Top of the trees!

Woo-hoo! We won! Yes,the Oliver Community Arts Council tree placed first in public voting at the Festival of Trees display at the Frank Venables Theatre. Congratulations Tree Team! And thank you to all voters who donated to the BC Children’s Hospital. Read on for more information from co-ordinator OOWA:

Osoyoos Wine Association’s Festival of Trees has come and gone but its legacy continues, with the event raising $5,513.20 for the BC Children’s Hospital and an additional $1,783 for the South Okanagan Children’s Charity.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to give back and remember what the holidays are really about,” explains Executive Director, Jennifer Busmann. “This is why we hold the Festival of the Trees so close to our hearts and we’re absolutely delighted to hear how much we’ve raised for such deserving causes.”

Twenty-four trees were decorated by local businesses and displayed in three locations within the Oliver and Osoyoos communities: Nk’Mip Cellars, Watermark Beach Resort and Frank Venables Theatre Lobby. With a suggested minimum donation of $2 per person, visitors were encouraged to vote for their favorite tree. Winners of the public vote were: Oliver Community Arts Council in first place; River Stone Estate Winery in second; and Levia Wellness Spa in third.

A silent auction also took place to benefit the South Okanagan Children’s Charity’s Sunshine Fund, which helps local families with sick children experiencing financial hardship due to medical expenses.

All Festival of Trees donations go directly towards the BC Children’s Hospital’s The Excellence in Child Health Fund, which supports research, required equipment, and vital programs at BC Children’s Hospital, as well as Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Started in Vancouver 30 years ago to raise funds for the BC Children’s Hospital, the Festival has since grown to include many other towns and cities across the province.

To learn more about Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country and their year round events program, visit

Beauty to be found at “Finding Beauty”

The SOSS Senior Photography exhibit: “Finding Beauty: Life in a Small Town” attracted a crowd of impressed parents and shutterbugs on Thursday January 18.

SOSS art teacher Lindsey McVicar presented her class with two major photography projects during the fall semester. One, an autumn expedition, paired senior students with kindergarteners. The seniors took portraits of their small companions, and the kindergarten keeners snapped colourful landscapes, close-ups and whimsical shots. In the winter project, the high school photography class was given a mission to find ugly, decrepit, and bleak scenes around Oliver, and by using photographic techniques such as perspective and contrast, find something beautiful they could capture in their image.

The exhibit continues at the Leza Macdonald Gallery until the middle of February.

Abby Teigen is happy with this photograph she took as part of the “Finding Beauty” project

Jaxon Ede stands tall beside his joint photography project with Abby Teigen

Teigens tour the Leza Macdonald Gallery: Candice Methven, Abby Teigen, Andy Teigen, Chad Teigen, and Alesha Suboti

Use your Passport without leaving town

Ballet Kelowna returns to the Frank Venables Theatre with an evening of exciting contemporary ballet entitled “Elles – Extraordinary Dance Created by Women “.
In recent years, Ballet Kelowna has captivated audiences with “150 Moves”, “Renaissance”, and most recently an excerpt from “The Nutcracker” at OCAC’s Community Christmas Concert. Now Ballet Kelowna is sure to delight newcomers and ballet lovers alike, delivering four striking new pieces choreographed with the creative perspectives of women.

Ballet Kelowna presents dance from Canada’s finest choreographers and embraces the precision and elegance of ballet technique. The company creates original new works that intrigue and engage today’s diverse audiences.

“Elles – Extraordinary Dance Created by Women” is part of Frank Venables Theatre’s Passport to Dance series, offering discounts when purchasing two evenings of dance:  Ballet Kelowna’s ELLES on Tuesday February 6th AND Flamenco Rosario’s LA MONARCA on Monday April 9th. Passport to Dance details

Ballet Kelowna takes the stage with “Elles – Extraordinary Dance Created by Women” Tuesday February 6th at 7:00 at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd.) Oliver is becoming a dance town and these highly sought after tickets are now available. Visit or the Theatre Box Office Tuesday – Thursday from 10 – 3 for tickets and more information.

Small town life in the lens

“Finding Beauty- Life in a Small Town”

Leza Macdonald Art Gallery
Beyond Bliss
Thursday January 18

6 pm – 8 pm
Admission is free

The senior photography students of SOSS toured as a class around Oliver, taking unique photos of structures, alleys, and objects. The goal was to create a show that told a story about living in the small town of Oliver, and to make the run-down areas of our town into beautiful, attractive works of art. It is a chance to see the hidden beauty of Oliver. Also on display – our photography 11/12 collaboration with Mrs. Chenier’s Kindergarten class from OES.

