Nashville comes to Oliver

Andi Zack-Johnson and Ken Johnson return from Nashville! These singer-songwriters are booked for Friday May 31 at Medici’s Gelateria & Coffee House. Get your tickets soon because they are as HOT as southern fried chicken. Only $25! 522 Fairview Road, Oliver 250-498-2228

Andi and Ken have penned hits for many country pop artists including Harry Connick Jr., Brothers Osborne, Vince Gill with Jenny Gill, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Craig Morgan, Chris Janson, Mike Plume Band and Uncle Kracker.

The couple has collaborated with many artists including members of Cheap Trick, Matchbox 20, Lynyrd Skynyrd, NRBQ and Aerosmith and more.

They’ve also starred on the hit CMT show I Love Kellie Pickler, produced by Ryan Seacrest, for three years, and have appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Harry (Connick Jr.) Show, Fox and Friends and Good Morning America.

Whew! Whatcha waitin’ for?

Blue Hearts sing the blues

Hank Lionhart and the Blue Hearts will be performing at Medici’s Gelateria and Coffeehouse in Oliver, on Wednesday May 22 at 7 p.m.

Mark Comerford (guitar, percussion, vocals) and Hank Lionhart (vocals) are both members of RCA recording artists, Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band who have performed all over Western Canada for the past 4 years since their reforming of the band. Newest member of the Blue Hearts is founding member of the Powder Blues Band Jack Lavin on bass. Jack is a terrific song writer and vocalist as well as an amazing bass player.

Mark Comerford and Hank Lionhart have been performing and recording the blues for more than 40 years, with each other and in other Blues bands. They have opened shows for Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker and more recently for Burton Cummings. In 2015, they were privileged to represent BC at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Tennesee with Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. In 2016, they represented BC in the Solo/Duo category where they made it to the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge. This was followed by the release of their debut album Pumpin Out The Blues and performances across BC and Alberta, such as the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Island Folk Festival, and 39 Days of July. and they are representing BC again this coming January 2019 in Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.

The Blue Hearts play original songs in a traditional style staying true to the Blues. Tickets are $20, available at Medici’s on 522 Fairview Road, Oliver. 250-498-2228 Get your tickets soon, before they disappear!

Witness the birth of dance – FREE

Shay Kuebler Radical System Art presents
EPILOGOS – Creative Residency

May 19 – May 24
FREE performance!!!
Friday May 24
5:00 p.m.

Venables Theatre
Coming to Oliver from May 19th to May 24th is an exciting and innovating way to promote contemporary dance in our community. Venables Theatre will be hosting a creative residency with Shay Kuebler Radical System Art. What does that mean? It means that a professional dance company from Vancouver will be taking over our theatre and our town to create their newest work EPILOGOS before heading out on a national tour.

While the technical crew take over the theatre every morning to develop the lighting, projection and sound for EPILOGOS, the dance company will be at Plass, the new community studio at 6570 Park Drive. Dance professionals and teachers from throughout the Okanagan have been invited to drop-in for these 90 minute morning class, Monday – Friday starting at 11.

On Monday evening, Plass is also partnering on a community Master Class for advanced dance students in the area and on Wednesday there’s an event at River Stone Winery for their members.

Local visual artists and photographers are also invited to attend some of the afternoon on-stage rehearsals in the theatre to sketch the dancers and capture photographs of this new dance piece in development.

Creative Residency Schedule is found here: EPILOGOS

​The creative residency culminates on Friday May 24th at 5:00 pm with a dress rehearsal to give our local audience a sneak peek of the performance. Admission is free of charge and open to the everyone.

Get your yuk-yuks at Firehall

This Thursday is stand-up comedy night at the Firehall Brewery. Who is Brittany Lyseng? Hailing from Calgary, Brittany has performed at the Just For Laughs Festival in Vancouver, Toronto and, Montreal. She is currently listed as one of the top eight comedians in Canada after placing in the Sirius XM Canada’s Top Comic last fall. Joining Brittany are host Andrew Verge and comedians Kate Belton and Andrew Crone.

Thursday May 16
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Firehall Brewery
6077 Main St. Oliver

Bruce is Boss at the Venables

A tribute to Bruce Springsteen will have the audience dancing in dark in the Venables Theatre on Saturday May 25.

