Quail’s Nest celebrates local arts with open house

The big bay doors roll up on Sunday May 15th at Oliver’s newly renovated Quail’s Nest Arts Centre on Airport Street. After two years of near-isolation, Oliver’s arts community is ready to party. Visitors to the Quail’s Nest Open House on Sunday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. will be greeted with art displays, demonstrations, live music, an art market, and a BBQ food concession in support of SO Quality Childcare. Information booths will provide opportunity to meet many of the region’s artists or register for upcoming classes. Art groups will be accepting new students and members. Free admission to the public.

Fibre artists, painters, quilters, actors, sculptors, crafters in metal, textiles, and paper, and multimedia artists will all showcase their creativity. Shoppers browsing through the marquees and stalls can purchase art cards, embellished clothing, vintage jewelry, tapestries, pine needle baskets, fabric décor, resin artwork, theatre tickets, or a copy of the brand new One Hundred X One Hundred/ x̌cəcikst X x̌cəcikst local history book. A total of 26 groups, businesses, and individual artists will be represented.

The Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild and GNR Alpaca Boutique will each demonstrate fibre techniques. The Guild’s famous wool yurt will lure the curious into its cozy interior. The RipOff Artists reveal what famous Cubist painter they will be emulating in their upcoming challenge. Grandmothers for Africa will raise funds for relief efforts by selling ethnic jewelry and accessories. SOAP Theatre allows visitors to tiptoe behind the scenes in their rehearsal space. The public can view sets and costumes up close, and meet actors from recent productions.

Folk-rock duo Badgentina (aka Stephen and Lisa Toon) will add an upbeat vibe during the middle of the day. Bounce Radio 1240 will broadcast onsite. Shutterbugs can capture the moment with the set of colourful quirky quail frames and props.

All artists are members of the Oliver Community Arts Council, the organizers behind this colourful re-opening. The arts council will be promoting their CreateAbility program, summer’s Music in the Park, and the Fall Art Show and Sale. Handbills, entry forms, and memberships will be available. Those interested in renting their renovated facility can tour the site’s amenities and view a large-screen slideshow of their many activities. Door prizes include wine, handicrafts, ticket giveaways, and décor items.

The Quail’s Nest Open House welcomes visitors to 5840 Airport Street, Oliver. Public parking is available on the north side of Big Blue.

During the pandemic, the arts council received BC Arts Council funding to bolster arts and culture resilience. Last year, this funding was shared across a dozen community projects. For the Quail’s Nest Open House, the Oliver’s arts council is grateful to the Ross Fitzpatrick Family Fund and the Province of BC.

Okanagan theatre troupes compete in festival

After two years of hiatus because of Covid-19, we are so excited to announce that the Okanagan Zone Theatre Festival is back again; and even more excited that SOAP Theatre is the host club for this year’s event. There will be six different plays presented at the Venables Theatre in Oliver during the week of May 22 to May 27, followed by a public awards banquet at the Oliver Senior Centre on Saturday May 28.

Five of the participating performances will be competing for a range of awards and recognition, to be announced and presented at the awards banquet at the end of the week. The May 25 performance is not part of the competition. It is a new play workshopped with the playwright and the actors. Anyone with a ticket to any one of the competing performances will be able to attend the workshop play free of charge.

The adjudicator for this year’s Okanagan Zone Festival is Nicolle Nattrass. She is an actress (CAEA / UBCP), playwright (Playwrights Guild of Canada) and a Director/Dramaturg. She is a graduate from the University of Victoria (1991) with a BFA in Theatre, Acting Specialization. As an actress, Nicolle has performed for many regional theatres across Canada and worked in film, tv and radio.

Each adjudication will include a “coffee critique” held in the lobby of the Venables Theatre the morning following each competing performance. Ticket holders to each of these competing shows can attend its coffee critique the following morning, free of charge.

Remember, if you buy a show ticket, you can attend its critique by the adjudicator the following morning at no cost. Also, the workshop play scheduled for May 25 is free to anyone who holds a ticket for any of the other plays.

Six Dramatic Days of  Live Theatre, plus a banquet are scheduled as follows. All performances are at Venables Theatre (6100 Gala St. Oliver). The Awards Banquet will be at the Oliver Senior Centre (5876 Airport St. Oliver). 

Ticket pricing will be similar to what local theater patrons are used to paying for SOAP Theatre productions:

  • Single Show Adult Tickets on the day of the show: $25.00/person
  • Single Show Adult Advance Tickets: $22.50
  • Multi-Show Adult Tickets for 3 or more shows: $20.00/person/show
  • Student Tickets, with valid student ID: $15.00/person
  • Banquet Tickets: $45.00/person (Banquet ticket sales end on Thursday, May 26 at 12:00 noon)

​The above ticket prices include all fees and taxes.

Remember, if you buy a show ticket, you can attend its critique by the adjudicator the following morning at no cost. Also, the workshop play scheduled for May 25 is free to anyone who holds a ticket for any of the other plays.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE OR HERE

Montreal Guitar Trio ready to “fret”

Described by the CBC as the “hottest” guitar ensemble in Canada, the Montreal Guitar Trio will be performing at Venables Theatre Saturday, May 7th at 7:30 pm. The South Okanagan Concert Society executive are more than thrilled. The “MG3” Trio was a huge hit when they performed here in preCovid days and anyone who heard them will undoubtedly be back to get their tickets quickly and inform their friends.

Tickets are available on line at www.venablestheatre.ca or at the theatre box office on 6100 Gala, Oliver, Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm. Thanks to the generous support of loyal sponsors, the Concert Society is able to offer tickets at only $27.50.

Don’t be mistaken though, this Trio is a force to be reckoned with. For over 20 years, their virtuosity, rigour, creativity and impressive stage presence has won converts all over the world. Humour and interaction with the audience go hand-in-hand with this group in hundreds of concerts. You can hear them in prestigious venues across North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia or you can hear them right here in Oliver. Your choice!

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. 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 Ennio Morricone’s music for spaghetti westerns.

Throughout the years, the trio has collaborated and shared the stage with world-renowned ensembles and artists such as the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, Jorane, Solorazaf and Don Ross. In the past ten years their most memorable collaborations have been with the California Guitar Trio when both ensembles joined forces to give unforgettable concerts that included brilliantly performing rock classics from The Beatles and David Bowie as well as some of their original compositions. Together the two trios perform individually but now about 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. Together the two trios created and released a new album “In a New Landscape”.

In January 2017 the Montreal Guitar Trio launched its 7th album “Danzas” at the Theatre Outremont in Montreal, which pays tribute to the great composers of Spanish music.

The Saturday, May 7th performance at Venables Theatre is not to be missed. Get your tickets quickly and be part of an extraordinary musical experience.

Ukraine Benefit at Venables Theatre

Our world has been shocked at the developments in Ukraine and Russia.  The devastation of war; fear for security; economic impact and millions of refugees have caught the imagination and heart of millions around the world.   In the South Okanagan many are wondering what they can personally do to help Ukraine.  Our small communities have big hearts of kindness and compassion proven most recently in the collaborative work of the Cold Weather Sheltering for the homeless on the coldest winter nights of the past two winters.

The Seventh-day Adventist churches of Oliver and Osoyoos with the support of the Town of Oliver and Venables Theatre are sponsoring a Ukrainian Charity Benefit ConcertAdmission is free and concert attendees will have the opportunity to select several bona-fide Canadian charities to support in the humanitarian crisis of the Ukrainian people.   The concert will feature video stories of evacuees helping to put a real “face” on this crisis.

We are very pleased on such a late notice to book Canadian-born, Award-Winning, Multi-Genre Artist, Gina Williams.   Ms Williams is a singer, songwriter, pianist, composer, producer, and film & television actress.  An engaging and entertaining performer, this “Modern Day Renaissance Woman” – continues to defy stereotypes while touching hearts.  Ms Williams performs Pop, Rock, R&B/Soul, Jazz, Gospel, Christian, Dance, Caribbean/Latin, and Classical music at numerous festivals and concert stages around the world including audiences in Kiev, Ukraine.

The concert is free to the public and will open with several talented, local youth musicians.  We would be very grateful for you to share the information of this exciting concert and charity opportunity with your congregations and distribute the flyers.  Together, we can make a difference!

Oliver arts featured in new history book

One Hundred X One Hundred Book Arrives in Oliver

Oliver, BC – A long-awaited event has come to pass: the One Hundred X One Hundred/ x̌cəcikst X x̌cəcikst local history book has arrived and is now available at the Oliver Archives! The book, which started in 2021 with funding from the Oliver Community Arts Council and a Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage: Community Anniversaries Program grant, has been a labour of love for the many contributors and partners who worked on showcasing stories from Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band and chronicling the growth of the present-day community.

The book, which is affordably priced at $9.99 + tax, contains 96 pages of full colour historic and contemporary photos, artwork, maps, history, and even interactive QR codes that allow readers to find additional content online. The cover includes the 100 X 100 Project logo created by local artist Emilie Herbert.

Co-editors Jenna Bower and Ken Favrholdt brought their own unique touches to the project. Jenna Bower, Curator of the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, ensured the sukʷnaʔqinx oral histories were upheld. Bower, who studies her native language at the OIB Language House in Oliver, worked with elder Sheri Stelkia to add accurate transliteration of words and phrases in nsyilxcen throughout the book and recorded spoken phrases that can be listened to using the book’s QR codes. Ken Favrholdt brought a historical geographer’s eye for details of the past, as well as decades of writing experience as a local history author to choosing images and refining the text.

While paper shortages and supply chain issues led to delays late in 2021, with the help of a small book review committee and the assistance of ODHS president Vance Potter, OIB facilitator Terry Baptiste, and printer Munday Media, the book finished its long journey from community-submitted tales and pictures to attractively-bound local history volume, which is sure to grace coffee tables for years to come.

ODHS Executive Director Julianna Weisgarber stated, “This book is the work of many individuals, and we thank everyone for their enthusiasm for the project, for submitting their stories and bringing in photographs, and for directing our attention to the topics and people that needed to be included. The end result is a beautiful local history souvenir of the 100 X 100 year that residents can be truly proud of.”

To order your copy of One Hundred X One Hundred book/ x̌cəcikst X x̌cəcikst, please contact the Oliver Archives at 250-498-4027 or email info@oliverheritage.ca.

For more information contact:

Rebecca Rizzo

Curator

Oliver and District Heritage Society Museum and Archives

www.oliverheritage.ca l 250.498.4027 l 430 Fairview Rd, Oliver BC

Immerse yourself in alpaca!

Learn how to spin, skein, felt, dye, knit and more — all with luxurious, soft alpaca wool.

GNR Alpaca Boutique in Oliver announces the following workshops. Call or email for future dates. 416-526-0503 info@gnralpacaboutique.ca Location: 7171 Tucelnuit Drive OR your location (plus mileage) Minimum three students except where noted. All workshops include materials in the price.

3D Wet Felting Vessels ($50): 3 hours

Nuno Scarf ($60) 3 hours

Felted Scarf ($75) 3 hours

Felted Hat ($105): wet felt a one-of-a-kind felted hat 4 hours

Felted Soaps ($15): 2 felted soaps are completed in the 1 hour workshop

Yarn Dyeing ($65): alpaca or llama, 2 different bases, 2 skeins, 2 different methods of dyeing

Introduction to Spinning ($40): 1 on 1, learn preparing fibre, carding, using a Lendrum wheel, spin 2 singles and ply together to make your own skein of yarn.

Knitting class: ($60) learn to knit thrum mitts using amazing alpaca yarn

Knitting with Beads: ($25) learn to insert beads into your knitting

Blending Boards and Rolags ($40): playing with fibre to create batts and rolags for felting or spinning projects 3 hours

Felted Flowers and Beads ($25): 2-3 hours

Felted Cuffs and Bookmarks ($20): 2 hours

Felted slippers: ($95) wet felt one-of-a-kind pair of slippers

Needle Felted Animals ($30) owls, penguins, ladybugs, hedgehogs 3 hours

Ladies to laugh with

Ready for an evening of laughs?  The Anything You Can Do Comedy Tour features some of Western Canada’s funniest comedians who are masters of their craft. Celebrate International Women’s Day with a night of comedy with three hilarious ladies. Gather your friends—this show is perfect for a girls’ night out, (don’t worry, you can bring your guy friends too)!

ANYTHING YOU CAN DO Comedy Tour
Sunday March 13th
7:30 p.m.

Venables Theatre
TICKETS $30
​Recommended 16+

Headliner Erica Sigurdson is a Canadian comedian, writer, producer, and haberdasher. Sigurdson has Icelandic ancestry. She is a two-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee, a Leo Award-winning comedy writer and is regularly featured on CBC Radio’s smash hit The Debaters. She has been performing stand-up across Canada for ten years, has travelled to Afghanistan to entertain the troops and was a semi-finalist in the Seattle International Comedy Competition.

Yumi Nagashima is a Tokyo born, Vancouver based comedian, actress and writer. She made her stand-up debut in 2016 and realized that stand-up is what she was born to do. Don’t let her petite and gentle demeanor fool you — she has a savage wit! Her comedy has taken her around the globe, thanks to invitations from Montreal’s Just for Laughs showcase, the Jakarta International Comedy Festival, and Comedy Central Asia in Singapore. 

Rounding out the evening is host Katie-Ellen Humphries. Katie-Ellen is a standup comedian, writer and sketch performer who currently splits her time between Vancouver and New York. Whether sharing comedic confessions or disappearing into uproarious and dramatic characters, Katie-Ellen’s remarkable point-of-view resonates on the stage, page and screen. Her sensibility (that falls somewhere between the library and the locker-room) and sharp wit make her a favourite of audiences of all kinds. 

Cheng² Duo set to dazzle

The South Okanagan Concert Society is celebrating as we welcome the Cheng² Duo with a sense of real gratitude as concerts featuring marvelous classical musicians resume again.

The Cheng² Duo (“Cheng Squared Duo”) last performed here in 2018 to rave reviews.  A dynamic brother and sister team, cellist Bryan Cheng and pianist, Silvie Cheng, will demonstrate their “virtuoso fireworks” and “impeccable technique” on Friday, March 18th at 7:30 pm on the Venables Theatre stage.  Tickets are available ONLINE HERE or at the theatre box office, open 10 am to 3 pm on Tuesdays to Thursdays.  If you need assistance just call the box office at 250 498 1616.

The dynamic siblings have quickly become an audience favourite wherever they perform.  The obvious affection between the two extends into the music itself.  It is hardly surprising they have established a reputation for being invited to return engagements at prestigious venues including New York’s  Carnegie Hall.

Silvie and Bryan are quintessentially Canadian.  Silvie describes their background as international, as do so many Canadians.  Born in Tokyo, Japan, she moved to Ottawa as an infant with her parents who are of Chinese heritage.  Bryan, 7 years younger than Silvie and now 24, was born in Ottawa.  Both are multi lingual.  They perform all over the world and say, “We are proud to represent Canada wherever we go.” 

Despite the difficulties the pandemic has created for musicians, cellist Bryan recently was a winner at the 2021 Geneva International Competition. His sister, a New Yorker, was recipient of the Rubinstein award for exceptional promise in piano performance.  She closed out 2001 with a week long solo piano stint at the Empire State Building.

Christmas this year meant family and some skiing in Canada before the duo left for performances in London, England followed in February by a trip to South Africa.

Bryan soon won first prize in the South Africa Foundation International Strings Competition.  In addition he was awarded two special prizes recognizing, among other things, his performance of Baroque work.

Never ones to miss opportunities the siblings took part in an adventuresome safari game drive before Bryan played Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

This March Silvie and Bryan are doing a recital tour of Alberta, B.C. California, Ontario and Quebec.  They have had international accolades for their “musical sensitivity”, “phenomenal virtuosity”, “passionate, invigorating…masterful performances”.   Get your tickets quickly and be prepared for a very special evening of fine music.

Rat race? Take the Off-Ramp

Stressed? Life a little bit … crazy? Take the exit to smooth jazz with the OffRamp Jazz Sextet.

We welcome the return of a new concert series presented by the South Okanagan Concert Society. They are determined to bring quality performances to the community that engage and delight.

Get your tickets now for the first concert on Sunday, November 7th at 2 pm when pianist Justin Glibbery will be on the Venables Theatre stage with his Offramp Jazz Sextet, formed in 2010. Glibbery handpicked each member of the sextet to compete in the Penticton Jazz Festival. Festival goers responded to the music with excitement and the sextet returned for subsequent festivals before starting to perform around the Okanagan Valley. They continue to grow their audiences and receive accolades from jazz enthusiasts and music lovers alike. They have performed sold out concerts at the famous Dream Café, Hillside Winery & Bistro, the Vernon Jazz Club and at previous engagements with the South Okanagan Concert Society.

The Offramp Jazz Sextet appeals to all generations of jazz lovers. Their music is accessible to jazz fans and easy-listening music lovers alike. From ballads and “standards” to exciting, breathless improvisations, they bring the best of the swing era.

Tickets are $22.50, and sold by the single concert rather than a series. Tickets are available at the Venables Box Office, by phone at 250-498-1626 or www.venablestheatre.ca The price includes automatic membership in the South Okanagan Concert Society, and voting privileges at their AGM.

Please note that at Venables Theatre performances will be sold at a 50% capacity of 200 people. Patrons 12 and older will be required to wear masks and show proof of FULL vaccination. See link to download proof. This concert will be 1 hour long with no intermission so everyone can feel safe and happy.

Tracy Fehr‘s lovely voice will have her audience feeling festive on Sunday, December 12 at 2 p.m. Penticton lyric coloratura soprano, Tracy Fehr and her musical friends perform an uninterrupted hour of seasonal music. The performance will be further enhanced with elegant costumes created by Medieval Fehr.

The Christmas-themed programme will feature Handel and Mozart, rousing carols and Renaissance motets as well as much loved songs including O Holy Night, Maria Weigenlied, Ave Maria and Hugo Wolf’s stunning Schlafendes Jesuskind.

Fehr will be joined by talented Kelowna artists Graham Vink (piano) and Olivia Walsh (cello) and the Early Music a cappella trio, Seraphim Vocal Ensemble (Tracy Fehr, Heather Allen and Olivia Walsh).

Tickets are $22.50 for the concert. Don’t be disappointed, book early! Box office hours at the Venables Theatre are Tuesday to Thursday 10 to 3 pm. Walk in or phone 250 498 1626. You can also pick your seats online at www.venablestheatre.ca

Watch for more live music in the new year, brought to you by the South Okanagan Concert Society.

Arts & Crafts Fair October 23

Returning once again to the Oliver Community Centre, this year’s 44th annual Arts and Crafts Show takes place Saturday October 23rd from 10am to 4pm. A showcase of some of the finest arts and crafts in the valley, the show includes home decor and seasonal decorations from etched glassware and hand-made pottery to woven and quilted table linens.
Many popular booths will be returning this year including two of the South Okanagan’s largest fabric guilds – the Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers and the Double O Quilters. The perfect gift can be found as artisans and crafters are well stocked with a wide variety of articles for display and sale. The work of dozens of local artisans and craftspeople will be available show and sale this year including booths filled with re-purposed silverware and upcycled clothing.
Admission is free to the 44th Oliver Arts and Craft Show which takes place one-day only on Saturday October 23rd from 10am – 4pm in the Community Hall of the Oliver Community Centre at 6359 Park Drive, Oliver.

Easy to start sculpting

Never sculpted in your life? Don’t consider yourself an artist? Let Maureen Walker show you how easy it can be with her step-by-step process and just a few simple tools. Students have already exclaimed about their own creations and how much they enjoy her classes.

Classes are all held at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre, 5840 Airport Street, Oliver. Register for one or more or all! Each requires a separate pre-registration deposit. Class size limited. Masks required. All COVID protocols will be followed.

Monday October 18: Garden Gnomes

Wednesday October 27: Standing Lady

Monday November 8: Reindeer

Wednesday November 17: Garden Fairy

Pre-registration is required: maureen.walker2010 @ gmail.com 250-306-3379

Follow her on Facebook or visit her website to see her beautiful artwork up close.

Art Show CANCELLED

We regret to announce the 2021 Fall Art Show and Sale (FASS) has been cancelled. We began the year with great hope that we would be able to mount a safe, enjoyable show. Recent events have proven otherwise. We are joining an ever-growing list of events that are shuttering this fall.

First, be assured that we are reimbursing everyone who has paid an entry fee, including any membership purchased with a FASS entry. If you wish to remain a member and only have your entry fee reimbursed, let us know. Artwork created for the show will of course be welcome at next year’s event.

Why the cancellation? We did work hard to design a flow-through environment at our smaller venue, and balanced a budget to reflect these changes. However, there are several reasons the event is now less viable:

  1. Closure of “Fall Festival Weekend”, with which we are linked, is announcing today that they are cancelling. That includes the Wine Village Kick-Off, Cask and Keg, Festival of the Grape, and some other events. With that closure comes a significant loss of promotion and audience. We lose advertising, the FFW route map, the wine bus tour, and wine service. We lose potentially hundreds of visitors, the visitors we rely on every year to purchase artwork. While we could mount a much quieter show, this is not the experience we promised nor what our artists have come to expect.
  2. Health Concerns: With a spike in variant cases in the Okanagan projected well into the fall, coinciding with a return to school and the appeal of wine tourism drawing even more people to the area, we have come to believe the timing is poor to encourage visitors to an indoor gathering.
  3. Public relations: We are concerned about running an event when there is uncertainty about fall health orders and mandates. We do not wish to be seen as contributing to the spread of disease or encouraging folks from other regions to come here. We are also concerned about our FASS volunteers. According to guidance from the province, events will be required to ask visitors for proof of vaccination. We are concerned about our volunteers being in this position with no training and little time to prepare. They may face challenging situations and should not be expected to act as security. No one wants to treat our volunteers that way. We have had many new artists express interest in entering. While this is thrilling for us, we also don’t want their first experience of the show to be a pale shadow of what we know we can be.

We know this is a disappointment, and we apologize to those who have already entered, to those busy creating art specifically for this show, and to those audiences who have simply been looking forward to some normalcy.

If you have contacted us as a new artist, we would happily add you to our artist contact list to inform you of any upcoming art show plans.

If you have any questions or concerns we would be happy to address them.

The OCAC Board is already brainstorming safe art activities and other ways to keep our community engaged, and will say more when our ideas become plans. Until then, keep following us, stay safe and keep creating!