CreateAbility celebrates artists with cards

CreateAbility was a hit at the Fall Art Show and Sale! This arts council program was one of the featured exhibits on the October 5 – 6 weekend. It fosters art appreciation and artistic skills among differently-abled adults. THANK YOU to all the visitors, volunteers and participants over the weekend!

The program earned $500 in art card sales and donations. Revenues such as this ensure the program’s longevity, and keeps the program accessible (i.e. FREE) to its participants.

Six new artists have been added to the collection of art cards. All together we will have 35 different art cards for sale by 15 special needs artists.

The display, including art samples and bios of several artists was well received. Featured above are two instructors: Sharon Bootsma and Janice White, behind the table, and artist Donna Biedler (below right) chatting with visitors.

The next CreateAbility session will be Nov. 14 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at the Quail’s Nest (Studio Building).

Shout out to The Painted Chair who are supporting CreateAbility with three new clients (with support workers) joining us from Keremeos, and by helping us sell art cards at their events. Thank you! We now have participants from Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton AND Keremeos.

Another shout out to Christine Hewitt of Central Agencies Insurance Brokers (6037 Main St. Oliver) www.christinehewitt.ca who will be selling CreateAbility art cards at her business. Drop in and see her!

Homesteading author visits library

“I want to get married,go out west, build a log cabin,raise a bunch of kids,volunteer in my community, and then write a book about it.”

In 1978, during a golden age of middle-class prosperity, newly wed Kevin and Eleanor, like other young people at the time, felt the irresistible pull of the Back-to-the-Land movement and left behind everything they knew and loved to live far from the city and off the grid. As they searched western Canada for a place to settle, abandoned homesteads warned that their dream would be hard won.

10 Days in December journals Kevin and Eleanor’s adventures living for the first ten days in their wilderness cabin facing the demands of winter, where harsh reality and self-denial test their love and commitment.

Along the way practical Kevin and idealistic Eleanor will learn if they have what it takes to live in the mountains and with each other.

Eleanor shares her true ‘coming-of-age’ story exploring what resources from her sheltered childhood could help her endure the isolation, cold and darkness of this northern river valley.

Author Eleanor Deckert recounts her experiences on Wednesday October 23 at 2:00 p.m. at the Oliver Library at the corner of Station Street and Fairview.

This book began when Eleanor Deckert was 8-years old. Words from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s memories from the 1860’s and 70’s, preserved in Little House in the Big Woods, spoke to her. “This is now. It can never be long ago.” Eleanor realized, even as a child, that someday her 1960’s and 70’s memories would also be “long ago.” She determined to carefully remember her own experiences, thoughts, beliefs and decisions so that she could one day write about people, places and the times she was living in.

On Wednesday October 23 she shares a self-sufficient lifestyle with her husband in a picturesque river valley in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada.

Party like it’s 1924

Party like it’s 1924 at the Oliver Museum

In 21st century Canada, Halloween means costumes, trick-or-treating, and lots of candy. But what was Halloween like a century ago? The BC Provincial Police Station (now the Oliver Museum) was built in 1924. What costumes did the people of Oliver wear that year? What did they do to celebrate? The Oliver & District Heritage Society is here to answer that question! Hint: there was a lot of orange and black.

Put on your costume and join us in celebrating Halloween while we take a trip back in time. This 1924-style Halloween party will take place on Sunday, October 27th from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Oliver Museum (474 School Avenue, Oliver, BC). Try your hand at actual 1920s Halloween games and activities such as paper hat-making, ghost stories, fortune-telling, and more. This event is free and suitable for all ages. Don’t forget to visit our costume photographer to have your picture or your child’s picture taken in costume, enter a draw to win a door prize, and enjoy Halloween treats while you take in the decorations of 1924.

