And that’s it folks!
Another successful Back Alley Concert Series is finished for the season, and because of everyone involved, they just keep getting better and better. It truly is an amazing sight to see an ugly industrial alley brought to life by the colour of community and the sounds of socializing.
We had three concerts this year, kicking off with Fighting Orange, an acoustic duo from Kelowna, who got the crowd singing classic favourites. The next show was Oliver’s own Wined It Up, drawing our largest crowd yet with the release of their new album: Small Town Talk. The season finale was just last Saturday, rocked by Johnny’s Hat from Princeton, who had the crowd dancing to their incredibly diverse array of classic covers. Rustico Winery, Tinhorn Creek Winery, and Stoneboat Vineyards were the featured wineries this year, which turned this particular brewer onto a few new favourite reds. Two new additions to the Back Alley Concert Series this year were the specialty cask beers served at each show one-night-only (the EmerGINcy Ginger Beer, the Citrus Siren, and the Apricot Alarm), as well as art displays from local artists. Luba Chpak, Linda Blaschuk, Janet West, and Leann Parrent graced the walls of our Captain’s Room this season with their beautiful pieces. We are lucky to have so much talent so close to home.
But none of this would be possible without our volunteers and attendees. A round of applause to Sandy Boblin, Gabby Campbell, Grant Chyzzy, Cal & Trish Craik, Richard Drescher, Hillary Frank, Randy Houle, Darryl & Sheila Lange, Jim Murray (AKA Coffee Jim), Mike Nicholls, Joanne, Carson, Marisa & Celina Ruhland, Mike Szalay, Larry Schwartzenberger, and Joe VanderHyden (AKA Joe Five-O) for their volunteer support of these community events. Also, a thank you must go out to Oliver Rental Centre for the tent and Darlorn Septic for the toilets, which help make our alley area a bit more comfortable. Also, thank you to the Firehall Bistro for selling the tickets for us, and to EZ Rock Radio for promoting the series through on-air ticket give-aways.
And finally, thank you to all you attendees of the Back Alley Concert Series. This is a break-even event dependent on volunteers and local patronage, and we salute you all for helping to build community and preserve the person-to-person social relationships that are so easily drowned out by our modern, fast-paced, technology-driven global society. The big picture has gotten so big that it’s sometimes tough to see the beauty in the details; details like the colours in a painting swirled by someone you know in town that you didn’t know was a painter, or the crisp enjoyment of a white wine grape variety that you thought you didn’t like, or the meaning you get from song lyrics written about a small town rumour you can relate to. The details go on, and so will our concerts.
Next spring, keep your eyes peeled for more Back Alley Concert posters around town, announcing new dates, new featured wineries, new artists, new bands, and new opportunities to mingle with friends and friendly strangers.
Until then, don’t forget to EXTINGUISH YOUR THIRST with THE BEER OF WINE COUNTRY! (shameless plug). CHEERS! –