RETRO-spective celebrates our 50th

Oliver’s arts council is going “retro” to celebrate its 50th anniversary and kicks off the occasion with a fun contest called “RETRO-spective”, awarding prizes at summer’s end.

On June 24, 1970, the Oliver Community Arts Council was incorporated as a BC society, and has been “running” ever since, just like its quirky quail logo. The council represents all visual and performing arts: dance, theatre, choirs, instrumental groups, mixed media, textile and fibre arts groups, graphic design, painters, photographers, and culinary arts. The council produces several events each year: the Fall Art Show & Sale, Music in the Park, Holly Jolly Oliver, Showcase of Talent, CreateAbility, and the Wine Capital Art Walk. The council includes twenty member groups, fifteen member businesses and roughly eighty individual members.

The council invites the public to submit their favourite memories of the Oliver arts scene any time from the last 50 years. Entries can take the form of funny anecdotes, sentimental stories, old photos, or memorabilia from an arts event. Submissions can also be fresh creations: a collage, commemorative poem or song, celebratory dance, sculpture or painting. Entries are accepted from the general public, whether audience members, artists, performers, arts event organizers, or volunteers, whether last year or last century.  

All ages and skill levels, both locals and non-locals, arts council members and non-members are welcome to enter. Now is the time to dig out the old photo album or box of souvenirs, recall your favourite memories, or simply to reflect on what Oliver’s arts scene means to you. Perhaps Agnes Sutherland taught you piano in the 70s, or you performed in a musical on the old Venables stage. Maybe you strolled through a Summer Studio exhibit in the CPR station in the 90s, took an art class, won an award at the Fall Art Show or rocked out last summer at a concert in the park.  

Submit entries by email, attached as a photo, document, or video. Send to OliverCAC @ gmail.com with the subject line “RETRO-spective”. For more information, call 250-498-0183. RETRO-spective runs from June 24 to August 24. A committee will select three winners, each receiving their choice of $50 gift certificate from one of the arts council’s many member groups and businesses.

Fall Art Show postponed to 2021

The Oliver Community Arts Council regrets to announce the cancellation of its 37th annual Fall Art Show and Sale which was set for October 3 – 4, 2020.  For the last 14 years, this large multimedia art show has appeared in the same venue and on the same weekend as Cask and Keg (Saturday) and the Festival of the Grape (Sunday). Both these Oliver Tourism events were cancelled in mid-June.

While the Fall Art Show and Sale (FASS) ran for more than two decades independently, it would be very difficult to maintain the distancing and sanitization necessary to mount this flagship event in a comparable format. The FASS requires 300 person-hours just during the one-day set-up and two-day show, with large crews working closely together to move display materials and furnishings, receive and return artwork, display the art, and providing services during the show. Maintaining distance between visitors viewing artwork poses many challenges, as would sanitizing between visits. Extending the length of the show to allow a prolonged set-up and public viewing in smaller numbers would increase expenses, especially rental; and the lack of other drivers that draw audiences would seriously compromise revenue.  We are also aware that many participants and volunteers fall into a high-risk category for COVID-19.

The arts council is rescheduling the Fall Art Show and Sale for Saturday October 2 and Sunday October 3rd in 2021, in conjunction with the Fall Festival weekend. The theme of the show will remain the same as planned for this year: “Seasons of Life”. Any artwork already begun or considered for this year using that theme will be welcomed next year. As is usual, art with other subject matter will also be accepted. Updated entry forms for 2021 will be made available by the fall. Click the hyperlink or email us for your form. We look forward to displaying beautiful artwork next year!

In the meantime, arts council members are warmly encouraged to share photos and video of any ongoing art projects by emailing them to us. We would be happy to share them on our website, Facebook page, and newsletter.

SO Concert Society cancels 2020-21 season

The executive of the South Okanagan Concert Society met June 15th and is sad to announce that the concert season for 2020/2021 is cancelled as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. A variety of conditions forced this decision.

First, musicians already booked to come from Quebec and points East simply cannot know whether travel will be possible or not. Their concerts in B.C. are only financially viable with pre-arranged tours because of the high expense involved in travel. The uncertainty has led agents to reluctantly propose postponing for the following season.