For more information, please contact the Oliver & District Heritage Society at 250-498-4027 or email us at

Fall Art Show & Sale on Oct 5 – 6

It’s less than a week away! Over 100 multimedia works of art will be on display on Saturday October 5 and Sunday October 6 at the Oliver Community Hall. Vote for your favourites on Saturday between 3 – 8 p.m. Art available for purchase. Non-competitive exhibits by the RipOff Artists, CreateAbility, and the Double O Quilters. Linger longer for the dessert reception, jazz quartet, and awards ceremony between 7 – 9 p.m. Enter the wine fridge draw — always a hit!

Heading to the Festival of the Grape on Sunday? If you are a festival patron, enjoy some art with your wine! Stop in to see the show between 12 noon and 5 p.m. Muse over the winning artworks, purchase art you like, enter the wine fridge draw, take a break from all the outdoor excitements, sip a little wine! We’re happy to add a little more culture to your day!

Hands on with textiles

Time to stretch your boundaries! Like working with fabrics and textiles? Looking for new mixed media techniques? Join Surfaces (Textiles group), a member group of the Oliver arts council.

Surfaces Textiles is an OPEN group for anyone who is interested in exploring techniques involving art – using textiles. In the past we have explored ways to develop complex cloth using layers of unique designs. We have done ice dying, chemical dying, resist dying, discharge printing. We have made our own block prints and printed on fabric and paper using our own blocks and commercial blocks. We have made our own silk screens and printed with them. We have explored resist dying using wax, rice flour and stitch. We also have explored felting and using wool in our compositions. We have explored techniques for composition in abstract as well as landscape designs.

The first workshop was Thursday September 26 but there are four more Thursdays awaiting you this fall! October 17, November 7, November 28 and December 19. Meet at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre (Studio Building), 5840 Airport Street, Oliver from 1-4 pm. There are no boundaries in what we can choose to work on. The only thing that is required is that you are open to experimenting new techniques and are open to sharing.

The cost is $5.00 per session or $25.00 for the fall season which includes 5 sessions.

Please bring your ideas and thoughts about what you would like to learn more about this season. Also please bring works in progress or completed to share and for feedback.

Beauty for the ears: Ofra’s cello

Ofra Harnoy, one of the greatest cellists on the world’s concert stage, is performing at Venables Theatre in Oliver at 7:30 pm, Friday, October 4th. The South Okanagan Concert Society is absolutely thrilled. Ofra was in Oliver years ago as a student from the Banff School of the Arts. Her talent back then was exceptional and it came as no surprise when her career sky rocketed. Canada is proud and has honoured her with membership in the Order of Canada. She has won 5 Juno awards. She became the first Canadian classical instrumental soloist since Glen Gould to gain an exclusive worldwide contract with a major record label.

Tickets for the concert are available on line @ www.venablestheatre.ca or at the theatre box office Tuesday through Thursdays from 10 to 3 pm. Generous sponsors make the tickets very affordable. Two or more tickets in advance are only $21/ticket. Single ticket in advance is $23 and at the door $25. Youth are ‘almost free’ at $2.50. We want the younger generation to be exposed to fine music.

Ofra will perform with Canadian, Mike Herriott, a respected multi-instrumentalist in both classical and jazz genres. A fine trumpet player, Harriott also happens to be Ofra’s talented husband.

To read their remarkable love story, click here:

Harnoy-Harriott story

Also performing will be pianist Dr. Kinza Tyrell. She made her orchestral debut with the Victoria Symphony at age 12 and earned a doctorate in Piano & Vocal Accompanying Performance from McGill University in 2003. She has held numberous conducting and teaching positions and has been on the faculty at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto since 2004.

Ofra Harnoy was born in Israel and moved with her family to Toronto in 1971. She made her professional debut as a soloist at age 10. Her solo-orchestral and recital debuts at Carnegie Hall in 1982 brought her public and critical acclaim. Known for her virtuosity, her warm but powerful touch and her passionate stage presence, Ofra says not a day went by without playing her cello since she was 5 ½. She “had the drive” and was soon living her dream. She threw herself into it with abandon and didn’t flinch at 16 hour recording sessions. Somehow she managed to raise a son and a daughter too.

