Art Walk blossoms in Oliver’s downtown

Oliver’s arts community is ready to celebrate spring. The Wine Capital Art Walk blossoms with vibrant colours in the 6200 block of Main Street (between School and Bank Avenues) from Monday May 7 to Thursday May 10. Seasoned artists in the full bloom of their talent and some budding artists from Oliver’s schools will display and demonstrate their talents in many media.

Art walk events begin on Monday May 7, with ten artists painting wine barrels into colourful life for the silent auction. They will paint daily between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Monday to Thursday in the lot between Amore’s Pizza and OK Photo Lab. The participants span the artistic spectrum from SOSS graffiti artist Connor Kitt, to seasoned award-winners Marion Trimble, Lorraine Horn, and Katherine MacNeill. Two arts groups, The Painted Chair and CreateAbility, will feature the talents of differently-abled adults on their wine barrels. Visitors to the downtown are invited to stroll by to view the barrels in progress and place their silent bids. These one-of-a-kind barrels will make attractive show pieces for gardens, patios, and homes, and will be auctioned off at the conclusion of Thursday’s Art Walk. Bids start at $150. The sales benefit both the artists and arts organizers.

All week, shoppers will notice colourful footprints appearing on the sidewalks down the 6200 block. These identify the fifteen businesses that will host artists during the evening art walk on Thursday May 10 from 6 – 8 p.m. Drop in to any participating store during the week and pick up an Art Walk “passport”, which doubles as a draw ticket at Thursday’s event. Passports will also be available at the wine barrel auction site, and during the art walk itself.

The art celebration continues in earnest on Thursday May 10 at 6 p.m. Artwork in many media — photography, jewelry, wood carving, pottery, metalwork, fibre arts, acrylics, and digital art – will be on display and for sale at each participating business. Chat with some fascinating artists, and do a little shopping. Pick up a passport, have it stamped at each store listed, and enter the completed passport into the draw for a wine-and-dine gift basket.

The wine barrel auction heats up during the Thursday evening art walk, with silent bids accepted until 7:45 p.m.

To stimulate the palate, wine tastings will be available at OK Photo Lab and Baguette & Brioche Bakery, with beer and cider on offer at Beyond Bliss Esthetics. To satisfy more serious appetites, Gecko’s Grill, Amore’s Pizza, and Medici’s Gelateria will be open during the evening.

Performance art takes centre stage with Rebel Luv pumping out the pop tunes right on the sidewalk. Mikie Spillet will be sure to get the crowd singing and dancing to her vocals. Professional dancer Andrea Furlan will perform at Pur Zen, with other surprise performances in the works throughout the evening.

Arty Smarty teacher, Leza Macdonald, and Oliver Kiwanis will keep small hands busy during Thursday’s walk with some make-and-take art activities for children.

An information table in the centre of the block will be the place to grab an Art Walk passport, enter draws for several more prizes on display, and learn about upcoming arts events.

After the art walk winds down at 8 p.m., a Wine’d Up Party at Medici’s Gelateria keeps the excitement going for the next hour. Enjoy a sweet treat, and view the exhibit of artwork by the Oliver Sagebrushers. All the draw winners will be presented with their prizes. One lucky Art Walk passport holder will win a luxurious gift basket. The best bidders on the wine barrel auction can roll on home with their prizes.

The Wine Capital Art Walk is a partnership between the Oliver Community Arts Council, the Oliver Tourism and Oliver-Osoyoos Winery Associations, and downtown businesses, with sponsorship from the Town of Oliver and Oliver Kiwanis.

Heritage roots go deep

Oliver and District Heritage Society will be officially opening their new permanent exhibit “Deep Roots” with MP Richard Cannings and other dignitaries on May 16th 2018. “Deep Roots” is about Oliver and area’s history, culture, and identity, exploring themes such as geology, natural history, language, sports and recreation, agriculture, and transportation. The public are welcome to join us in this celebration at the Museum (474 School avenue) on Wednesday May 16th at 7:30 in the evening – immediately following our Annual General Meeting at 6:30 pm.