The SOCS executive looked at the possibility of trying to book only B.C. musicians. A number of considerations, should this be possible, still stood in the way. The small numbers allowed to gather for performances providing sufficient distancing make it impossible to cover the costs. “We are not prepared to sacrifice the quality of our performances,” said SOCS President Janet Marcotte (pictured onstage at right). That would likely happen if much reduced artist fees had to be part of the budget requirements.

Other considerations also came into play. With only a small number spread throughout the concert hall it would greatly affect the atmosphere of those who did attend. The regular patrons love the strong sense of community, the meeting with friends, the conviviality around the concerts and not just the performance. Providing this atmosphere has been a big part of the SOCS mission and success.

The possibility of doing 2 concerts in one evening to bring more regular patrons in and also increase income would involve a huge amount of fast cleaning between concerts by extra paid staff, no receptions and no mingling with friends in the lobby.

Live streaming was also considered as a possible solution. Again, the executive spoke to the needs of our patrons. Most are passionate for top quality LIVE music and many are of an age where live streaming has little appeal. The age factor also means our patrons are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Although the Venables Theatre staff have literally bent over backwards to try and accommodate the SOCS needs and their efforts are much appreciated, the SOCS executive reluctantly decided to cancel the concert season. As Covid19 conditions change, all efforts will go into planning for another concert season in the future and a possible lone concert or two in the new year.

The AGM of the South Okanagan Concert Society will take place at 10:30 am Wednesday, July 8th, at Venables Theatre. All members welcome.

SOUTH OKANAGAN CONCERT SOCIETY
Submitted by Marion Boyd

Music in the Park 2020 cancelled

The Oliver Community Arts Council announces that the Music in the Park 2020 concert series is cancelled. In light of the BC government’s continued restrictions on public gatherings of over 50 participants, including large festivals, we believe this is the safest and most prudent course of action. Also, we are mindful of the added risks posed to our volunteers and musical performers who would be unable to adhere to physical distancing and other health protocols in bringing you this series. 

We encourage our faithful audiences to visit and follow musicians online. Consider applying your usual concert donation to supporting the performers we had anticipated booking in 2020, by ordering and downloading their music online or liking and following them on social media.  

Ben Klick   or Ben Klick Facebook    

Cod Gone Wild  or Cod Gone Wild Facebook

Sabrina and Mike were slated to make a return engagement in July.

Sabrina Weeks & Mike Hilliard   or  Sabrina Weeks Facebook

Rollin’ Coal Trio 

Rob ‘n’ Walker  or Rob ‘n’ Walker YouTube Channel

The BluesHounds   or The BluesHounds Facebook

13 Broken Bones  or 13 Broken Bones Facebook  

South Okanagan Big Band

If livestreaming concerts becomes available via social media, we will keep you posted on our Facebook page: @oliverartscouncil

We look forward to a time when we will be able to gather and celebrate live music once more. Thank you for your ongoing support of the arts. Please continue to be mindful of the BC health protocols this summer so that we see all of you at the next concert series!

Quail-antine Challenge invites art

Art challenge awards prizes to those in “Quail-antine”

Oliver’s arts council encourages locals to self-isolate with a creative project called the “Quail-antine” Challenge. The council will award prizes to visual art entries of any medium and skill level, as long as those entries are placed in an area visible to the public. The idea is inspired by the arts council’s logo (a quail) and the springtime behaviour of Oliver’s famous bird.

In springtime, quail practice “quail-antine”. Usually found in large flocks, quail start to pair off, and isolate themselves for nesting time. The arts council encourages local residents to be like the quail: Make a cozy place for a “nest”. Find a buddy to bring you supplies and run errands and check on you if you need it. Make lots of “noise” by phone, email, video so others can hear you even if they aren’t with you. Ka-kawkaw!  Then get busy creating something new, whether picking up a neglected art project or a book or a dusty musical instrument, taking an online class, starting a journal, making a video or taking artistic macro shots of household objects. In other words, “hatch” a few creative “eggs”!  Just because you’re in “Quail-antine” doesn’t mean you can’t exercise your creativity!