In 2011 this beloved cellist hit a wall. In a performance with Anton Kuerti her shoulder became so painful she thought the bow would fall from her hand. Years of overuse had led to shredded tendons, surgery and a slow but determined recovery.
She is now back on stage where she belongs. We welcome her with open arms and a program that encompasses music from “Baroque to the Beatles and Beyond”.

September groovin’ at the Firehall Brewery

The Firehall Brewery presents
Shaun Rawlins & Tyler Bartfai
Friday September 20
7:00 pm
Tickets: $10

Two independent singer-songwriters that each have distinct writing styles that range from folk to blues to Americana, making for a very engaging show.

Spicy Jazz! with FunkFake Mextape at the Firehall Brewery on Sunday September 22nd. 6:00 p.m. show. Entry by donation.

These young Mexicanos have been spicing up our JAM NIGHT at the Beer Shop (every 2nd Thurs), and now they’re taking it to the next level! This Sunday, they’ll be on the big stage, laying down reggae grooves, ska rhythms, and jazzy melodies, all with a Mexican flair. Don’t miss it!

We’re very lucky and excited to have El Sabor de Marina’s highway-side Mexican Cantina on-site at the brewery selling Mexican food for dinnertime and the concert!

Art Displays by Dave Brewin of Art Is Brewin!

Skank your way down to the Firehall Brewery Beer Shop & Social below the Old Firehall on Saturday September 28th for Stagger Blue from Nelson, British Columbia, staring Randy McShaner and Jordan Bonin (and we’ve got our fingers crossed for a guest appearance by Chace Alaric!)

The Wienery will be on-site slangin’ their gourmet hot dogs, so save room for their delicious creations, and a few bucks for the band.

Entry by donation. More details TBA.

Red Sky at night a delight

Internationally renowned Red Sky Performance bring their newest work TRACE to Venables Theatre.

Trace explores Indigenous connections to ancestral origins and all things traceable through dance. Inspired by Anishinaabe cosmology, our star and sky stories, Trace maps our origin and evolution. For tens of thousands of years, Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have mapped the night sky, studied the stars, and established an expansive view of the world and body of knowledge that has often been ignored and erased. Trace features six dancers and multi-media to explore what has come before us and what is yet to come.

Red Sky creates, produces and tours new original dance, theatre and live music creations that illuminate themes, aesthetics and values of importance to Indigenous peoples. They are a leading company of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide. Their multi award winning company was founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Sandra Laronde of the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water). Their mandate is to create inspiring experiences of contemporary Indigenous arts and culture.

They have garnered an international reputation for collaborating on landmark projects with some of the most prestigious artists and companies from around the globe. This year Red Sky Performance presented TRACE at the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival where it played to six sold out performances and six standing ovations. Red Sky Performance continues to significantly influence the artistic evolution and innovation of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and around the world.

Trace is presented by Venables Theatre with the support of the Community Presenters Assistance program (of the BC Arts Council and BC Touring Council) and The Coast Oliver hotel.

Red Sky Performance brings Trace to Venables Theatre onWednesday October 16th at 7:00 at 6100 Gala Street in Oliver.

Tickets are $32 for adults and $20 for students. For more information visit www.venablestheatre.ca

Flamenco’s Indian roots on stage

How much of Flamenco is influenced by traditional Indian dance? What part of Flamenco can trace its roots to ancient India? What elements of Indian culture is retained in contemporary Flamenco dance and music? The components of Flamenco, hailed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is a complex story.

As a first generation Canadian, born to Malaysian parents of South Indian descent, Deborah “La Caramelita” Dawson-Mourocq has enchanted international audiences for over 10 years with her unique style of dance. Her new show “Nritya” tells Deborah’s story through dance, the story of an immigrant family and an artist connecting with an art form that seems totally foreign, but one that she is historically linked with.

