May the 4th be with you

Fresh from their Australian tour, the cast of “The Ultimate Comedy Show” are ready to bring the laughs to the South Okanagan. This May, Frank Venables Theatre hosts the hilarious troupe of comedians for a lively evening of entertainment.

Featuring a variety of stand-up and improv, it’s more than a show – it’s a comedy experience! Starring Roman Danylo who has appeared in several Canadian TV Series including CTV’s “Corner Gas”, CBC’s “Just For Laughs”, CBC’s “Made In Canada”, and two stand-up specials for CTV’s “Comedy Now”. Also appearing are special guests Chris Cassilian and Denise Jones.

Two time Canadian Comedy Awards winner Chris Cassilian is a professional actor, comedian, and musician. He is also a long time member of The Vancouver TheatreSports League. Cassilian has performed in many improv and comedy festivals including the Vancouver International Festival, San Francisco Sketch Festival and the Chicago Improv Festival.

Denise Jones is the Artistic Director at Vancouver TheatreSports and has been performing with them since 2003. She is also a film and TV actor and was nominated for a Leo Award for her performance in the film “Preggoland”. Her most recent credits include Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG”.

The hilarity arrives on stage Friday May 4th at 8pm at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd.) Tickets are now available online at or visit the Theatre Box Office Tuesday – Thursday from 10:00 to 3:00 for tickets and more information. May the 4th be with you.

For further information contact Aimee Grice, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for the Frank Venables Theatre, by phone or email. (250) 498-1626, tix @

Eye-popping art

Lorraine Horn, a past winner at the Fall Art Show & Sale, is the solo artist at the Leza Macdonald Art Gallery for the month of April. See some of her bright trompe-l’œil paintings that just “pop” off the canvas. She’s not been an artist for long, says gallery owner Leza Macdonald, but she’s sure fine! Opening reception Thursday April 5th, 6  – 8 p.m.

Get inside the theatre for Outside Mullingar

SOAP Theatre presents Outside Mullingar (pronounced mull-in-GAR) by John Patrick Shanley, April 20-28 at the Fraank Venables Theatre. The play is romantic comedy about death and love that flirts with — and sometimes embraces — Irish cliches galore.

The play is set on the side-by-side farms of the Rileys and Muldoons. Anthony Riley lives with his widowed father Tony, and Rosemary Muldoon with her recently-widowed mother Aoife.

Amid the gallows humour, arguments over inheritance and property disputes, there is a shy romance brewing, all done in the poetic gift-for-gab style for which the Irish are famous.

Tony Riley threatens not to leave his farm to Anthony but sell it instead to his brother’s son, who looks more like a farmer. The news worries Rosemary Muldoon, who has an unrequited love for Anthony, and fears Anthony’s itchy feet will soon carry him away from  her.  She’s thirty-something, he’s in his forties. Both are single, adrift, depressed. Rosemary calls him “a bit of a lump” and scolds him for his lack of spunk and spark, but it’s obvious she cares for him. And what’s up with Anthony? She’s beautiful, available and right next door, but he seems uninterested. The mystery is why they haven’t gotten together.

Shanley infuses the play with spirituality. Rosemary hates the bible (“They should call it The Book of Awful Stories”) but in this Irish countryside characters hear voices, see “signs from heaven” and are “touched by the quiet hand of God.” Mullingar seems just the place for these quiet comic miracles.

Abridged from SOAP Theatre website and a May 2017 review by Vancouver-based Jerry Wasserman.

More information here: SOAP Theatre’s Outside Mullingar

Art Walk on a roll with barrels

Meet our wine barrel donors for the Wine Capital Art Walk. Thank you to:

Adega on 45th Estate Winery
Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
Culmina Family Estate Winery
Fairview Cellars
Hester Creek Estate Winery
Intersection Winery
Kismet Estate Winery
Moon Curser Vineyards
Nk’mip Cellars  (
Arterra Wines)
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

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 demonstrate their best work, sharing space with downtown businesses in the 6200 block of Main Street (between School and Bank Avenues). The art walk also includes wine tastings, live music, draws, children’s art activities, food vendors, and live art demonstrations.


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 on site all week long, until 7:45 p.m. on Thursday May 10. The finished barrels are sold to the highest bidders on the Thursday evening.

Spring winners

At the opening reception, three winners received Best in Show awards at the FCA exhibit “Spring Palette” at The Art Gallery Osoyoos. Debbie Tougas of Oliver plaaced first with “Robbie Said.” In second place was Michael Jorden of Osoyoos for “Ride the High Country.” The third place winner was Marianne Meyer of Naramata for “If There is a Choice.” Four other artists won honorable mentions. catch all the art this week, until Saturday March 31. For more information on the  local chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists, visit FCA- South Okanagan Similkameen

The Time Has Come for music

The Musaic Vocal Ensemble is making another visit to Oliver this spring with music to “soothe and inspire”. This choir is known for their musicianship, their challenging repertoire, and balanced sound.  Their singing will make your ears very happy. Songs will include: “The Time Has Come” words by Nelson Mandela; A Little Jazz Mass, Let It Matter and many other great pieces.