The evening will begin with our AGM in the council chambers at Town Hall. The meeting will adjourn by 7:15 and will join the public at 7:30 pm in front of the Museum for the ribbon cutting with our special guests, including Member of Parliament Richard Cannings. “Deep Roots” is a unique exhibition for a number of reasons: It’s been designed and constructed completely in-house, and features never-before seen local photos, artifacts, and historical documents. This exhibit features S’yilx captikwl (oral histories), and includes extensive N’Syilxcn terminology and pronunciation guides throughout. It will also be the only Museum in the province to have its complete exhibit translated into both Punjabi and French (coming later in 2018). There’s also an audio component; a dramatized radio broadcast show of actual historical events and newspapers advertisements from 1920-1945 Oliver, specially written and recorded by Peach City Radio for this exhibit.

The Heritage Garden will be nearing completion, pending cooperation of the temperamental spring weather. Visitors will still be able to enjoy the outdoor exhibits and view the Fairview Jail as well. The public will be able to enjoy Deep Roots with snacks, beverages, and plenty of good company in the evening until 9:30 pm. All are welcome to both to attend both the AGM and exhibit opening.

AGM — Oliver & District Heritage Society
When: Wednesday May 16 at 6:30 pm

Where: Town of Oliver Council Chambers

Who: ANYONE can attend, but you must be a member in good standing to vote.

Official Exhibit Opening —  “Deep Roots”

When: Wednesday May 16 at 7:30 pm

Where: Oliver Museum

Who:  Public is welcome!

Ribbon cutting with special guests including MP Richard Cannings.
Snacks and drinks provided.

The Fox Returns to Medici’s

We were so fortunate to have Lion Bear Fox come and play for us on their tour’s return home trip in March. If you were at Medici’s then, you experienced a truly magical night of vocal mastery and great musical skills. Their performances as individual and combined vocalists were eye-closingly delicious. We have managed to lure Ryan McMahon, The Fox, back for a One Night Only special show on Wednesday, May 28th. If you catch no other show this year, catch this one and your musical year will be replete.

Ryan McMahon is an incredibly talented vocalist, musician and entertainer. As a co-founder and arguably the most ‘out front’ of the 3 very ‘out front’ guys of Lion Bear Fox, he fills not only the stage but the whole auditorium wherever he plays. Lion Bear Fox is most likely the best band in BC these days and certainly the absolute best to ever play Oliver. Ryan McMahon has and has had a huge impact on the band’s success.

Ryan has carved out a 17-year career as an independent artist in Canada’s vibrant music scene. A genre fence sitter, hanging out on the edges of country just enough to say he isn’t; Ryan is both a whisper and a scream. He has toured Canada countless times, released four full-length albums, and seen his music licensed nationally and abroad. He’s been invited to a literal horde of music festivals and major award events and has garnered 3 wins (Male Vocalist, Record & Artist of the Year) at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.
In 2012, Ryan co-founded ‘Lion Bear Fox,’ with song-writing colleagues Cory Woodward & Christopher Arruda, and the band was immediately one of the Top Finalists for the 2013 Peak Performance Project in Vancouver.

In April of 2014, Showtime’s original series, “Californication” featured the single “I’ll Be Damned,” a song that was included on “Put Me Back Together,” which came out April of ’15. On September 8th, 2017, Ryan released an EP titled “Song Shelter Recordings,” created entirely at his home studio in Ladysmith, BC.

Legendary Canadian TV/Radio personality Terry David Mulligan may have summed up Ryan best: “The complete package. Singer. Songwriter. Performer. Troublemaker. Passionate human being. For me… priceless.”

Medici’s is privileged to offer limited tickets to an assigned seating presentation on Wednesday May 28th at $25 per person. Doors at 6:30 PM, We are licensed. We are the absolute best space and intimate atmosphere for your maximum immersion experience into music of this calibre.