La Caramelita Flamenco Company presents “NRITYA” on Thursday October 3 at 8:00 p.m. at the Venables Theatre.
TICKETS: $30, Students $25 www.venablestheatre.ca

Why Flamenco and Indian music? It is a popular theory that the Roma people, who have greatly contributed to the creation and culture of flamenco, came from Northern India to Andalucía many centuries ago. Through this show, Deborah performs a journey in search of her origins but also a reconstruction of bridges that had disappeared between flamenco and its Roma-Indian roots.The result isn’t an India-Flamenco fusion show but rather a personal story of dependence and independence, adversity and diversity and a unison of global values

One translation of  “nritya” is “storytelling and emotions created by movement”. This word, “nritya”, resonates with the theme of this new production – telling Deborah’s story through dance. 

This fall, for the first time in Canada, international Flamenco company “La Caramelita”, will unravel the mysteries, origins and nuances of Flamenco in a mesmerizing, intimate and original production called NRITYA. Led by Vancouver born artistic director, Deborah Dawson, the production is an Indo-Canadian woman’s exploration of her heritage through flamenco dance.

“We have used existing parallels between two cultures to tell the story of an immigrant family and an artist connected to a seemingly distant art form,” explains Dawson. “As a first generation Canadian, born to Malaysian parents of Indian descent, it was a struggle to find my identity. I stumbled upon Flamenco in my early teens and soon found out that flamenco has some of its roots in India. The idea that I had come full circle,
studying an art form that shared the same background as my family, fueled me to move to Spain – the birthplace of Flamenco.”

“La Caramelita Flamenco Company” is based in Bordeaux, France, where Dawson and her husband, Flamenco singer Alejandro Mendía, call home. NRITYA is powered by guitarist, Guillermo Guillén, who won the prestigious Lámpara Minera Festival Award when accompanying famed Flamenco singer Rocio Márquez in 2008. Multi-instrumentalist, Alex Carrasco brings a modern, electronic beat to NRITYA mixing traditional percussion instruments like the cajon drum with an MPC.
Also joining the company for NRITYA is the Madrid based flautist, Lara Wong. Another Vancouverite that followed her passion to Spain, Wong’s talent transcends flamenco, jazz,
classical, and latin genres. The McGill music graduate’s original bansuri compositions in NRITYA are haunting and desolate, fragile and strong – reflecting values associated with female emancipation, spirituality, and the importance of art in a divided time.

NRITYA seamlessly intertwines familiar Indian songs, such as the spiritual “Kattey” by activist Bhanvari Devi, with the traditional flamenco rhythm, “tarantos” to share religious tones that speak of love and spiritual guidance in trying times. Another example of the company’s blend is the use of Konnakol, the vocal performance of percussive syllables in South Indian Carnatic music, to match the percussive staccato of Flamenco footwork.

“We’ve created a new language – a new algorithm if you will, mixing various Indian influences with flamenco. We try to do this with respect and during the creative process we’ve found that the possibilities are endless,” – explains singer Mendía.

Singing songs of the west

The legendary Sons of the Pioneers are the gold standard for Western music, delivering thrilling harmonies, iconic yodeling, and poetic images of the West. Signature songs like “Cool Water,” “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” forever rooted in Western lore, are stirring new audiences of all ages.

The Sons of the Pioneers, Western music legends, perform on Wednesday October 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Venables Theatre.
TICKETS: $56, Under 19 $28 www.venablestheatre.ca

The Pioneers are the most decorated group in Western music, winning honours such as the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Western Music Association Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Texas Swing Hall of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, to name a few. The group’s renditions of “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” and “Cool Water” have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the Smithsonian Institution has named the group one of America’s “National Treasures.”

“We are honoured to return to British Columbia,” says Tommy Nallie (lead guitar and vocals), “Canadians really know and appreciate Western music, and that makes it really fun for us, too.”

