Laughter is the best therapy

Beyond Therapy
by Christopher Durang
Directed by Nathan Linders
February 1, 2, 8 and 9
Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday February 3
Sunday matinee 2:00 p.m.
Venables Theatre, Oliver

Adults: $23 in advance; $25 day of the show
Students (with ID): $14 in advance; $15 day of the show



Things are getting a little crazy in Oliver. In an old highways shed on Airport Street that members of community theatre troupe, SOAP Theatre, affectionately refer to as “Big Blue”, the cast and crew of Beyond Therapy are working hard putting on the finishing touches for opening night on February 1. In rehearsal since late 2018, they are almost ready to present a bold and controversial story of a strange, double love triangle.

Beyond Therapy was written by Christopher Durang in the late seventies and remains one of Durang’s most frequently-produced plays to this day. It opened off-Broadway with big names like Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Collins. The success of the off-Broadway presentation led to a second run in the late spring of 1982, where David Hyde-Pierce made his stage debut.

The cast seem undaunted by the very big shoes they need to fill, and the air is alive with laughter and excitement on rehearsal nights as they are closing in on opening night. The story is set in 1977 New York, when therapist Charlotte Wallace (Diane Gludovatz) has encouraged her patient Bruce (Joel Browne,) despite being in a monogamous relationship, to place a personal ad which is answered by Prudence (Jenn MacNeil). Prudence is nonplussed by Bruce’s plan to keep his current lover, Bob (Craig Bjornson), in the garage while they marry and have children. The encounter is ill-fated and ends disastrously due to the couple’s incompatibility and Bruce’s rush to seek a premature commitment from the date he just met.

Bruce’s rush to commitment isn’t the only aspect of the story where we can apply the term ‘premature’. We soon learn of the dysfunctional relationship between Prudence and her therapist, Stewart (Trevor Leigh), whose shortcomings are exacerbated by his own insecurities and deep-seated jealousy of Prudence’s attention to Bruce.

With the table set, Bruce and Prudence meet again in a strange twist of fate. Their relationship warms, but what good can come of therapy when the therapists need more help than their patients? Can Bruce learn to find balance and reconcile his two lovers? Can Prudence learn to assert herself and escape the madness, or are they all Beyond Therapy?

Things come to a head in The Restaurant where the waiter Andrew (Tristan Duursma) never seems to show up.

Five performances are scheduled at Venables Theatre at 6100 Gala Street in Oliver. Curtain time is 7:30 pm on February 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th, and a Sunday matinee will commence at 2 pm on February 3rd. Reserved tickets are available online at If you prefer to buy in person, the ticket office, located at 6100 Gala Street in Oliver, is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. You can also buy by phone at 250-498-1626 during the same office hours. Some tickets are also available at Your Dollar Store With More in Osoyoos. Purchase early for best selection and a discount from day-of-show prices.

Warning: Adult themes and strong language.

Zerbe is a “zaniac”

When was the last time you laughed as hard as your kids?

Alex Zerbe: The Professional Zaniac bounces on to the Venables Theatre stage Friday January 25th. A self-described “human cartoon,” his show isnʼt only for the young ones in the family.

See his many talents on display in this promo video:

With the energy of 1,000 suns, Alex moves like a rubber band from one end of the stage to the other. Beatboxing, juggling, dancing and magic!

The “Professional Zaniac” zigzags between physical stunts and non-stop comedy. During the show vegetables are sliced in half by flying playing cards, bowling balls are juggled with ease and every audience volunteer leaves the stage in triumph.

Zerbe is a Hacky Sack World Champion, was voted The Pacific Northwest’s Funniest Prop Comic and is a two-time Guinness World Record holder. Heʼs performed everywhere from cruise ships and comedy clubs to prime-time television in three countries, including “Americaʼs Got Talent!” and “Last Comic Standing”.

Alex Zerbe: The Professional Zaniac shares his wacky comedy Friday January 25th at 6:30. Series tickets are only $30 for the remaining three shows or individual show tickets can be purchased for $12.50. Tickets and more information can be found at

Robbie Burns celebrated at brewery

The Firehall Brewery honours Robbie Burns Day in fine, traditional style.

Robbie Burns Day

Friday January 25

Soup 4:30 p.m.

Haggis 5:30 p.m.

Firehall Brewery “Beer Shop & Social”

6077 Main Street, Downstairs (Alley Access), Oliver, BC

(778) 439-2337

Haggis, stew, kilts, poetry, perhaps some keg throwing. We will be having a night for the Scots and those who love them. Don’t miss the Address to the Haggis. We will have some amazing stew made by our Beer Department members of the month and there will be Scotch available for a wee dram. There is no charge for entry so come and enjoy the pipes and the great company.
NEW WINTER HOURS at the Firehall Brewery:

3 – 7 Tuesday – Thursday

2 – 9 Friday & Saturday

Closed Sunday & Monday

We will always stay open later if there are events happening.