We are at 522 Fairview Rd in Oliver. 250-498-2228. Tickets are already going fast. Get a move on! Get yours!

Be a concert “early bird”!

South Okanagan Concert Society 2018/2019 Series.
Friday, October 12, 2018 – Marc Atkinson Trio with Cameron Wilson
Friday, November 16, 2018 – Double Double Duo
Friday, February 15, 2019 – Duo Fortin-Poirier
Friday, March 29, 2019 – O-Celli

TICKETS: Early Bird Special!
Until May 31st, all 4 shows for only $76 ($19 ea)
After May 31st
2-4 shows – $21/show
Single show advance – $23
Door – $25
Student – $2.50

Tickets? Click Here: Venables Theatre Box Office 

Friday October 12 – 7:30

Marc Atkinson is one of Canada’s finest JUNO-nominated, Western Canadian award-winning musicians. He is the leader and composer of the internationally renowned Marc Atkinson Trio (and co-founder, composer and performer in the acclaimed, The Bills). Atkinson’s fiery but elegant guitar style, is infused with a catchy blend of influences while still maintaining the laidback humour and casual ‘good time feel’ of Canada’s West Coast. The music of this virtuosic group is melodically captivating, sensually charged and ferociously, technically awe-inspiring. Violinist Cameron Wilson is a composer and arranger whose works have been performed by numerous symphony orchestras and ensembles and soloists across Canada and the U.S.​

Friday November 16 – 7:30


Double-Double Duo is about much more than coffee; each duo member is a ‘double threat’ on two instruments: Kornel Wolak (clarinet / piano) and Michael Bridge (accordions / piano). Classically trained international soloists, they use comedy, virtuosity, and musical sensitivity to bring their broad repertoire to life. Wolak and Bridge began their collaboration in 2011. They have since performed across Canada for arts organizations as diverse as the music they play – from the Ontario Philharmonic to the Calgary Stampede. Actively touring in Poland, France, Ecuador, and across Canada, DDD performs their all- original arrangements of classical showpieces, sensitive jazz ballades, and fiery folk music from around the globe.

Friday February 15, 2019 – 7:30

Since their inception in 2005, Duo Fortin-Poirier have made waves both in Canada and abroad, garnering scholarships, prizes, and other distinctions. Very active on the North American scene, in 2008 they premiered Vingt doigts et un piano, the first classical concert to be chosen for Loto-Québec’s Entrées en Scène. Recently, the duo also performed at the 2015 Festival de Lanaudière,toured the Maritimes with Debut Atlantic in 2017, and presented their new concert Mémoires as part of a tour with Prairie Debut in 2016-17. Since then, they undertook a tour in the western US. Theirs albums, Vingt doigts et un piano (2013) and Mémoires (2017) are broadcast regularly on Espace Musique, ICI Radio-Canada Première, and Radio-classique.

Friday March 29, 2019 – 7:30

What can sound better than a cello? Eight cellos! Ô-Celli is a musical project, characterized by its originality and dynamic presentation, in the world of classical music. Since its creation in 2010, through the initiative of Sébastien Walnier (Principal Cello of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels) and Alexandre Beauvoir (chamber musician), these eight musicians never fail to share their passion for the extraordinary richness of their instrument. Ô-Celli has had the honor of performing for numerous European festivals. Most notably, the International Cello Festival in Beauvais, the Flâneries musicales de Reims, the Festival Sully sur Loire (France), Festival Musiq’3 (Belgian National classical radio station), and the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Belgium). 2017 was highlighted by Ô-Celli’s first international tour, performing from Ontario to Nova Scotia in Canada. In addition to this adventure they also broadened their horizons with concerts in Switzerland and Luxembourg.

