Blue Hearts at Medici’s April 12

Come get your Blues fix at Medici’s on April 12th and meet the Blue Hearts

Mark “Westcoast” Comerford: Guitar & Percussion, Vocals and Big Hank Lionhart: Lead Vocals. Mark and Hank are both members of Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. With a ton of experience in the Blues and over 40 years in Blues bands they have been to Memphis with Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and are returning this year in the Solo Duo category as The Blue Hearts. They are back to the real roots of the Blues with just Guitar and Vocals. Mark and Hank write and perform their own songs and stay true to the Blues.

Mark “Westcoast” Comerford

Mark grew up in a musical family and became influenced by the Blues, Folk and Rock. Mark moved to Toronto and played around the southern Ontario Blues bar circuit. After returning home to Victoria he met Hank Lionhart through an advertisement looking for Blues musicians and together they formed Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. Mark was a member of the R&B Band ‘Soul Station’ for a few years. Aside from the Blue Hearts he currently plays in Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and in his own group the Westcoast Blues Doctors

Hank Lionhart

Hank started his musical journey in Edmonton in high school in 1964. In 1965 he travelled to Seattle, Washington to go attend art school and sang with a group, the Clouds, until 1967. Returning to Edmonton, Hank joined a band called Coloured Rain and toured the Cabaret circuit across Western Canada. In 1974 he joined Edmonton’s premier Blues Band ‘Hot Cottage’ which cemented his love for the blues. In 1979 he moved to Victoria and formed Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. Hank moved to Vancouver and formed the R&B Kingpins along with Jack Lavin of Powder Blues. In 2014 he resumed work with Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and has since represented BC at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2015. 9 CD’s in over a 50-year career and a very passionate Bluesman.

The Blue Hearts play their original Blues Songs in a very traditional style.
If you like music, you like the Blues and these guys are gonna kill ya!!! Thursday night April 12th at Medici’s, 522 Fairview Road in Oliver. 250-498-2228.

Tickets are $25, seating is assigned and doors open at 6:30. We are gonna be packed!

RipOff Artists choose their next challenge

The RipOff Artists are already thinking about their 2018 challenge! This local multimedia collective chooses a different dead artist each year to “rip off” in weaving, digital media, collage, quilting, felting, woodworking, encaustic, and a variety of painting and three-dimensional media.

They’ll be breaking barriers and tearing down walls by emulating Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) and his piece “Tres Personajes Cantando” (Three persons singing). Watch for news of their Summer Studio week at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre.

You can expect lots of colour and music!

Marion Trimble, collage and acrylics artist, provides some background:

Rufino Tamayo was a Mexican painter and printmaker known for his large-scale murals and vivid use of color. Like Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Jose Clemente Orozco,

Tamayo helped garner international attention for Mexican art. Influenced by his pre-Columbian heritage as well as Cubism and Surrealism, Tamayo portrayed vernacular subjects like watermelons and animals in a unique formal vocabulary.

“Art is a means of expression that must be understood by everybody, everywhere,” he stated.

“It grows out of the earth, the textures of our lives, and our experience.”

Born on August 26, 1899 in Oaxaca, Mexico, Tamayo left the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts after a year and began to teach himself. He moved to New York in the 1930s after having a falling out with the politically driven Rivera and Siqueiros in his home county.

Eventually returning to Mexico in 1959, he founded the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City and the Museo Rufino Tamayo in his birthplace of Oaxaca during the early 1980s. The artist continued to produce some of his most compelling works including Moon and Sun (1990) right up until his death on June 24, 1991 in Mexico City, Mexico at the age of 91. Today, his works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, among others.

Art for a book-lover

Calling all Artists!

Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School is looking to collaborate with a local artist who would be available to co-create a mural outside the Pat McGibbon Memorial Library in Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary school. The library entrance has double doors, the mural would be painted on either side of those doors. See photos for examples. The mural would be to inspire a love of reading among its students and send positive messages through the title choices. The school is hoping to have the mural completed before the end of the year. Interested artists are asked to contact Marlene Kearsley at (250) 498-3415 with samples of their work. A small stipend and large amount of pride and recognition is offered.

Marlene Kearsley
Teacher-Librarian, ELL, LS
250 498-3415

Fierce butterflies dance the flamenco

From Spain to Mexico and back to Canada, Flamenco Rosario invites audiences on a global voyage through dance. This April on the Frank Venables Theatre Stage the rhythm and song, hand-clapping and sweeping movements of “La Monarca” will be a unique experience.

Flamenco’s beautifully rhythmic style highlights these artists’ passion, raw emotional power and disciplined musicality. “La Monarca” gives insight into the motivation and driving forces of immigration through the creative exploration of the monarch butterfly’s amazing migration.

