The Time Has Come for music

The Musaic Vocal Ensemble is making another visit to Oliver this spring with music to “soothe and inspire”. This choir is known for their musicianship, their challenging repertoire, and balanced sound.  Their singing will make your ears very happy. Songs will include: “The Time Has Come” words by Nelson Mandela; A Little Jazz Mass, Let It Matter and many other great pieces.

Tickets available here:
Oliver Alliance Church
6835 Leighton Cres, Oliver BC
(250) 498-4253
or here:

Tickets for The Time Has Come 

Rob ‘n’ Walker at Firehall Brewery

Rob ‘n’ Walker play country-rock originals and covers at “the Social”  room in the Firehall Brewery on March 31, 2018 at 7:30 pm. This band is great – good tunes, very nice gents, a nice mix of familiar hits and Rob’s own Nashville-honed compositions. (You might know them as the Rob Robertson Band if you saw them last summer at Music in the Park.)

The Social is a great place to hang out with your pals and enjoy one of the Firehall Brewery’s thirst-extinguishing ales, or a hand-crafted bevvie from one of their selection of amazing local wines, ciders, or sodas.The $15 tickets are available now at Firehall Brewery, 6077 Main Street, Downstairs (Alley Access), Oliver, BC. You can register here too (click on the text below):

Register Here

A Night of Laughter and Music: The Joe Trio Review

Review by Jan Nelson

What do you get when you put a violinist, a cellist and a pianist together on the stage? You wouldn’t expect a night of laughing and musical entertainment, but that is exactly what The Joe Trio brought to the South Okanagan Concert Series’ season finale at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver on March 9th.

The Joe Trio is composed of three unique musicians. Cameron Wilson brings his beautiful mastery of the violin along with his amazing talent for arranging pieces for a string and piano trio. With his dry sense of humour and brilliant ability to mimic a beginner violin student, he brought a sense of approachability to an instrument that can feel foreign to the average music enthusiast.

Pianist Allen Stiles has excellent comedic timing and amazing technique. He knows just how long to stretch out a joke while backing it up with a polished performance – my type of pianist. Cellist Charles Inkman has played with household names like John Denver and Beach Boys Legend Brian Wilson, and now has Oliver to add to the list of venues he has graced. Not to be outshone by his Trio-mates, Charles brings an added touch of class with his background in classical performance with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

The programme for the evening included refined pieces from Joseph ‘Papa Joe’ Haydn and Felix Mendelssohn, to The Sad Story of Little Joe Who Played the Violin, a comedic spoken word accented number that follows the path of Little Joe’s musical life. Even more traditional pieces were approached with a light heart; Mendelssohn’s piece was introduced as “four movements – the first is pretty long, the second is pretty short, the third is really short, and the fourth is not as long as you think it will be or feels like it will be.” Never short of banter, each piece painted yet another beautiful colour on an enjoyable evening.

In particular, two pieces stood out. A medley of songs from West Side Story adapted to piano trio by Cameron Wilson called for audience participation and a bit of pre-performance practice by the packed house. I think we did a better job during the practice, but The Joe Trio managed to make us sound good. A second piece that required audience participation was ‘Classic TV Themes meets the Great Composers;’ a series of TV themes from the 60s and 70s arranged by Wilson to sound like classical composers, and each correct answer guessing the theme and composer by the audience was rewarded with a chocolate placed carefully on stage for retrieval by the winner at intermission.

And not to be forgotten was an adaptation of Bohemian Rhapsody (yes, the one by Queen), a beautiful arrangement by Wilson of a classic rock ballad that would have made Freddy Mercury proud, although I’m sure Freddy would have appreciated a quick wardrobe change to set the mood.

I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying concerts at the Frank Venables Theatre (old and new) off and on since I was six, and I am grateful to wonderful performers like The Joe Trio for making the trip out to Oliver to share their talent with us, and to the Southern Okanagan Concert Series members, volunteers and audience members who keep us entertained tirelessly year after year. Thank you.

The Southern Okanagan Concert Society would like to thank their generous local sponsors for the 2017-2018 season, and looks forward to another entertaining season of musical enjoyment starting in the fall. The 2018-2019 season will feature the Mark Atkinson Trio on October 12, 2018, Duo Fortin-Poirier on February 15, 2019, and O-Celli cello octet (eight cellos!) on March 29, 2019, plus a fourth concert to be announced. Look for ticket information to be released soon.