The Quail-antine Challenge asks locals to create a quail. One option is to colour the Quail-antine colouring page and post it in a window or door facing the public, or waterproof it and stake it in your front yard so others can see it. For those seeking more of an artistic challenge, create a quail sculpture out of found objects like stones, cutlery, garden implements, or recycled materials. Use up leftover craft supplies like feathers and glitter. Felting, sewing, photographing or painting quail are all welcome. No age or ability restrictions.    

Colouring pages are available here or by emailing OliverCAC @ gmail.com Two colouring pages are available, a simple one for beginners is here:

and one slightly more challenging is here:

To enter for a chance at a prize, take a photo of your artwork showing that it is in a location on your property where the public can view it. Email the photo of your artwork to OliverCAC @ gmail.com with the subject line “I’m Quail-antining!” Feel free to share the story behind your artwork. Enter your finished creation before May 30 to be included.

Prizes will be awarded on May 30 for three $50 gift certificates to one of the arts council’s many business or group members. Each winner may choose from among participating businesses or groups — tickets to a concert or play, food and beverages, arts workshops, health services, and more.  A complete list of those 30-plus members is on the right-hand column.  Gift certificates will be good for one year, expiring in June 2021, to use when life returns to normal.

Show your creativity and solidarity as we all quail-antine!

CANCELLED: Birthday Present to Myself

Acclaimed Nelson dancer-choreographer-storyteller, Hiromoto Ida has now CANCELLED his latest piece, Birthday Present for Myself ​on April 3rd at the Venables Theatre.

Inspired by the subtlety and simplicity of Japanese Noh Theatre through western contemporary dance and music, Hiromoto aims to touch the hearts of audiences; to explore a shared moment through the inner world and emotions of the old man, with the hope that they will be inspired to find unexpected beauty in their own lives.

“I see western culture giving messages of aging and getting old as being a negative element of one’s life” Hiromoto observes. “I grew up with both my grandfather and grandmother in my home. Even when I was small, I could feel something special about them.” By touching on themes of love, transformation and regeneration, Hiromoto hopes the audience will gain a new perspective on aging and the last chapter of their lives.

In addition to dance and theatre, Ida is an accomplished screen actor. His first film debut in 1994, as the lead in the movie Tokyo Cowboy, won the People’s Choice Award at Vancouver International Film Festival.

Ida skillfully merges dance, theatre, classical music and voice to tell the story of an old man, raising a glass of sake to himself in celebration, on what will be his last birthday. Birthday moves beyond ideas of grief and sadness into a deeper awareness of the stages of life and the inevitability of death.

This exceptional performance was to have taken place Friday April 3rd at the Venables Theatre (6100 Gala Street, Oliver) is now CANCELLED. For more information visit www.venablestheatre.ca

Birthday Present for Myself is presented by the Venables Theatre with the support of the Community Presenters Assistance program (of the BC Arts Council and BC Touring Council) as well as The Coast Oliver Hotel.

Fire up your brains

You asked, and you got it, folks! The Firehall Brewery is firing up one more Trivia season before the busy summertime hits. The next 6-week spring season edition kicks off Saturday, March 21st! Hosts Veronica and Ryan will be leading another run, riding the crazy Trivia train!

As per usual, there’ll be weekly prizes, weekly themes with hints dropped in advance on social media, and a Trivia Trophy for the season’s winning team to have their name inscribed onto. Teams can be a max of four people, though feel free to come on your own to play solo or join other stragglers. See you on Saturday, March 21st!

Firehall Brewery, 6077 Main Street, Oliver (downstairs, lower level)

(778) 439-2337
info @ firehallbrewery.com

Reception with art and wine

The Okanagan Art Gallery celebrates MASTERS OF THE OKANAGAN with its First Friday monthly reception, March 6th from 5 – 7 p.m. The show opens at the Okanagan Art Gallery #5 8302 Main Street, Osoyoos BC. The show will feature three of the OAG’s professional artists, Mike Jordan, Larry Hunter and Anne-Marie Harvey. They will be featuring works done in both oil and acrylic.