“Boss” Tom O’Leary fronts Canada’s premier Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band tribute act. Bruce’s working-class anthems take centre stage: “Born to Run”, “Glory Days”, “Fire”, “Blinded by the Light”, “Hungry Heart”, “Born in the U.S.A.”, “Brilliant Disguise” and yes, “Dancing in the Dark”. Songs of loss, hope, desperation, exaltation, youthful vigour and the grittiness of life’s hard-fought battles. Anyone coming of age in the last quarter of the 20th century had the Boss as the soundtrack to their life’s key moments.

Tom O’Leary and his band honour Bruce with an energetic show that captures the essence of the man and his music. As a special bonus, Oliver local, and Nashville singer/songwriter Kristi Neumann will open for The Boss.

“The Boss — a Tribute to Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band” perform on Saturday May 25 at the Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala Street. Tickets are $35 and available at box office, by phone at 250-498-1626 or online at or below:

A tuneful “tonic” from Tim Tamashiro

“Tim Tam” Tamashiro is all about accentuating the positive. His laid-back jazzy vocals lift your spirits. His stories are told in a warm and engaging style. And his wide grin invites everyone to smile. On Wednesday May 29, settle back for an evening of retro jazz tunes and tales with “When You’re Smiling” at the Venables Theatre at 7:30 p.m. We dare you not to sing along to “High Hopes” , “Candy Man” “I Get a Kick from Champagne” and “That’s Amore”.

Vocalist Tim Tamashiro is joined by his jazz trio performing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. You might know them as The Rat Pack but in their day when they were planning a party they called themselves “The Summit”. Together they really were the pinnacle of entertainment.

Tim combines his story-telling skills (honed on his CBC 2 radio jazz program, “Tonic”) with his career as a jazz vocalist, and brings them together for an evening of Rat Pack tales and song. It promises a cool cocktail mix of their Vegas lifestyle, behind-the-scenes buddy stories, naughty hi-jinks, lots of laughs, and of course, the unforgettable songs of the mid-century jazz scene. Think of it like The Vinyl Cafe with a jazz band.

Seats are just $37.50. ​Groups of 10 or more $30 (Use promo code GROUP or call the box office at 250-498-1626)​ Purchase your tickets by phone or by visiting

Art runs rampant on Station St.

Art runs rampant next weekend during the Wine Capital Art Walk, on what is becoming Oliver’s funkiest little street. From a beatnik bistro at the Oliver Legion at the north end of Station Street, to a hip artisan market at Oliver Eats near the south end, Oliver’s arts community will be “busting out all over”.

The Wine Capital Art Walk big event is a street festival on the afternoon of Saturday May 11 from 1- 4 pm. However, the area around the Oliver Library gets a head start on the art, 10 am – 4 pm from Tuesday May 7 – Friday May 10. Visitors can view wine barrel artists at work all week long, and place their earlybird bids at the silent auction, just north of the library. Inside the library, an SOSS student art exhibit gets underway during the week.

The wine barrel silent auction features work by such artists as Marion Trimble, Painted Chair artists Rachel Allenbrand and Robert Lacasse, Lorraine Gibson, Tiffany Beckedorf, CreateAbility artists, Ava Grice, and Little Wonders Daycare. The decorated barrels have been a hot commodity each year. These one-of-a-kind barrels make attractive show pieces for gardens, patios, businesses, and homes. Bids start at $150 and are accepted in person at the art walk, and has already opened online. OliverCAC @ or @Oliverartscouncil on Facebook. Bidding ends at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday May 11. The wine barrel auction revs up with competitive bidding that afternoon. A capped bid of $800 can buy a barrel outright at any time. Winners will need to prepare to drive (or roll) away with their wine barrel on the Saturday.

Saturday’s festival features more than a dozen artists displaying their artwork in many media — photography, jewelry, wood carving, fibre arts, 3-D, acrylics and oils. Follow the chalk footprints into Maker Place, Oliver Library, Beyond Bliss, Oliver Laundromat, S.O Physiotherapy Centre, and Oliver Eats. A chainsaw sculpting demonstration takes place next to the Oliver Food Bank, which will open to receive food donations. Chat with some fascinating artisans, and do a little shopping. Pick up a “Passport to Art” at participating locations, have artists initial it, and enter the completed passport into the draw for a wine-and-theatre gift basket or a children’s art bag.

Children join in on the creativity at the Kids’ Art station beside Maker Place: cork crafts transform the humble bottle stopper into brooches, tie pins, key rings, and other make-and-take projects. Across the street at the library, high school students exhibit their latest SOSS art projects.

