“Flow of festivity” at Christmas concert

The lively Community Christmas Concert, on Sunday November 26, bursts with energy and surprises. The variety show’s lineup includes some special guests, several new performers, and the return of local audience favourites. “We want to create a flow of festivity from the lobby to the stage and back again, so the fun never stops,” explains co-producer Andrea Furlan. From ballet to belly dancers, cherubic carollers, country rock, jazzy singalongs, and a certain red suited gent with a belly laugh, the revue’s celebration of the season is delightfully fresh.

The stage show begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday November 26 at the Frank Venables Theatre. But the lobby activity starts much earlier. Arrive up to 45 minutes early to enjoy entertainment in the lobby. The Festival of Trees has its public opening that afternoon. Stroll with friends among the dazzling display and vote for your favourite Christmas tree. Sing along to seasonal melodies by a musical quartet in the lobby, featuring trumpet, violin, clarinet and piano.

The OES Children’s Choir kicks off the stage show at 2:30 with some jolly singing. Audience favourite Rebel Luv returns with some Christmas country rock. Expect Mikie and Ken to get folks clapping and tapping along. The toe-tapping continues with some lively numbers by Leah Moen’s Oliver Dance Studio. Dancers strut their stuff on the new Marley floor, courtesy of the Oliver Community Theatre Society. Catch your breath while JoAnn Turner recites some Christmas poetry. Then it’s a new twist on “Jingle Bells” with a jingly belly dance by Halawa (pictured).

During intermission, the lobby hums with more festivity: Aimee Grice provides background on vocals and guitar. And who’s that arriving with a “Ho Ho Ho”? Bring your cameras to capture the grand old elf himself!

Special guests from Ballet Kelowna (pictured), perform the lovely Arabian Dance from The Nutcracker to open the second half in style. Bluesy singer and pianist Bianca Berkland leads an audience singalong with her dad Noel accompanying on guitar. The Yamaha C3 grand piano gets a workout, courtesy of the South Okanagan Concert Society. Ringing in the season will be the Oliver Elementary Handbell Team. In a swirl of Victorian gowns and top hats, the Sage Valley Voices sing a stunning concluding set of carols, under the direction of Lori Martine. Santa is set to send all children home with bags of treats at the end of the concert. Prize-winning games and quizzes will entertain the kids during the show as well.

Admission is by cash donation. All cash proceeds go to the Oliver Food Bank. Goods for the Oliver Food Bank are also welcome.

The Community Christmas Concert is a co-presentation between the Oliver Community Arts Council and the Oliver Community Theatre Society.