This March’s Alive after Five First Friday will feature wine presented by Quinta Ferreira Estate Winery. What better way to celebrate Spring. For information, call 604 308-3995. Or you can go to our website at www.okanaganartgallery.ca

“God” has something funny to tell you

Pastel power suit? Check. Pince-nez? Check. Scottish accent? Check. The Lord is in the building.

Canadian comedian Mike Delamont entertains in his one-man show, God is a Scottish Drag Queen. As the Almighty, he shares God’s trade secrets and pokes gentle fun at humankind’s follies. God is the comedian, not the punchline. Come and hear why God has a soft spot for monkeys, apologizes for creating redheads, and shakes his head over circumcision, Justin Bieber, tacky religious theme parks, and Scientology. In Delamont’s show, God is the comedian, not the punchline.

What elevates the comedy is Delamont’s marvelous delivery. He combines the wacky exuberance of Dame Edna and the razor-sharp wit of Eddie Izzard. With glasses perched on the end of his nose, and the commanding presence and accent of Scottish funnyman Billy Connolly, Delamont’s Deity is feisty, candid, and endearing. Such is his divine comedic power that in only minutes you forget you’re watching an ungainly frump of a man in an ugly dress. Decidedly irreverent but not sacrilegious, this is damned funny stuff.

Delamont’s divine talent has been recognized with 22 “Best of the Fest” awards and 3 Canadian Comedy Award nominations for his Adam’s-rib-tickling hilarious shows that have sold out major theatres from coast to coast. Victoria’s Mike Delamont is easily one of the fastest-rising standup comedians in Canada.

God is a Scottish Drag Queen opens at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday March 14 at the Venables Theatre (6100 Gala Street, Oliver). Tickets are $30. For more information visit www.venablestheatre.ca

God is a Scottish Drag Queen is presented by Venables Theatre with the support of the Community Presenters Assistance program (of the BC Arts Council and BC Touring Council) as well as The Coast Oliver Hotel.

Crush Cabin Fever with board games

Cold weather and quiet evenings getting you down? Crush your cabin fever by joining us at the Oliver Museum for a board games night for grown-ups!

On Wednesday March 11th from 6 – 8 pm, bring your friends and head to the museum’s galleries to play, chat, and escape from those winter blues. Play our varied selection of board games or bring your own! Warm drinks and snacks will be provided, and gamers will also have the chance to explore our exhibits after hours. RSVP at the Oliver and District Heritage Society’s Facebook page by March 11th to attend. So, come out, test your luck, and game your winter doldrums away!

Montreal Guitar Trio & earlybirds

What a way to end the season!  The Montreal Guitar Trio, described by the CBC as the hottest guitar ensemble in Canada, will be performing Friday, March 20th at 7:30 pm at Venables Theatre, Oliver.   Presented by the South Okanagan Concert Society,  this Trio is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and judging by previous performances  a full house is anticipated.

Get your tickets quickly on line at www.venablestheatre.ca or contact the theatre box office Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 to 3 pm at 250-498-1626.  Supported by generous sponsors, tickets are exceptionally affordable.  Two or more tickets in advance are only $21/ticket.  Single Tickets in advance are $23 and at the door if there are any left, $25.  Youth are ‘almost free’ at $2.50 so young people have opportunity to experience really fine live music locally. 

The Montreal Guitar Trio is a “force to be reckoned with”.  For over 20 years, the trio’s virtuosity, rigour, creativity and impressive stage presence has won converts all over the world.   Humour and interacting with the audience go hand in hand with this group in hundreds of concerts in prestigious venues across North America,  Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

The trio is composed of guitarists, Sebastien Dufour, Glenn Levesque and Marc Morin performing on Bruno Boutin guitars.   They first met as classical music students at the University of Montreal.  This year they are marking the 20th anniversary of their first live concert.   That conservatory background hasn’t stopped them from tackling flamenco and tango, nuances of Indian and Arabic music, hits from Queen and Rush or even Emio Marricone’s music for spaghetti westerns! As a trio, they have released six albums and won an Opus award for concert of the year in the Jazz & World Music category.  In January 2017 the trio launched its 7th album “Danzas” in Montreal.  It pays tribute to the great composers of Spanish music such as Paco de Lucia and Manuel de Falla.