Rosario Ancer and her husband, guitarist Victor Kolstee moved to Vancouver in 1989 after a successful career in Spain. They co-founded the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival along with their school Centro Flamenco, and The Flamenco Rosario Arts Society.

As an interpreter of flamenco, Rosario is continuing the growth of the art form by exploring new possibilities. She brings with her an 8 member company of dancers and musicians to share this emergent, beautiful and unexpected new work.

Flamenco Rosario arrives on stage with “La Monarca” Monday April 9th at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd.) Oliver is a dance town and these highly sought after tickets are now available. Visit or the Theatre Box Office Tuesday to Thursday from 10 – 3 for tickets and more information.

For further information, contact Aimee Grice, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for the Frank Venables Theatre, by phone or email.

(250) 498-1626     tix @

Image Credit: David Cooper / Pictured are Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee

Grandmothers building “bridges”

Oliver Grandmothers for Africa, Marion Boyd and Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen, do some serious counting at the windup of a hugely successful fund raising Bridge Tournament on February 21st for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  The event drew a good crowd to Fairview Golf Club for bridge and lunch.  Fairview staff, Jesse and Yvonne proved their friendly organizational skills and were much appreciated especially by Grannies’ convenor, Leslie Marriott.  Some $1400 was raised for the ongoing work in Africa where grandmothers here generate funds for grass roots programs to support and assist African grandmothers.  Those tireless women are nurturing a new generation of kids often orphaned and certainly impacted by the AIDS pandemic.

In Canada the work of Grandmothers for Africa has expanded to include a valuable advocacy role.  Few people here, for example, are aware that a majority of primary schools, even government sponsored ones in many parts of Africa, require school fees which exclude little children from poor families from basic education.  Canadian Grandmothers across this country have taken the initiative to see this changes.   Their sustained efforts and political will is making a difference.   Recently Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada will double its pledge to the Global Partnership for Education to $180 million over 3 years.  This result, at a time of international budget restraint, is heartening.

Canada also led the way at the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Conference in Senegal early in February.  Goals were achieved and the biggest source of education financing came from developing countries themselves stepping up to the plate.  Together we can make a difference.

If you want to join us, the local Grandmothers group meets the first Thursday of every month at 1 pm at the Oliver United Church.   Come and be welcomed.  We have fun, create new friendships and do some good in the world.   Our motto:  “Do what you can, when you can.”

Jesting with music

The always popular Joe Trio, known as the “Court Jesters of the Classical” will be returning to Oliver on Friday, March 9th for a 7:30 pm concert. This is the last of this season’s performances presented by the South Okanagan Concert Society and will bring some totally engaging musical merriment to the Venables stage. The Trio with its violin-cello-piano virtuosity, combines the wit, charm and talent of three musicians who together collaborated just a few years ago with the late CBC storyteller Stuart McLean on fun filled tours with the Vinyl Cafe.

Pianist Cameron Wilson’s compositions and arrangements have been performed by numerous symphony orchestras and ensembles across North America. In addition to Joe Trio, he plays in a gypsy jazz quarter, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, a Francophone inspired trio called Pastiche and the Mariachi Del Sol and Tambura Rasa.

Cellist Charles Inkman’s career has included playing backup for visiting artists such as John Denver and Brian Wilson in addition to playing with a symphony orchestra and teaching on the faculty of the VSO School of Music.

Pianist Allen Stiles holds a Masters degree in piano performance from UBC and has played for musicals and operas as well as chamber ensembles. He teaches at a number of Vancouver area schools of music and thrives as a freelance pianist.

If the past is an indicator this show promises to be a hit so get your tickets quickly online at or at the theatre box office Tuesday through Thursdays from 10 to 3 pm. Single tickets in advance are $23 and a single last minute ticket at the door is $25.

It has been said many times that Joe Trio is simply not your average piano trio. They can’t be neatly categorized and that suits them just fine. They strive for diversity, versatility, humour and the unpredictable. Yes, the repertoire includes the classics from Haydn to Shostakovich but it also includes new contemporary works and their own arrangements of popular, jazz and rock tunes. They have ability and bravado, mix musical styles in a single piece and their blend of music and theatrical performing techniques leave audiences with a new and completely painless appreciation of classical music!

Joe Trio has toured extensively and their popularity has grown so they are frequently invited back as has happened here.
Don’t miss the delight of this end of winter concert and bring along a credit card so you can get tickets for the lineup planned for the coming season. We are so fortunate to have generous sponsors that make it possible to offer the very best in music for prices accessible to almost everyone including the very young in age as well as heart.

More information is available at 250 495 6487. Bus transportation for those in Osoyoos can also be arranged by calling this number.