Old Love: romantic comedy onstage soon

“I used to have a plan,” Molly tells Bud the first time they meet.  25 years later, Molly finds herself a widowed empty nester, and still without a plan. Bud, however, has a plan that includes both of them, and has had 2 1/2 decades to mull over his inextinguishable longing for a woman he only met briefly three times.

Much to Molly’s dismay, Bud relentlessly pursues her, starting with an awkwardly amusing interaction at her late husband’s graveside on the day of the funeral.  She is determined to rebuff him and live out her days alone, feeling that she is “too old’ for love and romance. Bud is adamant about breaking down her walls and relighting her passion for life and love with the flame he has been holding for her all these years.

Through a series of endearingly awkward encounters, both present and past, Old Love’s characters will force the audience to face issues of infidelity, divorce, bucking the status quo, and what it means to really be alive.

Come fall in love all over again!

The story spans 30 years and half a dozen meetings between Bud, a salesman, and Molly, his boss’s wife. One of them is smitten from the very first meeting – the other, let’s just say – less so. The play moves forward and back through their sporadic encounters, mostly manufactured by Bud, with each character baring their heart and soul to the other in poignant monologues.

​Canada’s preeminent comic playwright, Norm Foster, has written a clever and witty dialogue celebrating the pursuit of love, the kind of love that ‘makes you breathe just a little bit faster.’ Charmingly written, Foster’s use of one-liner’s serve the script well and has the audience smiling, chuckling and laughing throughout the play.

Show Times:
Frank Venables Theatre – Oliver
Friday Evening, February 2 at 7:30 pm
Saturday Matinee, February 3 at 2:00 pm
Saturday Evening, February 3 at 7:30 pm

OSS Theatre – Osoyoos
Friday Evening, February 9 at 7:30 pm
Saturday Evening, February 10 at 7:30 pm

Tickets for both Oliver and Osoyoos are available through the Venables Theatre Box Office and online. Visit for tickets. Visit SOAP Theatre’s website for more details. 

Cheng Duo “squared”, not at all “square”!

On Friday, January 19th a truly remarkable duo formed by 20 year old cellist Bryan Cheng and his sister, pianist Silvie Cheng will demonstrate their “virtuoso fireworks” and “impeccable technique” at 7:30 pm on the Frank Venables Theatre stage. Known as the Cheng2 Duo (pronounced Cheng Squared Duo) they will present a program called Russian Soul that features Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff. Bryan believes that music is like a layer of glue that holds human spirits together. He and his sister make this easy to believe.

The dynamic siblings, named one of CBC Music’s “30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30” have quickly become an audience favourite wherever they perform. The obvious affection between the two who have made music together for the past 14 years extends into the music itself. It is hardly surprising they have established a reputation for being invited to return engagements at prestigious venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Your entry to a magical winter evening of superb music can be secured by obtaining tickets online or at the theatre box office Tuesday – Thursday between 10 am and 3 pm. Buy any 2 or 3 tickets in advance for $21/ticket. An advance single ticket is $23 and a single ticket at the door the evening of the concert is $25. Children and Youth are $2.50. If you come early (6:15) you can enjoy hearing local music students play in the theatre foyer.

Silvie and Bryan are quintessentially Canadian. Silvie describes their background as international as do so many Canadians. Born in Tokyo, Japan, she moved to Ottawa as an infant with her parents who are of Chinese heritage. Bryan, 7 years younger, was born and raised in Ottawa too. Both are multi lingual. Silvie now lives in New York where she performs and also uses advanced video conferencing technology to give weekly lessons to students around the world. Bryan lives in Berlin where he studies music in German and performs worldwide. Silvie remarks, “We are proud Canadians wherever we go.”

Surprisingly the siblings, despite living now on different continents, manage to see each other every few weeks. Nonetheless, the present 8 weeks of touring in B.C. and Ontario is a luxury of time together for the two.

Bryan was mentored from age 8 by Yuli Turovsky, a famed cellist from Moscow who moved to Canada in 1976. At Turovsky’s funeral in 2013, Bryan explained that Turovsky “didn’t want an average cellist”. He had Bryan make his orchestral debut when he was 8 years old. Bryan says, he (Turovsky) told me not to lose my artistic side; for him playing music with your whole heart was important.” Bryan will bring that perspective to the program of Russian music on January 19th. Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to peek into the Russian soul and to do it with two amazing young Canadians already recognized for their mature impassioned musicianship.

