Fabric arts, fine arts, plastic arts, and performance arts: Oliver has them all!
The Oliver Community Arts Council (OCAC) has been a hub of artistic activity in Oliver, British Columbia since 1970. The OCAC is a non-profit society and registered its charitable status in September 2006. It is an umbrella group currently representing the many groups and businesses listed below, and about 80 individual and family members, including both art-related and arts-supporting members.
Its talented member groups include: Desert Sage Spinners & Weavers, Double O Quilters, Friends of the Oliver Library, Musaic Vocal Ensemble , Okanagan Art Gallery, Oliver Arts and Crafts, Oliver and District Heritage Society, Oliver Community Garden Society, Oliver Community Theatre Society, Oliver Grandmothers for Africa, Oliver Handbell Ringers, Oliver Sagebrushers, Pl@ss, RipOff Artists, Sage Valley Voices Community Choir, SOAP Theatre, South Okanagan Concert Society, Surfaces Mixed Media (Textiles), and Women of Oliver for Women.
Business members include Art is Brewin (Dave Brewin Art), Doulandie Massage Specialist, Firehall Brewery, Maker Place, Medici’s Gelateria & Coffeehouse, Munday Media and Design, OK Photo Lab, Oliver Daily News, Oliver Online (Leza Macdonald), The Painted Chair, and South Okanagan Quality Childcare.
The Oliver Community Arts Council mounts several major public events throughout the year:
Wine Capital Art Walk (early May) Celebrate art during the Spring Wine Festival. Stroll downtown businesses, view works of art, watch art in progress, sip local wines. Paintings, fibre arts, photography, sculpture, and other three-dimensional craft on display. Featuring barrel painting by local artists. Sales and draws!
Showcase of Talent (early May) Talented local music students perform show pieces from their recent music studies, competitions, and performances. Cheer them on! Featuring the “Petrof” Sutherland Memorial Piano. Bursaries provided by Oliver Kiwanis. Refreshments.
Music in the Park (July–August) South Okanagan musical performers entertain at these relaxed outdoor concerts. Jazz, classical, country, pop, gospel, blues, and good ol’ rock and roll – every night is different. Concerts run every Thursday evening during July and August, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the Oliver Community Stage. Admission by donation. Bring a lawn chair. Come early for the evening market in the park, 4:30 – 8:30 each Thursday. Food vendors for your concert picnic, a variety of retail and information booths, and kids activities. Come for the market, stay for the concert, love the sunset!
Fall Art Show and Sale (late September or early October) Artists from all media exhibit a veritable harvest of colour and texture on the last weekend of September of first weekend in October. The art show is held in conjunction with the Festival of the Grape at the Oliver Community Centre. (The date of FOG determines the date of FASS.) Come on the Saturday for the show, sale, reception, and competition for awards in several categories. Admission by donation. Sunday continues the show and sale with Festival of the Grape admission. Want to enter as an artist? Check out the Forms page for your entry form.
Holly Jolly Oliver! (last weekend in November): Local performers set the mood for winter celebrations with festive music, dance and spoken word. Choirs, bands, dance students, instrumentalists, soloists, storytellers, seasonal quizzes, prizes, and lively coverage of upcoming local events will put you in the spirit.
CreateAbility (September – May) is a series of art workshops for developmentally (and some physically) challenged adults. Clients of the program choose from several workstations to develop and inspire their creative energies. Painting, printmaking, mixed media, seasonal crafts, costume jewelry, and even some special music workshops! Email OliverCAC @ gmail.com to become one of our instructors. (We offer a free Criminal Record Check application process.) Email us if you are a caregiver or other support service who wishes to register someone for the program.
Watch for other, occasional arts council events, seminars and workshops.
Through contracted service agreements with our members, we support several additional arts performances, events, and workshops. Two local students per year receive bursaries to assist them in their post-secondary arts education.
The OCAC takes as its logo the quirky California quail against a background of sun, sky, hills, and vineyards. The quail thrives in the warm and sunny South Okanagan climate. The quail is a familiar and distinctive sight in Oliver. The quail is a social bird, feeding, travelling, and roosting in large groups. They have delicate colouring that seems to change with the light. Their loud, theatrical “ka-kaaah- kaa!” lets people know they’re coming. Quail produce large families – a clutch of eggs can number as many as 18. Attractive, quirky, fertile, comic, social, bustling, and fun to watch – like a quail, there’s no better way to describe what the Oliver Community Arts Council is!
The OCAC slogan is “Arts Learned — Arts Loved — Arts Lived“, reflecting our constitutional aims: to educate and increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the arts in all its forms, to provide instructional seminars and workshops on topics related to the performing and visual arts, and to produce arts festivals. We believe our aim is to turn learners into lovers of art, and once art is loved, it becomes fully lived.
The Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, at 5840 Airport Street just west of the airport, is home to the OCAC. The smaller “Studio” building is used for meetings, workshops, classes, rehearsals, and small displays. The larger building on site, “Big Blue”, is currently used for theatrical storage, set painting, and rehearsals. Both buildings are available for rent.
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