The Oliver Community Arts Council is pleased to announce the winners in their Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest. The council has run the contest for two years under the auspices of Oliver’s Communities in Bloom committee. The intention of the contest was to help promote public interest in making Oliver a beautiful place to live. We thank the participants for their enthusiasm and community spirit! All efforts at making Oliver more attractive will earn the town points with the judges on July 19 – 20.
Here are the 2011 “Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest” Winners:
Best Overall Residential Yard: Gordon and Kathie Kirby (pictured at left)
Best Outdoor Living Space: George and Anabela Gonclaves
Best Drought Tolerant Landscaping: Ronald and Teresa Maurier
Best Commercial Exterior Visual appeal: Lloyd and Veral Park (The Home of Every Blooming Thing)
Most Improved Site/Property/Project: Bev and Bob Alexander
Honorable Mention: Bernie and Sheila Houghton (Residential)
The winners will be feted at the Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest Awards Luncheon at Covert Farms 12:00 Noon on July 20th.
Awards donated by Future Gardens and presented by the Oliver Community Arts Council. A special thank you to contest judges, the Oliver Heirloom Garden Club. Contest sponsors are OK Photo Lab, Future Gardens, Sherwood Trophies, Fortis BC, and Paw Prints Studio and Gallery (The Art of John Salsnek).
Your Best Bloomin’ Garden Contest committee included Brian Mapplebeck, Jennifer Mapplebeck, and Dot Cranston. We also thank members of the 2010 committee: Stephanie Salsnek and Penny Ruddy.
The 2010 Fall Art Show and Sale wrapped up Sunday October 3 with visitors remarking that it was one of the best shows ever. Many comments referred to the successfully represented theme: “Those Were the Days”. Not only did the competitive entries reminisce about days gone by, but the other exhibits and events reflected the same nostalgic theme. The Oliver and District Heritage Society mounted an attractive and interesting display of 1920s and 30s pop culture (toys, games, and film stills) and early Oliver life (home appliances, machinery and housewares). Guest artist Marianne Parsons demonstrated quilting techniques, surely a homesteading skill from Oliver’s early days. Two fund raising paintings also waxed nostalgic about summers in the South Okanagan.
A two-day silent auction of antiques and collectables from the early to mid 20th century drew many bids. Pictured at right, a bakelite vanity set from the 1930s commanded some competitive bidding. The Jazz Out West trio entertained at the Saturday reception with classic standards by Gershwin, Berlin, Cole Porter and more.
Almost 400 visitors signed the guestbook over two days, with an estimate of a few hundred more who didn’t stand in line to sign! Many of the art enthusiasts crowded around artwork that ended up winning or placing in their category.
Sue McCarrell’s two New Media entries, including best-in-show “Moment in Time”, attracted many questions about her transfer techniques. McCarrell combed the Oliver archives looking for old sepia photographs, letters and newspapers to create transfer images which, by means of a gel process, were then adhered to wood panelling.
A hushed audience gathered around Merle Somerville’s depiction of a snowy orchard in his giclee-on-canvas entry called “Days Gone By”. His photograph aquired a painterly quality by being reproduced on artists canvas with ink jet printing techniques (“giclee”) rather than on photo paper. It was easy to be drawn into the photograph by its skillful use of perspective and light.
The brash brushstrokes of Michael Randle’s primitive style abstracts reflected both his sense of humour and his love of bold colour. Wayne Borthwick’s “Home on the Range” got the most attention from children and the young at heart. The enormous model of a farmhouse, complete with walls that opened outward revealing furnished rooms within, was tempting to touch. Shirley Nilsson’s quilted hanging “School Days” glowed with fall colour; three-dimensional fabric leaves decorated the border. Emerging artist Megan Pedersen’s piece, “Ghost of a Memory” was a touching reminiscence about one of the most painful of memories, a lost love.
The Oliver Community Arts Council thanks all the entrants to the Fall Art Show and Sale. Together you have created an experience several hundred people will never forget! Here is the complete list of winners. Congratulations everyone!
List of 2010 Fall Art Show Winners
Best Interpretation of ThemeSue McCarrell: “Moment in Time”Painting (Representational)
First: Eleanore Dempster ~ “The Way We Were”
Second: Kerry Chung ~ “Past and Future”
Third: Sandy Boblin ~ “The Coach”
First (tie): Tara Hovanes ~ “Untitled”
First (tie): Michael Randle ~ Number 1 Project
Third: Dona Smithson ~ “Last Tree Standing”
First: Merle Sommerville ~ “Days Gone By”
Second: Val Friesen ~ “Oh yes, those were the days…”
Third: Russell Work ~ “Oliver”
First: Shirley Nilsson ~ “School Days”
Second (tie): A. Carole Grant ~ Relics
Second (tie): Terry Irvine ~ The Past Revisited
First: Wayne Borthwick ~ “Home on the Range 1945”
Second: Donna McLean ~ Beauty from the Forest
Third: Donna McLean ~ A Look from the Past (3 pieces)
First: Sue McCarrell ~ “Moment in Time”
Second: Marion Trimble ~ “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow”
Third: Sue McCarrell ~ “Vintage Pleasure”
Emerging Artist (Under 19)
Certificate of Merit: Megan Pedersen ~ “Ghost of a Memory”
Do you have any comments on your Fall Art Show and Sale experience? Share them at
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The Friends of the Oliver Library hosted Silvia Olsen, children’s author (pictured at left) and poet Fred Wah during the Lieutenenat Governor’s BC Book Prize Tour on April 21. Both authors shared their experiences writing their nominated works, read excerpts , and answered questions.
Here’s a little more about Olsen’s book, Counting on Hope :
“Set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia, and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island, Counting on Hope tells the story of two girls whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. Alternating between free verse and prose, Sylvia Olsen follows the girl’s individual storylines before, during and after their meeting. She captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. This sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won follows Hope and Letia out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world. Married into the Tsartlip First Nation at seventeen, Sylvia Olsen is a historian specializing in Native/White relations in Canada, and the author of twelve books. She lives in Victoria.”
Fred Wah won in the poetry category, for his collection is a door :
“Including poetry projects, a chapbook and incidental poems, is a door makes use of the poem’s ability for “suddenness” to subvert closure: the sudden question, the sudden turn, the sudden opening — writing that is generated from linguistic mindfulness, improvisation, compositional problem-solving, collaborative events, travel, investigation and documentary — in short, poetry as practice. Much of this poetry is framed by Fred Wah’s acute sense of the marginalized non-urban local “place” and coloured by his attempt to articulate senses of otherness and resistance. Fred Wah was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH and a pioneer of on-line publishing. He is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Waiting For Saskatchewan which received the Governor General’s Award in 1985. Diamond Grill, a biofiction about hybridity and growing up in a small-town Chinese-Canadian café won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction in 1996. He lives in Vancouver.”