WOW Trade Show: book your table!

An exciting 25th Anniversary for the annual Mainly for Women Trade Show is coming up on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Oliver Community Centre Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This show is a major fundraiser for the Women of Oliver for Women (WOW). All monies raised work “to enhance the lives of women and children in our Community and beyond” including bursaries to help disadvantaged women return to post-secondary education and enhance their careers. These empowering projects are what give the trade show its name. The trade show, however, has something for everyone: men, women and children.

The Trade Show hosts 55 and more vendors bringing a spectacular array of products to view and purchase. A sampling might include healthcare, arts and crafts, fashion jewelry, hair care, preserves, clothing, insurance, real estate, home care products and much much more.

Admission is free! Refreshments are also available from the kitchen to enjoy with family and friends.

Want to be a vendor? $50 gets you a table. Download the information package and application here:

WOW Trade-Show-Info-Sheet 2018

WOW Trade-Show-Entry Form 2018

Deadline for vendor entry forms and payment is February 7th.

Info: Sally Franks, 250-498-0104

Fibre show is fantastic – and ekphrastic

Local quilter Marianne Parsons and fabric artist Janet Bednarczyk appear in this upcoming exhibit at the Peachland Art Gallery. The show, Ekphrastic, is features quilts based on 10 Canadian poets with 4 quilts for each poet. There is an opening reception Saturday January 13th from 12 noon – 3 pm at the art gallery with many artists in attendance. So what is “ekphrastic”? Seethe Wikipedia explanation below…

Ekphrasis, from the Greek for the description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic, is a vivid, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined. In ancient times, it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek words for ‘out’ and ‘speak’ , and the verb ekphrázein, “to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name”.

According to the Poetry Foundation, “an ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art.”[2] More generally, an ekphrastic poem is a poem inspired or stimulated by a work of art.

Ekphrasis has been considered generally to be a rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form, and in doing so, relate more directly to the audience, through its illuminative liveliness. A descriptive work of prose or poetry, a film, or even a photograph may thus highlight through its rhetorical vividness what is happening, or what is shown in, say, any of the visual arts, and in doing so, may enhance the original art and so take on a life of its own through its brilliant description. One example is a painting of a sculpture: the painting is “telling the story of” the sculpture, and so becoming a storyteller, as well as a story (work of art) itself. Virtually any type of artistic medium may be the actor of, or subject of ekphrasis.

In this way, a painting may represent a sculpture, and vice versa; a poem portray a picture; a sculpture depict a heroine of a novel; in fact, given the right circumstances, any art may describe any other art, especially if a rhetorical element, standing for the sentiments of the artist when she/he created her/his work, is present.

Frank Venables Theatre recipient of Canada Cultural Spaces Grant

The Frank Venables Theatre, operated by the Oliver Community Theatre Society, is very pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Government of Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.

The grant has gone towards acquiring specialised equipment to enhance and upgrade the theatre. The funds received covered in part the purchase of a synthetic Marley dance floor, condenser microphones and twelve LED light fixtures.

The Marley dance floor provides a safe, non-slip surface suitable for all genres of dance. It also protects the stage from damage caused by tap shoes or rosin for ballet pointe shoes. Having a Marley floor makes the theatre more attractive to renters as they no longer have to provide their own, saving time and labour.

The condenser microphones have been installed over the stage. The purpose of the microphones is to captures acoustic instruments and un-amplified voices and feed them into the sound board in the control booth, where the sound from the stage can be enhanced if required for all patrons, and be sent into the existing hearing loop system for broadcast to patrons who use hearing aids. 

 The twelve light fixtures are now available to be used as “side lights” to light the stage from the wings or as extras on stage. These lights offer designers increased options and flexibility, and provide an ease of use as lights do not have to be removed from the existing lighting grid.

The Frank Venables Theatre is a modern, fully-equipped community theatre available for rent for a wide range of performing arts activities from dance and music, to theatre, children’s events and community activities. With its spacious lobby and ample stage, the theatre boasts sophisticated lighting and audio systems. We are proud to welcome groups from within the Okanagan and around the globe. The theatre opened in 2014, literally rising out of the ashes of the historic art-deco style Venables Auditorium which burned to the ground in the fall of 2011. With 400 seats and state-of-the-art theatrical equipment, Frank Venables Theatre is the premier performing arts facility of the South Okanagan.