Gypsy Cabaret Review

by Sue Morhun

From the moment she stepped onto the stage, chanteuse and luscious storyteller Cari Burdett easily swept her audience into the international cabaret scene in the third offering of South Okanagan Concert Society’s season. “Sweet Love” was the theme of the tour we embarked on and there was no doubt “amour” is truly Cari’s genre – passionate love for a person, for family, for nature, for place. Her sensuous and intense deliver, her sultry mezzo voice and her graceful gestures transported us into the world inhabited by the troubadours and gypsies of old. This is a genuine and inspired performer.

Cari’s natural gifts led us through the nightclubs of Rome, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, New York and Santiago, Chile with timeless and theatrical flair. Cari sang seamlessly in the language of each country. Accompanying her on our delicious musical journey were four equally talented musicians. Music arranger Adrian Dolan on piano and accordion kept the vibrant fusion of jazz, folk and world music moving easily throughout the entire performance. Gypsy jazz guitarist Mark Atkinson and jazz bass player John Lee rounded out the pulsing, rich rhythms with great depth while the soaring, sweet notes from Juno award winning violinist Meredith Bates offered a complex counterpoint to the sorrowful tales of lost or passionate love.

While we were treated to love songs written by Canada’s Joni Mitchell, American Carole King and even Bizet’s “Carmen”, my favourite of the evening was an original composition by Cari titled “Let Me Go”. It suited her style and singing intensity admirably.

The highlight for many in the audience was an Edith Piaf medley delivered with the same throaty fervour aficionados associate with the legendary French chanteuse. It was a great way to end the ensemble’s first set. If there was any regret that evening, it was the limited opportunity to hear the quartet play individually. When they did just that, it was easy to appreciate what a wonderful ensemble they truly are. Together they and Cari offered a unique and special package, a lovely present for Valentine’s Day.

The last offering of the Concert Society season comes on Friday March 9th. President Janet Marcotte reminded the audience how well received B.C.’s self styled “Court Jesters of the Classical” were the last time they played on the Frank Venables stage. Joe Trio bring musical fun to their “Tour de Farce” performance on the violin, cello and piano, a performance described as witty, charming and tremendously musical.

Thanks to the Society’s generous sponsors, tickets are highly affordable. Buy yours on line at or through the box office Tuesdays through Thursdays between 10 am and 3 pm or call 250 498 1626.

Call for Artists: Wine Capital Art Walk

The Oliver Community Arts Council along with Oliver Tourism and Downtown Businesses is proud to present the Wine Capital Art Walk as part of the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival! The main event occurs on the evening of Thursday May 10 from 6 – 8 p.m. Artists in a variety of media display and / or demonstrate their best work, sharing space with downtown businesses in the 6200 block of Main Street (north of the Fairview Road intersection). As was the case last year, the art walk will also include wine tastings, live music, draws, children’s art activities, food vendors, and live art demonstrations.

with credit to Lyonel Doherty, Oliver Chronicle

One of the main attractions at the Wine Capital Art Walk is the Wine Barrel Art demonstration and silent auction, running Monday May 7 – Thursday May 10. The live art event features up to 15 skilled artists who transform wine barrels into cherished works of art. They work daily from 10 – 4 p.m. on Main Street. Their activity is entertaining, educational and also promotes the art walk later in the week. Silent auction bids are accepted all week long and the finished barrels are sold to the highest bidders on the Thursday evening. These artists pay for their barrels but keep all proceeds made at the silent auction.

This Call for Artists is open to all visual media: photography, digital media,, three-dimensional art such as pottery, sculpture, mixed media installations, metalwork, woodwork, jewelry and other artisan crafts; fibre and fabric arts, such as quilting, weaving, spinning, clothing/fashion; painting including acrylics, oils, watercolours; and mixed / other two dimensional media, such as charcoal, ink, encaustic, and collage. Space may also be available for performing arts: street theatre and improv, dance, street musicians, and other performers. NOTE: This component will be limited by available space and noise level.

All artwork must be display ready. Sale pieces are welcome. Artists must be present during the event and take responsibility for their own sales.

Artists are invited to apply in one of two categories: as a Display / Demo Artist or as a Wine Barrel Artist. There are entry fees for artists; however, NO COMMISSION will be charged. All participating artists must be members of the Oliver Community Arts Council. Membership forms are available on the “Forms” page or by contacting at  olivercac @

NO FEES are required when applying. Space is limited, and the event is popular. Fees are only paid when successful applicants are confirmed by the committee.

WCAW Display Demo Artist Application

WCAW Barrel Artist Application

If you want more details, they are available here:

WCAW Display Artist Terms and Guidelines

WCAW Barrel Artist – Terms and Guidelines