Live dance music by Diane Ball and Cindy Doucette will have patrons swaying to the beat in the parking lots at Beyond Bliss and Oliver Library. The Dance Studio in Oliver is preparing a colourful routine for audiences who prefer to leave dancing to the truly talented.

There will be no shortage of food and drink at the Wine Capital Art Walk. Wine tastings are served at Maker Place and S.O Physiotherapy; and the Firehall Brewery pours at Beyond Bliss. For big appetites, Oliver Eats will serve up lunch fare, and food trucks will park at both ends of Station Street. The Oliver Legion Hall (Main St entrance) opens its doors to all ages from 3 – 5 p.m. for appetizers and arts-inspired cocktails. Sip Van Gogh’s Vodka Sunset or the non-alcoholic Picasso’s Punch.

An information booth at the corner of Station and Fairview will issue Passports to Art, answer questions about art walk activities, and advertise upcoming arts events.
As the art walk winds down at 4 p.m. the Wine’d Up Party cranks up the energy. From 4 – 5 p.m. at the Oliver Legion Hall, participants enjoy light refreshments and cheer the winners of the barrels and passport draws.

The Wine Capital Art Walk is presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council, with the sponsorship of Kiwanis Club of Oliver, the Town of Oliver, Oliver Parks and Recreation and the Oliver-Osoyoos Winery Association, and the support of Station Street businesses.

Oliver knows how to grow big talent, if local youth are anything to go by. Young performers all get their start under the tutelage of great local teachers.  On the evening of Wednesday May 1, some of Oliver’s classy youth take centre stage at Showcase of Talent in the Venables Theatre atrium. Music students will perform selections from recent Kiwanis Festival competitions, highlights from musical theatre, and recital pieces from their studies.  Their repertoire is wide-ranging: not just classical. All performers will be acknowledged with bursaries to assist with their music education. Many Showcase “graduates” have continued performing as adults, even professionally. Meet the performers at the reception following:  autographs are welcome!

The students play the Petrof grand piano, a memorial to local music teacher Agnes Sutherland. The intimate setting has warm acoustics, with the sound floating to the mezzanine above.  Evening views from the rotunda windows add visual beauty to the beautiful sound.

Showcase of Talent begins at 7:00 p.m. Admission is by donation. Refreshments will be served.

Showcase of Talent is sponsored by Oliver Kiwanis, and presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council.

Land + a plan + plants = Action!

Over the years the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre has had several major upgrades: insulated bay doors, new lighting, kitchen cabinetry, an accessible washroom, and several coats of paint applied to the smaller Studio Building. Most recently, radiant heat was installed in the Big Blue Building, home of SOAP Theatre. Now it’s time for a facelift outside.

Beginning last spring, a landscape committee has been tasked with planning for driveway signage and xeriscaped beds along the street frontage. On the planning team are four OCAC Board members: Caroline Whyte (landscape designer), Janet Bednarczyk, Bertie Barens, and Penelope Johnson. They have given careful consideration to the placement and illumination of a sign (to identify the property to traffic), and the colourful plants and hardscaping that will reflect elements of the arts council logo.

Plants will include the grasses: feather reeds and blue oat grass, flowers such as day lilies, salvia, iris, and succulents and cacti like hens and chicks and prickly pear. Drought-tolerant shrubs and trees have been selected with care. The committee selected slow-growing, weeping, or dwarf varieties: barberries, potentilla, kinnickkinnick, oregon grape, evergreen shrubs (juniper, spruce and pine) and deciduous maple and dogwood.

A “Quail’s Nest Arts Centre” sign will be illuminated with solar lighting. The design also includes the physical address, the quail logo, and the arts council name. It will be placed parallel to the south side of the driveway, visible from both traffic directions.

The landscape committee now seeks a team of “hardy perennials” to help install a beautiful new garden in front of the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre. Landscape plan posted on our website. We already have machinery + labour for the major prep work and for installing the new sign. The committee needs many willing hands to assist them with: laying landscape fabric, mulch, and plantings. We also need a few trailers and trucks for a short haul of gravel and river rock. The garden will be installed mid-May to mid-June. Dates & times are flexible — determined by the team. Come learn some great landscaping tips, as well as socializing, and yes, some exercise!

Contact to join in! We’ll schedule specific dates with the whole landscaping crew.

Heritage AGM on May 8th

The Oliver and District Heritage Society holds its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday May 8 at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre.