Art to Go: with the Flow

The THEME of the 2018 Fall Art Show & Sale: “Go with the Flow”.

Here are just a few inspirations to get you started:
* the flowing application of a paintbrush or drip techniques,
* rippling jewelry designs, 
* curved shapes in wood, metal and glass,
* capturing movement in photography such as dance or a bicycle race or a windy day,
* relaxing fluid abstract shapes, or
* get socio-political and make an artistic comment on “group-think”.
* maybe it’s the technique you use
* maybe it’s the colours you choose.

What does going with the flow mean in your life? Taking it easy? Letting others decide? Jumping into a current of thought with both feet and seeing where it takes you?

Go with your own artistic flow, and start dreaming of your Fall Art Show and Sale submission.

Dates: September 29 – 30, 2018
Early Bird Draw Deadline: Thursday September 6, 2018
Entry Form Deadline: Friday, September 7, 2018
Extension for Youth Artists ONLY: Friday September 14, 2018

FASS 2018 Entry Form

FASS 2018 Terms and Guidelines

FASS Category Definitions

Blue Hearts at Medici’s April 12

Come get your Blues fix at Medici’s on April 12th and meet the Blue Hearts

Mark “Westcoast” Comerford: Guitar & Percussion, Vocals and Big Hank Lionhart: Lead Vocals. Mark and Hank are both members of Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. With a ton of experience in the Blues and over 40 years in Blues bands they have been to Memphis with Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and are returning this year in the Solo Duo category as The Blue Hearts. They are back to the real roots of the Blues with just Guitar and Vocals. Mark and Hank write and perform their own songs and stay true to the Blues.

Mark “Westcoast” Comerford

Mark grew up in a musical family and became influenced by the Blues, Folk and Rock. Mark moved to Toronto and played around the southern Ontario Blues bar circuit. After returning home to Victoria he met Hank Lionhart through an advertisement looking for Blues musicians and together they formed Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. Mark was a member of the R&B Band ‘Soul Station’ for a few years. Aside from the Blue Hearts he currently plays in Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and in his own group the Westcoast Blues Doctors

Hank Lionhart

Hank started his musical journey in Edmonton in high school in 1964. In 1965 he travelled to Seattle, Washington to go attend art school and sang with a group, the Clouds, until 1967. Returning to Edmonton, Hank joined a band called Coloured Rain and toured the Cabaret circuit across Western Canada. In 1974 he joined Edmonton’s premier Blues Band ‘Hot Cottage’ which cemented his love for the blues. In 1979 he moved to Victoria and formed Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. Hank moved to Vancouver and formed the R&B Kingpins along with Jack Lavin of Powder Blues. In 2014 he resumed work with Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band and has since represented BC at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2015. 9 CD’s in over a 50-year career and a very passionate Bluesman.

The Blue Hearts play their original Blues Songs in a very traditional style.
If you like music, you like the Blues and these guys are gonna kill ya!!! Thursday night April 12th at Medici’s, 522 Fairview Road in Oliver. 250-498-2228.

Tickets are $25, seating is assigned and doors open at 6:30. We are gonna be packed!

RipOff Artists choose their next challenge

The RipOff Artists are already thinking about their 2018 challenge! This local multimedia collective chooses a different dead artist each year to “rip off” in weaving, digital media, collage, quilting, felting, woodworking, encaustic, and a variety of painting and three-dimensional media.

They’ll be breaking barriers and tearing down walls by emulating Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) and his piece “Tres Personajes Cantando” (Three persons singing). Watch for news of their Summer Studio week at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre.

You can expect lots of colour and music!

Marion Trimble, collage and acrylics artist, provides some background:

Rufino Tamayo was a Mexican painter and printmaker known for his large-scale murals and vivid use of color. Like Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Jose Clemente Orozco,

Tamayo helped garner international attention for Mexican art. Influenced by his pre-Columbian heritage as well as Cubism and Surrealism, Tamayo portrayed vernacular subjects like watermelons and animals in a unique formal vocabulary.

“Art is a means of expression that must be understood by everybody, everywhere,” he stated.

“It grows out of the earth, the textures of our lives, and our experience.”