In memory

In loving memory of

Marie Evelyn New (nee Evans)

October 8, 1923 – December 7, 2017

Evie was born in New Westminster, moving to Oliver at the age of three with her pioneer family in 1926. They settled on a ten acre farm west of the Town.

Evie attended school becoming very involved in sports, later to become an avid golfer and bowler.

Evie married Wheeler New, April 10, 1941. Both enlisted in the Army. Wheeler was sent overseas, Evie became an office clerk in Victoria. After leaving the army they lived in several locations in the Rock Creek, Mabel Lake areas. When they returned to Oliver in the sixties, Evie worked for the High School while Wheeler became a school bus driver.

Evie started painting with her mother Georgiana in the 1950s and became an accomplished artist. Evie has been a member of the Oliver Art Club (Oliver Sagebrushers) and the Oliver Community Arts Council for many years. As well as attending numerous workshops she also instructed, her forte being Pastel Portraits and Watercolor Flowers. Her paintings may be seen in many homes and businesses. Her passion for art kept her painting until now at 94.

Evie became an honored member of the Elks Royal Purple, a long time member of the Oliver Legion, and the Oliver Senior’s Center. She and Wheeler spent many years coaching bowling. She was a member of the Fairview Golf Course and later the NK’MIP Canyon Golf Course. Her home is decorated with many trophies from both sports. Bridge and Bingo were also favorite pastimes.

Evie (L), Agnes (C) and Sally (R)

Evie was predeceased by her husband Wheeler, Father David Evans, mother Georgiana Evans, sisters Agnes Sutherland, Esther Dawson, and brothers Tom Evans and Clark Evans.

Evie will be deeply missed by her brother David Evans, and sister Olive Barrett, nieces Sally Franks, Leslie Potter, Linda Payne, Teresa Sommerville, Judy Harpur. Mary Wills, Peggy Lindgren, Gloria Crookes, Lorraine Anderson, Corrine Jones, Barb Evans, and Rene Sutherland, nephews Fraser, David and John Sutherland, Andy and Mark Evans, Rob Evans, and Wade Kohl. The Ackerman family, Eddie, Eileen. Alma , Muriel and Jean.

Aunt Evie was great aunt to many and loved by all. Her greatest desire was to be able to remain in her own home as long as possible, this was made possible by Linda who lived with her this past year and her niece Sally whom she called her “Manager.” Her delight was to spend time on the Ranch with Judy and golf with her nieces. Cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska with her nieces and their spouses were very special times for her.

Thanks to Dr.Yves Thomas and the awesome, compassionate nursing staff for making her life as fulfilled as possible.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Heart and Stroke or the charity of your choice.

A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday December 16, 2017 at the Oliver Legion Hall.

Condolences and tributes may be directed to

Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Services& Cremation, Oliver Osoyoos.

At the end of life what really matters is not what we built;

not what we shared;

not our competence;

but our character;

and not our success, but our significance.

Live a life that matters.

Live a life of love.

Your Passport to Dance

Two spectacular evenings of dance await audiences this season when the Frank Venables Theatre continues its annual series of local, national and international dance. Each year professional artists and their companies are invited to Oliver to present a range of dance styles from classical to contemporary, cultural to fusion.

This year’s Passport to Dance travels from Mexico to Spain then back to Canada with the renowned Flamenco Rosario. Share these artists’ passion for flamenco’s raw, emotional power and disciplined musicality. Their newest work, “La Monarca – The Monarch and the Butterfly Effect” is described as emergent, beautiful and unexpected.

The celebrated Okanagan dance company Ballet Kelowna returns this year with four stunning new works by four female choreographers. The evening, entitled “Elles – Extraordinary Dance created by Women” demonstrates Ballet Kelowna’s continuing success in encouraging, promoting, and developing Canadian dancers and choreographers.

This season’s Passport to Dance makes a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer. Passports offer tickets to both dance performances for only $20 for students and children, while adult passports cost $55. That’s a 40% discount over the door price for young people and over 20% for adults.

On Tuesday February 6th Ballet Kelowna will deliver the very best of contemporary ballet while Flamenco Rosario, with their mix of authentically traditional and contemporary dance, arrive on Oliver’s Frank Venables stage on Monday April 9th.

The Passport to Dance is available at or through the box office Tuesday thru Thursday, 10 am to 3 pm. Drop by or call 250-498-1626. The box office is in the theatre lobby at 6100 Gala Street, on the corner of Fairview Road, Oliver.

Take a voyage into the performing arts with the Venables Theatre Passport to Dance.