University choir and bells in special concert

They are back with bells on! The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus and Hand Bell Ringers Concert comes to Oliver on Tuesday May 1st at the Oliver Alliance Church at 7:00 pm. Their fresh bright voices and muscular bell ringing delighted audiences a few years ago. The SOSS Enrichment Fund Society are happy to host them once more.

The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus (UAMC) is a non-profit, student-run organization at the University of Alberta. Every spring they embark on a week-long tour to share their music with communities across Canada. This is their 74th year of being a student group and their 74th year of doing the tour. In each town they visit, the choir  finds a community member to host and provide a venue for us to sing at in the evening. The set list for the concert features a range of choral music including classical arrangements, folk songs, and Broadway medleys. The concert also features the Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers, both in accompaniment to the choir and as a featured group. The concert tour is a celebration of music and the wide varieties it comes in. the choir is very excited to ring out a cheer in our town.

The choir of 50-60 participants will perform on the Tuesday evening and again for elementary students at Tuc El Nuit school the following morning. Says organizer Larry Shannon: “We are always hoping to entice students to witness the enjoyment of having music in their lives.” Check them out here:




Music in the air

The forsythia is in bloom.   The Lily of the Valley is sprouting.   Spring has come and “LOVE IS IN THE AIR”!

Sage Valley Voices community choir will be in full voice on Saturday, April 21st, at 7 pm and again Sunday, April 22nd at 2:30 pm.   The Spring concert will be at the Oliver United Church.   Tickets are only $12 (children under 12 free) and include refreshments and lots of socializing after the last notes fade away.  Donations to the food bank are always appreciated.

The ever capable Lori Martine will direct the choir while you can expect rhythms to make your heart race with Sandy Andres at the piano to provide accompaniment.    A whole program of love songs will bring back memories of special times.   Think “Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man”,  “You Send Me”, “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Yesterday”,  “The Rose” and many other favourites.  There will be a little bit of dancing, a lot of full choir singing,  some solo work and some numbers suited to the all male or all female choir. Stephen Hershey’s big smile and welcoming manner will put you at ease as he MCs the event.

Grandmothers for Africa Spring Bling 2018

Now is the time to gather your friends, have some fun while doing some good and head to Medici’s for Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa 4th annual Spring Bling. Its on Friday, April 27th from 10 am to 2 pm. You will find tables laden with fair trade jewellery, bling of every description, accessories, wine gift and carry bags, bowl buddies, lots of handicrafts made locally and also made by self help groups in Africa, and home and garden items. Spring is in the air!

Oliver’s Grandmothers for Africa are really fired up this year after hearing from a Kamloops Grannie just recently returned from Uganda and Tanzania. Mary Baker saw first hand the work we support through the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Grandmothers carrying the full weight of the HIV/AIDS pandemic feel truly supported in solidarity and shared purpose with the Grandmother to Grandmother movement pioneered by the Foundation.

Unlike many other charitable organizations where money is dished out to ‘those poor people’, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers model is much different.

African Grandmothers have a strong say in what is needed in their home communities and they plan together how to reach their goals.   They feel equal and able whether it is in developing small loan groups, food security plans, or approaching their own governments to lobby for much needed health care services.

These women know how difficult it is for young girls to stay in school and not be married off in their early teens.   They know what is needed to make a difference and the Stephen Lewis Foundation not only provides organizational expertise, it listens and invests resources directly at a grass roots level. It sounds simple enough but it makes all the difference to African Grandmothers and they are very quick to voice appreciation.   Increasingly we see them moving into leadership positions and hammering out an agenda for positive change.

Mary showed pictures when 200 Tanzanian grandmothers plus grandmothers like herself from Canada, Australia, the UK and the USA paraded and danced through the streets at Arusha to make history.   They called on the international community to support them in advancing their cause.   They called on their own government to protect them, listen to them, give them opportunities.   They are demanding a seat at the table where decisions and policies are made that affect them and the multitude of children in their care.

Come to Medici’s on Friday, April 27th and be part of the solution. We need each other!

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.