Even more interesting, is the sextet that has emerged when the Montreal Guitar Trio combined with the California Guitar Trio some ten years ago.  Now each group performs as individual trios but approximately half their gigs are as a sextet together.   This has invigorated both groups and speeds past classical oriented guitar acts to embrace a wider contemporary repertoire and unexpected approaches.  A new album “In a New Landscape” was created together and has recently been released.

You can expect an exceptional concert when you arrive at the Venables Theatre March 20th.  Don’t forget next year’s SOCS series will be revealed and early bird tickets available for sale in the theatre foyer.

OCAC members elect new board

The Oliver Community Arts Council membership elected a new board on Monday February 17, 2020 at its Annual General Meeting. Several deserving nominees stood for the opportunity to serve on the board.

Leanne Scott, MOVE Therapies

Returning to the table as directors are: Roberta Barens, Tiffany Beckedorf, Adrienne Herbert, Bernice Myllyniemi, and Caroline Whyte. Joining them are the newly elected Leanne Scott (MOVE Therapies), and Bailley Rose Starkey (Gems and Stems at Eastside), filling the slate. The council thanked Janet Bednarczyk and Bev Penny for their willingness to stand. Both are active volunteers with the arts council, Bednarczyk as the chair of CreateAbility and member of the landscape committee, and Penny as a tireless volunteer with the Fall Art Show, Wine Capital Art Walk, and booth staffer at the WOW Trade Show.

Bailey Rose Starkey

Treasurer Diane Gludovatz presented the year-end financial statements, externally reviewed by Addventive Bookkeeping. The financial review noted exemplary records, concluding “the records are thorough and transparent. There is no long-term debt. Questions were answered promptly and thoroughly. Financial Statements (Balance Sheet and Income Statement) can be easily produced with the current procedures in place. Treasurer maintains a Chart of Accounts that is clear and logical. President and Treasurer have an excellent working rapport.”

The meeting concluded with a roundtable discussion of upcoming arts events.

Art walk invites artists, has barrels

CALL FOR ARTISTS: Wine Capital Art Walk

The Oliver Community Arts Council is proud to present the Wine Capital Art Walk! The main event is on Saturday, May 9 from 10 am – 2 pm. Display / Demo Artists are accepted in a variety of media. They share space with businesses on Station Street. OR Artists can choose to participate as a Wine Barrel Artist. See below for details. The art walk will also include wine tastings, live music, draws, children’s art activities, food vendors, and live art demonstrations.

This Call for Artists is open to all visual media: photography, digital media, three-dimensional art such as pottery, sculpture, mixed media installations, metalwork, woodwork, jewelry and other artisan crafts; fibre and fabric arts, such as quilting, weaving, spinning, clothing/fashion; painting including acrylics, oils, watercolours; and mixed / other two-dimensional media, such as charcoal, ink, encaustic, and collage. Space may also be available for performing arts: street theatre and improv, dance, street musicians, and other performers. NOTE: This component will be limited by available space and noise level.

All artwork must be display ready. Sale pieces are welcome. Display artists must be present during the event and take responsibility for their own sales. See Display entry form below for details.

One of the main attractions at the Wine Capital Art Walk is the Wine Barrel Art demonstration and silent auction, running Tuesday May 5 – Saturday May 9. The live art event features up to 10 skilled artists who transform wine barrels into cherished works of art. Artists may choose to prepare at home AND / OR work onsite May 5 – 9 from 10 – 4 p.m. (or a portion thereof). Barrel art is a wonderful fundraiser for groups! This year, Oliver Eats Ltd parking lot at 6060 Station St will be the barrel art location. A great high traffic location to encourage bidding and promote the art walk later in the week. Silent auction bids are accepted by email and onsite and the finished barrels are sold to the highest bidders on the Saturday afternoon. See Barrel Art entry form for details.

Artists are invited to apply in one of two categories: as a Display / Demo Artist or as a Wine Barrel Artist. One low entry fee. NO commission charged for Display Artists. To cover barrel costs, a flat commission will be charged. All participating artists must be members of the Oliver Community Arts Council. Membership forms are available at www.oliverartscouncil.org or

Artists should download and complete an application

Space is limited, and the event is popular.

For more information, contact OliverCAC @ gmail.com