Tickets available here:
Oliver Alliance Church
6835 Leighton Cres, Oliver BC
(250) 498-4253
or here:

Tickets for The Time Has Come 

Rob ‘n’ Walker at Firehall Brewery

Rob ‘n’ Walker play country-rock originals and covers at “the Social”  room in the Firehall Brewery on March 31, 2018 at 7:30 pm. This band is great – good tunes, very nice gents, a nice mix of familiar hits and Rob’s own Nashville-honed compositions. (You might know them as the Rob Robertson Band if you saw them last summer at Music in the Park.)

The Social is a great place to hang out with your pals and enjoy one of the Firehall Brewery’s thirst-extinguishing ales, or a hand-crafted bevvie from one of their selection of amazing local wines, ciders, or sodas.The $15 tickets are available now at Firehall Brewery, 6077 Main Street, Downstairs (Alley Access), Oliver, BC. You can register here too (click on the text below):

Register Here

A Night of Laughter and Music: The Joe Trio Review

Review by Jan Nelson

What do you get when you put a violinist, a cellist and a pianist together on the stage? You wouldn’t expect a night of laughing and musical entertainment, but that is exactly what The Joe Trio brought to the South Okanagan Concert Series’ season finale at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver on March 9th.

The Joe Trio is composed of three unique musicians. Cameron Wilson brings his beautiful mastery of the violin along with his amazing talent for arranging pieces for a string and piano trio. With his dry sense of humour and brilliant ability to mimic a beginner violin student, he brought a sense of approachability to an instrument that can feel foreign to the average music enthusiast.

Pianist Allen Stiles has excellent comedic timing and amazing technique. He knows just how long to stretch out a joke while backing it up with a polished performance – my type of pianist. Cellist Charles Inkman has played with household names like John Denver and Beach Boys Legend Brian Wilson, and now has Oliver to add to the list of venues he has graced. Not to be outshone by his Trio-mates, Charles brings an added touch of class with his background in classical performance with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

The programme for the evening included refined pieces from Joseph ‘Papa Joe’ Haydn and Felix Mendelssohn, to The Sad Story of Little Joe Who Played the Violin, a comedic spoken word accented number that follows the path of Little Joe’s musical life. Even more traditional pieces were approached with a light heart; Mendelssohn’s piece was introduced as “four movements – the first is pretty long, the second is pretty short, the third is really short, and the fourth is not as long as you think it will be or feels like it will be.” Never short of banter, each piece painted yet another beautiful colour on an enjoyable evening.

In particular, two pieces stood out. A medley of songs from West Side Story adapted to piano trio by Cameron Wilson called for audience participation and a bit of pre-performance practice by the packed house. I think we did a better job during the practice, but The Joe Trio managed to make us sound good. A second piece that required audience participation was ‘Classic TV Themes meets the Great Composers;’ a series of TV themes from the 60s and 70s arranged by Wilson to sound like classical composers, and each correct answer guessing the theme and composer by the audience was rewarded with a chocolate placed carefully on stage for retrieval by the winner at intermission.

And not to be forgotten was an adaptation of Bohemian Rhapsody (yes, the one by Queen), a beautiful arrangement by Wilson of a classic rock ballad that would have made Freddy Mercury proud, although I’m sure Freddy would have appreciated a quick wardrobe change to set the mood.

I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying concerts at the Frank Venables Theatre (old and new) off and on since I was six, and I am grateful to wonderful performers like The Joe Trio for making the trip out to Oliver to share their talent with us, and to the Southern Okanagan Concert Series members, volunteers and audience members who keep us entertained tirelessly year after year. Thank you.

The Southern Okanagan Concert Society would like to thank their generous local sponsors for the 2017-2018 season, and looks forward to another entertaining season of musical enjoyment starting in the fall. The 2018-2019 season will feature the Mark Atkinson Trio on October 12, 2018, Duo Fortin-Poirier on February 15, 2019, and O-Celli cello octet (eight cellos!) on March 29, 2019, plus a fourth concert to be announced. Look for ticket information to be released soon.

Art to Go: with the Flow

The THEME of the 2018 Fall Art Show & Sale: “Go with the Flow”.

Here are just a few inspirations to get you started:
* the flowing application of a paintbrush or drip techniques,
* rippling jewelry designs, 
* curved shapes in wood, metal and glass,
* capturing movement in photography such as dance or a bicycle race or a windy day,
* relaxing fluid abstract shapes, or
* get socio-political and make an artistic comment on “group-think”.
* maybe it’s the technique you use
* maybe it’s the colours you choose.

What does going with the flow mean in your life? Taking it easy? Letting others decide? Jumping into a current of thought with both feet and seeing where it takes you?

Go with your own artistic flow, and start dreaming of your Fall Art Show and Sale submission.

Dates: September 29 – 30, 2018
Early Bird Draw Deadline: Thursday September 6, 2018
Entry Form Deadline: Friday, September 7, 2018
Extension for Youth Artists ONLY: Friday September 14, 2018

FASS 2018 Entry Form

FASS 2018 Terms and Guidelines

FASS Category Definitions