Longtime Oliver resident Yvonne Moore (below) will provide an informal talk entitled “School Days at Testalinda & Oliver School Memories” about her experiences growing up and attending the Testalinda Creek, Oliver Elementary, and Southern Okanagan High Schools.

The talk will begin after the business portion of the meeting, accompanied by refreshments and a photo slideshow of local schools. Yvonne’s stories of herself, her siblings and her friends are sure to educate and entertain. After the talk, we’ll open the floor for your own reminiscences about schooling in Oliver.

Yvonne Moore was born and raised in Oliver and briefly lived in Victoria before returning to the South Okanagan. Her father Frank Venables was school board chair. She worked as a telephone operator at the Oliver Exchange and as a homemaker while raising 6 children. She graduated in 1952.

The AGM will take place May 8th at 7:00 pm at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre at 5840 Airport Street, Oliver. All are welcome to attend.

Picture of Yvonne Moore at the former site of the Testalinda School, erected in 1927.

Texassippi soul chases away blues

Long been referred to as the Real Deal, mixing Southern Soul, Americana, Blues and Gospel, Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi are back at Medici’s. Tickets available at Medicis in Oliver.

“Listening to Danny Brooks is like driving out of Memphis, Tennessee on a sunny Saturday morning into the Mississippi Delta listening to WDIA. It’s one of those things where time stands still. A dash of Eddie Hinton, Solomon Burke, Rev. James Cleveland and Howlin’ Wolf are all ingredients in Danny’s soulful musical stew,” states Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters. Maybe Greg Quill, noted musician and arts writer for the Toronto Star, sums it up the best: “This is Roots music of great distinction.”

After years of honing his writing and performing skills in Canada, picking up nominations and awards along the way, Brooks is at home in the Texas music scene and traveling throughout the USA. He is recognized as a prolific writer and dynamic live performer, and is constantly on the road. Making Llano Texas his home (just west of Austin), ‘Texassippi Soul Man’ Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi released their second ‘Texas’ studio recording ‘This World Is Not Your Friend’, back in January of 2015, and currently working on CD # 12 and their 3rd CD (together) ‘Where Will You Stand’ and will be doing more recording in Muscle Shoals later this year. Look for a late 2019 or early 2020 release. Title Song ‘Where Will You Stand’ was praised by NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest as an Americana Anthem.

Brooks has worked with legendary producers Jim Dickinson on ‘It’s A Southern Thing’ which received high priase from Cub Coda (Smokin’ In The Boys’ Room/All Music Guide), Johnny Sandlin, (Capricorn Records Producer) on ‘No Easy Way Out’, that featured the legendary Muscle Shoals musicians; David Hood, Spooner Oldham, Bonnie Bramlett. Frazer Mohawk (Elekra) and Bassist Tim Drummond (Bob Dylan/Neil Young/James Brown) referred to Brooks as the real deal on Northern Blue’s Recording ‘Saved! The Northern Blues Gospel Allstars’. On the first two Soulsville recordings, Brooks credits Richard Bell, (Janice Joplin/The Band/Colin Linden) who produced and played keyboards as preparing him for the world stage. It should be noted that Louis X. Erlanger (Mink DeVille guitarist) produced “Texassippi Soul Man”.

‘Texassippi Soul Man’ Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi have been touring constantly these past 10 years, promoting and building their reputation throughout North America. As a duo, they make a good racket on assorted guitars/stomp-board/harp-rack/cajon/percussion and singing with all their might. They prefer driving as they can carry all their own gear and PA System. As situations dictate, they perform with both Canadian and American bands. Info on the Canadian and American bands is available on the website. Their duo live show has drawn comparisons to White Stripes/Black Keys/Keb Mo/Allman Bros. and North Mississippi All-stars.

Dazzling artistry from Brazil

Friday May 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Family ShowTime Series

Axé Capoeira (pronounced AH-shay capoh-AYrah) has performed worldwide since its conception in Brazil, making its Canadian debut at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival in 1990. Featuring traditional capoeira music as well as upbeat Brazilian vocals and instrumentals, performances showcase professional capoeiristas and dancers at the height of their skill. With exciting choreographed dances, internationally acclaimed capoeira, high-flying acrobatics, invigorating music and dazzling costumes, Axé Capoeira performances have enthralled audiences of all ages and sizes in thousands of schools, festivals, and theatres across the globe.

​​TICKETS: $12.50