Born on August 26, 1899 in Oaxaca, Mexico, Tamayo left the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts after a year and began to teach himself. He moved to New York in the 1930s after having a falling out with the politically driven Rivera and Siqueiros in his home county.

Eventually returning to Mexico in 1959, he founded the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City and the Museo Rufino Tamayo in his birthplace of Oaxaca during the early 1980s. The artist continued to produce some of his most compelling works including Moon and Sun (1990) right up until his death on June 24, 1991 in Mexico City, Mexico at the age of 91. Today, his works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, among others.

Art for a book-lover

Calling all Artists!

Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School is looking to collaborate with a local artist who would be available to co-create a mural outside the Pat McGibbon Memorial Library in Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary school. The library entrance has double doors, the mural would be painted on either side of those doors. See photos for examples. The mural would be to inspire a love of reading among its students and send positive messages through the title choices. The school is hoping to have the mural completed before the end of the year. Interested artists are asked to contact Marlene Kearsley at (250) 498-3415 with samples of their work. A small stipend and large amount of pride and recognition is offered.

Marlene Kearsley
Teacher-Librarian, ELL, LS
250 498-3415

Fierce butterflies dance the flamenco

From Spain to Mexico and back to Canada, Flamenco Rosario invites audiences on a global voyage through dance. This April on the Frank Venables Theatre Stage the rhythm and song, hand-clapping and sweeping movements of “La Monarca” will be a unique experience.

Flamenco’s beautifully rhythmic style highlights these artists’ passion, raw emotional power and disciplined musicality. “La Monarca” gives insight into the motivation and driving forces of immigration through the creative exploration of the monarch butterfly’s amazing migration.

Rosario Ancer and her husband, guitarist Victor Kolstee moved to Vancouver in 1989 after a successful career in Spain. They co-founded the Vancouver International Flamenco Festival along with their school Centro Flamenco, and The Flamenco Rosario Arts Society.

As an interpreter of flamenco, Rosario is continuing the growth of the art form by exploring new possibilities. She brings with her an 8 member company of dancers and musicians to share this emergent, beautiful and unexpected new work.

Flamenco Rosario arrives on stage with “La Monarca” Monday April 9th at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Theatre, 6100 Gala St, (corner of Fairview Rd.) Oliver is a dance town and these highly sought after tickets are now available. Visit or the Theatre Box Office Tuesday to Thursday from 10 – 3 for tickets and more information.

For further information, contact Aimee Grice, Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for the Frank Venables Theatre, by phone or email.

(250) 498-1626     tix @

Image Credit: David Cooper / Pictured are Rosario Ancer and Victor Kolstee

Grandmothers building “bridges”

Oliver Grandmothers for Africa, Marion Boyd and Betty Lou Trimmer Bahnsen, do some serious counting at the windup of a hugely successful fund raising Bridge Tournament on February 21st for the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  The event drew a good crowd to Fairview Golf Club for bridge and lunch.  Fairview staff, Jesse and Yvonne proved their friendly organizational skills and were much appreciated especially by Grannies’ convenor, Leslie Marriott.  Some $1400 was raised for the ongoing work in Africa where grandmothers here generate funds for grass roots programs to support and assist African grandmothers.  Those tireless women are nurturing a new generation of kids often orphaned and certainly impacted by the AIDS pandemic.

In Canada the work of Grandmothers for Africa has expanded to include a valuable advocacy role.  Few people here, for example, are aware that a majority of primary schools, even government sponsored ones in many parts of Africa, require school fees which exclude little children from poor families from basic education.  Canadian Grandmothers across this country have taken the initiative to see this changes.   Their sustained efforts and political will is making a difference.   Recently Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada will double its pledge to the Global Partnership for Education to $180 million over 3 years.  This result, at a time of international budget restraint, is heartening.

Canada also led the way at the Global Partnership for Education Replenishment Conference in Senegal early in February.  Goals were achieved and the biggest source of education financing came from developing countries themselves stepping up to the plate.  Together we can make a difference.

If you want to join us, the local Grandmothers group meets the first Thursday of every month at 1 pm at the Oliver United Church.   Come and be welcomed.  We have fun, create new friendships and do some good in the world.   Our motto:  “Do what you can, when you can.”