on the Prairie (produced by John Reischman and Lizzy Hoyt) demonstrates a mature and refined ‘trans-Atlantic’ sound that blends influences from Celtic, bluegrass and folk traditions. The title track, inspired by Lizzy’s great aunt immigrating to Canada from Ireland in the early 1900s, demonstrates her interest in historical songwriting and her ability to craft songs that are touching, poignant, and lyrically rich. The album was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, Western Canadian Award and three Independent Music Awards. It was also named one of the Best Albums of 2014 by the Indie Acoustic Project. 

​Lizzy is a full-time musician who travels and tours throughout Canada during the year with her trio. She has performed at renowned folk festivals (Edmonton Folk Festival, Montreal Folk Festival, Goderich Celtic Roots Festivals), folk clubs (Calgary Folk Club, Nickelodeon Folk Club, Northern Lights Folk Club) and through performing arts networks across the country.

Described by the CBC as the “hottest” guitar ensemble in Canada, the Montreal Guitar Trio (MG3) has quickly established itself as a force to be reckoned with, as well as an interactive force in various musical forms. For over 20 years, the trio’s virtuosity, rigour, creativity and impressive stage presence – where humour and interacting with the public go hand in hand – have been winning over audiences around the world. The trio, composed of guitarists Sébastien Dufour, Glenn Lévesque and Marc Morin, has given hundreds of concerts in some of the most prestigious venues across North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, including the legendary Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Rundetårnet in Copenhagen and the BB King Blues Club in New York City.

Winner of the 2011 Opus Award for “concert of the year” in the Jazz & World Music category, MG3 has released six albums, including Der Prinz on Analekta label, which earned him a nomination at ADISQ 2014 for the “Instrumental Album” of the year. In January 2017, the trio launched its 7th album « Danzas » at the Théâtre Outremont in Montreal, which pays tribute to the great composers of Spanish music in the likes of Paco de Lucia and Manuel de Falla. This CD was also nominated for the album of the year at the ADISQ Gala 2017.

Throughout the years, the trio has collaborated and shared the stage with world-renowned ensembles and artists, such as the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, Jorane, Solorazaf and Don Ross. Their most memorable collaboration to date was, without a doubt, with the California Guitar Trio (CGT), when both ensembles joined forces to give an unforgettable concert, brilliantly performing some of the greatest rock classics from The Beatles, Radiohead, David Bowie, a few “spaghetti western” themes by Ennio Morricone, as well as some of their original compositions. Starting in the fall of 2010, the sextet has toured across Canada and the United States, performing in over 100 cities.

Country greats grace the stage

Come join the fun and help the lovable cast of the Louisiana Hayride Show celebrate 10 years of touring this show across western Canada!

Monday April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Venables Theatre. Tickets $45

You’ll hear the best country and rockabilly hits from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as they pay tribute to the historic radio program, “The Louisiana Hayride” with past favourites and new classics! Original “Hayride” performers will be honoured in this tribute show: Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, Patsy Cline, Crystal Gayle, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson step on stage to perform for you! Also featured in this amazing show is a tribute to Shania Twain. Audiences are loving the connection from ‘old’ to ‘new’ country! ​In addition to the tributes to these legends, you’ll also enjoy music by the greats: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride and more.

If you choose just one tribute show to attend, this should be the one!

www.venablestheatre.ca

Ring-ding-a-ding!

Oliver Handbell Ringers and Musaic Vocal Ensemble present
SPRING – RING – SING
a concert of music for voices and bells
Saturday May 4
7:30 p.m.
Oliver Alliance Church
Adults $15 Students $5
Tickets at Oliver Shoes & Fashions and Oliver Pharmacy Remedys Rx or at the Door
Sponsored by the Oliver Community Arts Council

For the first time, the Oliver Handbell Ringers and Musaic Vocal Ensemble will join forces to present a spring concert to celebrate the joy of music and the beauty of song. Audiences will recognize both local groups for their history in our communities of high quality, enjoyable, and uplifting music.

The program will include some selections played by the handbells, some sung by the Musaic singers on their own, and several pieces for handbells and voices together. The music ranges from international folk songs, French Canadian, Tanzanian, Irish, and Scottish, to contemporary Canadian works, secular and sacred, traditional to modern. From gentle and profound to fun and joyful, the brilliance and clarity of the bells and the depth and colour of almost forty voices will entertain, enchant and inspire you.

Oliver Handbells director Helen Wollf and Musaic director Frances Chiasson expressed their excitement at having the two groups work together… “We are so looking forward to sharing this unique evening of music with the communities of Oliver and Osoyoos.”

One performance only – don’t miss it! Saturday, May 4th, 7:30 p.m. at the Oliver Alliance Church. Visit www.musaicvocalensemble.ca for more information.

Hop to the museum April 22

Easter Monday at the Museum
Spring has arrived and Easter is around the corner! So, put on your brightest spring-coloured clothing and come celebrate with us at the Museum on Monday, April 22 from 1 – 4 pm (bunny ears not required but highly recommended). This is a free, kid-friendly event celebrating spring and Easter with an egg hunt in the Museum, Fairview Jail, and Heritage Garden where kids can find eggs and turn them in for candy and prizes. Don’t want to hunt for eggs? Then show us your creative side with some crafts and colouring pages.

The Museum itself will be open to the public on Monday, April 22 from 1 – 4 pm, so be sure to explore our new permanent exhibit gallery while you’re here. Take a selfie with your family and friends in the selfie booth, visit the prisoner in the Fairview Jail, and if we’re lucky the Heritage Garden will be starting to grow again. So, come out and celebrate Easter Monday with the Museum staff, have some fun, and enjoy the spring weather!