Fox at the Firehall

The Fox Returns… Oliver BC was fortunate to have Lion Bear Fox come and play in March. We have lured Ryan McMahon, The Fox, back for another special show on Thursday January 24.

Advance ticket sales at the Firehall Brewery Beer Shop & Social, and limited in quantity at $20 per person. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. but the doors open at 6:30 p.m. for beer sipping and schmoozing!

Firehall Brewery (lower level) 6077 Main St. in Oliver. 778-439-2337.

Ryan McMahon is an incredibly talented vocalist, musician and entertainer. He fills not only the stage but the whole house wherever he plays. Lion Bear Fox is most likely the best band in BC. 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. He has toured Canada countless times, released four full-length albums. He has garnered 3 wins (Male Vocalist, Record & Artist of the Year) at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.

In April of 2014, Showtime’s original series, “Californication” featured the single “I’ll Be Damned”.

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

Travel friendly

Do you like to travel? Enjoy meeting the local people? Then join us at the library to hear how you can do both by becoming a travelling ambassador of Friendship Force Penticton-Okanagan. Travel on “Journeys” to over 60 countries and start making friends all over the world. Registration appreciated. Drop in welcome. This is a FREE program. Click on link to register:

Friendship Force

Fogerty and Seger rock the house

Night Moves
Bob Seger /John Fogerty tribute band
Friday January 18
7:30 p.m.
Venables Theatre
6100 Gala Street
Tickets: $35

Tribute artist Dan Hare re-creates Bob Seger and John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival). Two American music legends, all in one evening of entertainment!

Bob Seger hits included Night Moves, Fire Lake, Against the Wind, Old Time Rocik ‘n’ Roll, and Like a Rock
Seger Tribute Video:

Fogerty (CCR) hits included Bad Moon Rising, Proud Mary, Up around the Bend, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Lookin’ Out My Back Door.
Fogerty Tribute Video:

Hear them all, and sing along!

SOSS students on show

SOSS Art Club invites you to attend
“Semester End Celebration of Student Achievement”
Thursday January 17
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Southern Okanagan Secondary School
Entrance through the main doors.
There will be a lot of student artwork on display from Lindsey McVicar’s art and photography classes, as well as a lot of other projects from different classes.

It’s a SSNAP to enter!

Call to Artists NOW OPEN – $40,000 in Awards

The Salt Spring National Art Prize is one of Canada’s largest visual art prizes, offering $40,000 in awards!

Submissions for the 2019/2020 SSNAP awards now open, January 10 through to May 31, 2019. 

SSNAP Awards Totalling $40,000:

SALT SPRING PRIZE – THE JOAN McCONNELL AWARD + RESIDENCY FOR OUTSTANDING WORK– $20,000 ($15,000 and a $5,000 Salt Spring Island artist residency)

JURORS’ CHOICE AWARDS – four awards of $3,000 selected by each juror

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – ROSEMARIA BEHNCKE AWARDS – three awards determined by a vote of visitors to the exhibition – 1st prize – $3,000, 2nd prize – $2,000, 3rd prize – $1,000

SALT SPRING ARTISTS AWARD for outstanding work by a Salt Spring Artist – $2,000

Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are eighteen years of age and older as of January 1, 2018 are invited to submit their two- and three-dimensional work for consideration.

Guidelines and submission details to be found on our website

The Salt Spring National Art Prize is a biennial competition and exhibition of Canadian visual art.

The intent of SSNAP is to encourage artists whose practice demonstrates originality, quality, integrity and creativity—resulting in significant work with visual impact and depth of meaning.

Approximately 50 finalists will be selected by an independent jury of four from across Canada to participate in the Finalists’ Exhibition on Salt Spring Island. All artists’ submissions will be anonymous to the jury.

Finalists may be selected to win one of nine awards, six selected by jurors and three selected by public vote. Finalist works are exhibited and for sale at the historic Mahon Hall on Salt Spring Island from Sept 21st to Oct 21st 2019, with the award winners announced at the Gala Awards Night on Saturday, Oct 19, 2019.

This exciting endeavour is an initiative of the Salt Spring Arts Council, which represents the arts for Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, known as one of Canada’s premier arts communities.

Learn how to Go Public!

How can you best promote your group or publicize an event? Go PUBLIC!

The Oliver Community Arts Council (OCAC) invites representatives of societies, clubs, charities and other non-profit groups to GO PUBLIC!

