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.

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

Welcome, Wendy Wells-Bailey!

A new member of the Oliver Community Arts Council, Wendy Wells-Bailey, has some impressive credentials as an artist, and her artwork positively glows. She is a brand-new member of the Okanagan Art Gallery (an OCAC member group) where you can see some of her work on display. 8302 Main St, Osoyoos, BC