Roy Rogers Jr., “Dusty” is the son of the ‘King Of the Cowboys’- Roy Rogers Sr. Roy Rogers Sr. founded the band in 1934 with Bob Nolan and Tim Spencer. Today “Dusty” Rogers is the M.C. for the Sons Of The Pioneers and sings middle harmony in the vocals- like his father did years ago !”

Family fun showcase has five

The Venables Theatre’s “Family Showtime Series”, is back, and we’ve added another show. This year we are bringing you five fantastic evenings of family fun!

Kicking off the series this year on Saturday October 5th is beloved Canadian singer songwriter Charlotte Diamond. She will be joined by her equally talented son Matt and the Hug Bug band, (Linnea Good and David Jonsson). Charlotte is best known for favourites like Four Hugs a Day, I am a Pizza (Je suis une pizza), Octopus (Slippery Fish) & All the Nations Like Banana.

Just in time for Christmas, DuffleBag Theatre returns to Oliver Friday December 13th with A Christmas Carol. DuffleBag creates theatrical magic by inviting audience members on stage as stars of the show in this timeless classic.

On Friday January 24th, Samajam kicks it up a notch with Rythmo 2. Drumsticks and musical tubes are distributed to all audience members to give them a unique, rhythmic, powerful and energizing experience. You become the music!

Will’s Jams, (from CBC kids), is a power trio who perform high-energy songs in English and French with fun actions and sing-along choruses. Kids and parents alike will be cheering for libraries, loving their bikes and rallying for vegetables on Friday February 21st.

Rounding out the series is Uzume Taiko on Saturday April 18th. Taiko means “drum” in Japanese and “Uzume” is the Japanese Goddess of Laughter. Uzume Taiko is known around the world for its bold musical collaborations, humour and theatrical stage presence.

Family ShowTime is presented by Venables Theatre with the support of the Community Presenters Assistance program (of the BC Arts Council and BC Touring Council).

All performances are at 6:30pm at Venables Theatre at 6100 Gala Street in Oliver. Tickets to all five shows are on sale now for only $50. Single show tickets are $12.50. For more information visit www.venablestheatre.ca/familyshowtime

Concert series comes with strings attached

Last year’s season ended with a packed house and a jubilant crowd as the reception saw concert goers in deep conversation with the 8 cellists who performed after coming from major European orchestras. It felt like a major cultural event fulfilling the dreams of those who have worked so hard to make Venables Theatre a huge success.

This year, buoyed by the beauty and unique, exceptional sound of the cello, the Concert Society decided the first concert of the new season on October 4th would be cellist, Ofra Harnoy. Harnoy has established herself on the world concert stage, won 5 Juno awards and is a member of the Order of Canada. She is not to be missed.

Then on November 15th, the dynamic Bergmann Piano Duo perform. With a repertoire that encompasses everything from baroque to contemporary music, they have inspired audiences throughout the world for more than two decades.

January 31st, 2020, songwriter, Lizzy Hoyt, will let us hear why she is now known as one of Canada’s most powerful Celtic-folk artists. She plays fiddle, guitar, harp and mandolin, tours with her trio throughout the year and is known for the way she brings history to life with music.

Finally, March 20th, the Montreal Guitar Trio is back by popular demand. Guitarists Sebastien Dufour, Glenn Levesque and Marc Morin win over audiences with their virtuosity, rigour, creativity and engaging stage presence. You can hear them in prestigious venues across the world or you can hear them in Oliver! You choose.

Tickets for the series are available now on line at www.venablestheatre.ca or at the theatre box office Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm. Generous sponsors make ticket prices affordable. Any 2 or more tickets in advance are $21/ticket. Single ticket in advance is $23 and at the door $25. Children and youth are only $2.50. Bring kids and grandkids and introduce them to top quality live music.

Talk to friends and join together to get tickets and make winter months a time for extraordinary musical experiences. It is the best way to rise above valley cloud!

Check the brochure for more details: