Lion Bear Fox at Medici’s

The lion, the bear, the fox took over thirty years to find each other, but only one month for Christopher Arruda (the lion), Cory Woodward (the bear) and Ryan McMahon (the fox) to realize they were meant to join their voices as one. They are a musical force of nature to be reckoned with.

By uniting three distinct, equally powerful voices and songwriting approaches, Arruda, Woodward & McMahon have stumbled onto a magic much greater than the sum of its parts.

“All three artists are known for the passion they bring to their performances and the honest songs they write” says the Ladysmith Chronicle, and they have succeeded in creating gripping, dynamic songs while capturing a sincerity rarely heard this side of the 2000’s. Bridging the gap between Vancouver, where the lion and the bear dwell and Ladysmith where the fox resides is only a testament to their collective commitment of creating their brand of passionately honest songs. 

With over three decades combined experience, the lion the bear the fox bring their heartfelt songs and larger than life sound to the rugged Canadian terrain that continues to inspire them.

Medici’s is bursting with anticipation. This incredible band and their huge musical talents are playing on Thursday, March 8th …doors open at 6:30PM and Lion Bear Fox take the stage at 7:30PM…Tickets are $30 each and seating is assigned… Medici’s s at 522 Fairview Road in Oliver…250-498-2228

Capture the Action of Ballet Kelowna

If you want to draw or photograph dancers in action, come to Kinetic Catching of Ballet Kelowna dancers on stage during company class Tuesday, February 6th at 12 noon – 1:15 pm.
Anyone who wishes to photograph (no flash), sketch or ‘doodle’ what they see, the anatomical and expressive gestures of the dancers, is invited to attend.

Kindly arrive by 11:45 for a brief overview of the use of space. No latecomers unless previously arranged.

No pastels or paints to be used please.

We request that anyone interested RSVP to

Photo by Simone Orlando


Medici’s Groundhog Day

Medici’s Friday Night Live-2018 Groundhog Day Edition…Again

Friday Night Live has become a MONSTER event…It’s Groundhog Day. Our season opener was packed and Groundhog Day FNL promises to bring all the greats out AGAIN…without a shadow of doubt. Bluesman Don Parmenter and The bettyBgidds hooked up for a stunning collaboration last time out and North of 60, Mad Maxine Houle, Marcel,The Great Greg and One Live Badger all had to be dragged off stage when the audience refused to let them go…sort of.

More amazing collaborations are cooked up and again more new folk a-comin. Get here early to get a spot on the ‘play list’. This valley is chock full of great musicians with incredible music……Get up, come down, get in and get it on!!!

Come kick the doors down with your own vibe. We are gonna be packed. The music is gonna blow the doors off. The beer is cold and the music IS of course always sooooo HOT! We crank it up shortly after 7:00….all we need is you! Bring your music!! Bring your fun!! Bring your mum. Get in here!!

We are licensed. We have beer, wine, coffees with a kick and our usual great gelato and snacks, sweet treats. Medici’s this Friday, February 2nd at 7:00 PM. 522 Fairview Road. 250-498-2222

Dramatic gypsy cabaret a sweet treat

On Friday February 9th, Cari Burdett and her ensemble will be on stage at the Frank Venables Theatre at 7:30 pm as part of the South Okanagan Concert Society’s winter season. The program entitled “Sweet Love” is the perfect Valentine treat!

Recently returned from studying on the big island of Hawaii with Rhiannon and Grammy Award winner, pianist and composer Lawrence Hobgood, Burdett’s rich mezzo voice stirs the heart and takes the audience around the world in song. She delivers a vibrant genre-defying, fusion of jazz, folk, opera and world music seamlessly blending multiple European languages with a timeless, theatrical air. Feel yourself transported into the night clubs of Paris, Rome, Berlin and New York. Enjoy the timeless enchanting romantic performance of 40’s French Swing, Spanish Gypsy Jazz and aching Italian love songs that sizzle with energy and passion.

Cari will be accompanied by some amazingly talented instrumentalists. Juno award winning violinist Meredith Bates will be there with gypsy jazz guitarist Marc Atkinson, John Lee on bass and Adrian Dolan on piano, accordion and mandola.

Get your tickets on line at or, for those who prefer to buy in person, at the theatre box office on Tuesdays – Thursdays,  10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Advance Tickets $23, tickets at the door $25. Purchase tickets for both Cari Burdett and the Joe Trio (March 9) for $21 apiece.  Children and youth are only $2.50.

Burdett’s style, ‘Dramatic Gypsy Cabaret’ is the culmination of years of study and performance. Like her gypsy ancestors, Cari is a troubadour, performing and teaching across Canada, Europe, USA and China. Her multifaceted education includes classical voice, new music, opera, vocal improvisations, art song, dance, acting and musical theatre.

Burdett holds a music degree from McGill University and a Master’s degree in Opera from the Royal Academy of Music, London. She presently resides in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island and joyously shares the fruits of her training through performances and teaching as Director of Lila Music Centre in Duncan, B.C.

On February 10th, the day after this concert, Cari will be hosting in Summerland a Vocal Training Workshop for adults and teens from 1 – 3 pm. The workshop is geared towards those who love to sing and harmonize but want to dive in and explore rhythm, musical structure, harmonies, resonance and blending.

Don’t miss Cari and her Ensemble on their Valentine themed tour, “Sweet Love”.

“Dancing” duo on piano and cello prove live music is magic
by Penelope Johnson

Passionate expressions, balletic graceful arms, muscular hands, caressing fingertips, joyful energy. Something utterly magical occurred onstage at the recent South Okanagan Concert Society presentation: dancers sat down and played the piano and cello. One might be forgiven for thinking the Cheng2Duo had Russian ballet in their blood.

Silvie Cheng, 26, on piano and her brother Bryan Cheng, 20, on cello held the audience spellbound through an evening of “Russian Soul”, celebrating the music of such Slavic giants, as Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff. As Bryan revealed in a charming anecdote, he has been trained and mentored by Russian teachers, and has developed a “Moscow sound”. The Chengs have been playing together as siblings for fourteen years and touring professionally as Cheng2Duo (pronounced Cheng Squared Duo) for the last six. Do the math on that one. Among their numerous individual awards and accolades, the duo has recently been named by CBC as one of Canada’s “30 Hot Classical Musicians Under 30”.

The Cheng Squared program alternated between dramatic sonatas and short romantic pieces. The duo opened with a piece perfectly suited to their sibling relationship: Prokofiev’s Sonata in C Major. As Sylvie described in their introduction, the music is a “witty and mischievous conversation” between the two instruments. Like a watchful older sister, the piano took the lead in tempo and musical theme. Then like an irrepressible younger brother, the impish cello broke in with virtuosic brilliance.

Those tempted to close their eyes to listen missed the reason why nothing matches a live concert. The concert was as much about the athletic as the aural. Commanding centre stage, Bryan Cheng gave a riveting performance, pouring his energy into the bow and strings. His long lithe bowing released deep tones like golden honey. Then, moods shifting like sun and cloud on his face, he would bend to passionately “pizz” (pluck) the strings, tossing his head rhythmically with every note. On lush pieces by Scriabin (Romance), Arensky (Petit Ballade), Glazunov (Chant Du Menestrel) and Faure (Apres un reve), he lovingly massaged every vibrato, with his audience scarcely daring to breathe until even the shadow of a final note had died away. His artistry was as much a pas de deux with his cello as it was a musical performance.

Like a ballerina en pointe, Sylvie Cheng was precise, agile, but never lightweight. Dancing over the keys, her playing appeared so like delicate raindrops of sound, it needed a close look to see her fingers were actually touching the keyboard. And yet in the final movement of Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in Gm, with its rippling virtuosic passages for piano, Sylvie’s athletic playing received enthusiastic applause that brought the audience to its feet, demanding an encore.

The magic of live music returns to the Frank Venables Theatre on Friday February 9 when Cari Burdett’s rich mezzo voice stirs the heart with an evening of dramatic cabaret-style song. Cari and her ensemble shift seamlessly between gypsy jazz, folk, musical theatre, light opera, and world music. This sensual performance, presented by the South Okanagan Concert Society, is perfect for a Valentine gift. Tickets available online at or Tuesdays to Thursdays from the Venables box office (250) 498-1626.

Top of the trees!

Woo-hoo! We won! Yes,the Oliver Community Arts Council tree placed first in public voting at the Festival of Trees display at the Frank Venables Theatre. Congratulations Tree Team! And thank you to all voters who donated to the BC Children’s Hospital. Read on for more information from co-ordinator OOWA:

Osoyoos Wine Association’s Festival of Trees has come and gone but its legacy continues, with the event raising $5,513.20 for the BC Children’s Hospital and an additional $1,783 for the South Okanagan Children’s Charity.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to give back and remember what the holidays are really about,” explains Executive Director, Jennifer Busmann. “This is why we hold the Festival of the Trees so close to our hearts and we’re absolutely delighted to hear how much we’ve raised for such deserving causes.”

Twenty-four trees were decorated by local businesses and displayed in three locations within the Oliver and Osoyoos communities: Nk’Mip Cellars, Watermark Beach Resort and Frank Venables Theatre Lobby. With a suggested minimum donation of $2 per person, visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite tree. Winners of the public vote were: Oliver Community Arts Council in first place; River Stone Estate Winery in second; and Levia Wellness Spa in third.

A silent auction also took place to benefit the South Okanagan Children’s Charity’s Sunshine Fund, which helps local families with sick children experiencing financial hardship due to medical expenses.

All Festival of Trees donations go directly towards the BC Children’s Hospital’s The Excellence in Child Health Fund, which supports research, required equipment, and vital programs at BC Children’s Hospital, as well as Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Started in Vancouver 30 years ago to raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital, the Festival has since grown to include many other towns and cities across the province.

To learn more about Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country and their year round events program, visit

Beauty to be found at “Finding Beauty”

The SOSS Senior Photography exhibit: “Finding Beauty: Life in a Small Town” attracted a crowd of impressed parents and shutterbugs on Thursday January 18.

SOSS art teacher Lindsey McVicar presented her class with two major photography projects during the fall semester. One, an autumn expedition, paired senior students with kindergarteners. The seniors took portraits of their small companions, and the kindergarten keeners snapped colourful landscapes, close-ups and whimsical shots. In the winter project, the high school photography class was given a mission to find ugly, decrepit, and bleak scenes around Oliver, and by using photographic techniques such as perspective and contrast, find something beautiful they could capture in their image.

The exhibit continues at the Leza Macdonald Gallery until the middle of February.

Abby Teigen is happy with this photograph she took as part of the “Finding Beauty” project

Jaxon Ede stands tall beside his joint photography project with Abby Teigen

Teigens tour the Leza Macdonald Gallery: Candice Methven, Abby Teigen, Andy Teigen, Chad Teigen, and Alesha Suboti

Use your Passport without leaving town

Ballet Kelowna returns to the Frank Venables Theatre with an evening of exciting contemporary ballet entitled “Elles – Extraordinary Dance Created by Women “.
In recent years, Ballet Kelowna has captivated audiences with “150 Moves”, “Renaissance”, and most recently an excerpt from “The Nutcracker” at OCAC’s Community Christmas Concert. Now Ballet Kelowna is sure to delight newcomers and ballet lovers alike, delivering four striking new pieces choreographed with the creative perspectives of women.

Ballet Kelowna presents dance from Canada’s finest choreographers and embraces the precision and elegance of ballet technique. The company creates original new works that intrigue and engage today’s diverse audiences.

“Elles – Extraordinary Dance Created by Women” is part of Frank Venables Theatre’s Passport to Dance series, offering discounts when purchasing two evenings of dance:  Ballet Kelowna’s ELLES on Tuesday February 6th AND Flamenco Rosario’s LA MONARCA on Monday April 9th. Passport to Dance details

Ballet Kelowna takes the stage with “Elles – Extraordinary Dance Created by Women” Tuesday February 6th at 7:00 at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd.) Oliver is becoming a dance town and these highly sought after tickets are now available. Visit or the Theatre Box Office Tuesday – Thursday from 10 – 3 for tickets and more information.

Small town life in the lens

“Finding Beauty- Life in a Small Town”

Leza Macdonald Art Gallery
Beyond Bliss
Thursday January 18

6 pm – 8 pm
Admission is free

The senior photography students of SOSS toured as a class around Oliver, taking unique photos of structures, alleys, and objects. The goal was to create a show that told a story about living in the small town of Oliver, and to make the run-down areas of our town into beautiful, attractive works of art. It is a chance to see the hidden beauty of Oliver. Also on display – our photography 11/12 collaboration with Mrs. Chenier’s Kindergarten class from OES.