GO PUBLIC! is a set of four independent workshops running from January to April. We welcome both our own OCAC members and also anyone representing a non-profit group. All workshops are FREE. Pre-registration is encouraged to secure your seat.

January 26: Get ORGANIZED! Tips for Non-Profits. Learn how to incorporate, administer, insure, and promote your group. When should a club become a society? Discover the advantages of being a registered society. Information on by-laws, running effective board meetings, establishing a publicity committee, communicating with your membership.

February 23: Get NOTICED! Publicity Design & Writing. Held an event and nobody came? Targeted the wrong audience? Did you just take the old and tired “grip and grin” photo — again? How much should you spend on advertising? What are the most effective media for advertising? Where should you direct advertising dollars? Learn how to make an eye-catching poster or ad, write effective copy, and take an exciting photo to get your event noticed.

March 16: Get ONLINE!: Easy Website Design. Don’t stop with an ad. Get your name out there year-round. Basic tools to create your website using simple platforms. How to manage a site, whether static or updated.

April 27: Get SOCIAL! Social Media Marketing. The trend in publicity is social networking. How do you get the most of Facebook and Instagram. What social platforms do you need? What are less effective? Tips and tricks to boost, extend your reach, engage your targeted audience.

All workshops are Saturdays from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Oliver Regional Library (ORL). Choose any or all to attend. Select different representatives for each if you prefer.

Laptops and tablets are welcome but not required. Opportunity for hands-on learning on site, but a large screen will be used for teaching. Handouts and website links will be provided.

Pre-register for one or more workshops at  Click on the “view events in calendar format” link near the bottom of the page to register. Need assistance? Call 250-498-2242 (ORL).

Facilitators Penelope Johnson and JoAnn Turner, both OCAC executive members, have decades of non-profit experience between them:

Non-profit administration
Event planning
Website design and management
Social media
Graphic design
Writing for media

Have specific interests or questions? Contact olivercac @
or fill out the contact form. Topics covered can be geared to participant’s interests and questions. Give us some advance notice and we’ll either include your topics or direct you to an appropriate source.

As space may become limited, we ask that you restrict your attendance to one or two reps per session. We will send a reminder closer to each date and announce if spaces are still available.

Food + Fun = Fundraiser

2nd Annual Christmas Food Hamper Fundraiser Party
Friday, Dec 14, 2018

5 – 9 p.m.

Firehall Brewery
BBQ Burgers and Dogs, Door Prizes, and Silent Auction
Entry: $12 plus a Non-Perishable Food Item
Entry includes a burger or dog.

Invitation to new Christmas Market

Come down to the Firehall Brewery where we will have wonderful local vendors selling everything from Christmas treats you can eat, amazing clothing to keep you warm for the season, some of our best local beverage purveyors and so much more!!!

There will be a craft table for the kids to make their own decorations, mulled wine and cider for the adults. Yummy sausages sizzled and to take home, as well as some other goodies from our friends at Oliver Eats Ltd.

And, as always at the Brewery, lots of good times and Christmas Cheer!

Under a Winter Sky is … indoors!

There’s no denying it. Christmas is on its way.

The Oliver Handbell Ringers (OHR) are ramping up and getting set to present “Under a Winter Sky” to the Okanagan Valley. Emcee Mal Bearman explains to a crowd of holiday shoppers, “Don’t be confused! We definitely have a beautiful venue to play “Under a Winter Sky” in…The Oliver Alliance Church!”

Eclectic mixes of musicians gather several times per week to work on an art that can bring joy to many, especially during this busy season. OHR members hail from both sides of the 49th parallel, and range in age from early 20’s to the members that are a bit more than 20. This troupe consists of ringers and singers working under the direction of a pair of dedicated ladies, who happen to be a daughter/mother team. The dynamic duo – Helen Wollf and Sue Gay – share both their passion and talents in music with many.

When ringer, Shana Cachola, was asked about the appeal of ringing bells Cachola explained, “This craft is different than anything else I do. It takes intense practice, both together and individually. It’s REALLY hard! We work closely with one another, and the teamwork is truly something to treasure. It also makes me smile, right from my heart.”

Christmas icon that it is, the bell can instantly transport us to happy, snowy times in days gone by. With the pressures of modern life and expectations running high, the directors of the Oliver Handbell Ringers hope you can take a moment to relax and enjoy the efforts of their hard-working players. Wishes from Director Wollf, “We hope that our Christmas celebration of music is a gift to all ages!”

Performances at Oliver Alliance Church, admission is free (free-will offering will be taken)

Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 p.m.

Oliver Handbell Ringers Facebook Page

Photo: Helen Wolff and Sue Gay, invite you to enjoy, “Under a Winter Sky”