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 or

Artists should download and complete an application

Space is limited, and the event is popular.

For more information, contact OliverCAC @

Guys & dolls, gangsters & molls

Sssh… don’t say a word. It’s Prohibition… unless you know how to not get caught. At the Beer Shop & Speakeasy, hiding in the basement of the Old Firehall (sneaky parking ’round back on Brewery Alley), the gang will all be there, celebrating the Roaring 20’s with cocktails by the Dubh Glas Distillery, live tunes by Anna Jacyszyn & the Jazz Cafe Trio, and some good ol’ dancing and debauchery. It’s all behind locked doors, so try to keep a lid on it, won’t ya?  

$25 gets you past the big man at the door, which includes your first bootlegged “giggle water” from the distillery. Seating is limited and this will sell-out, so get your tickets while you can.

Join the Prohibition Bash on Saturday March 7 at 7 pm the Firehall Brewery, 6077 Main Street Oliver, lower level. Cover $25 includes your first gin cocktail. Jazz, dancing, cocktails, and games. Costumes encouraged!

This event sold out last time, so reserve your place in the speakeasy by clicking here:

Prohibition Bash

“Seasons of Life” announced as theme

The theme for the 2020 Fall Art Show & Sale has been announced as “Seasons of Life”. Art is welcome in all visual media, whether it adheres strictly to the theme or not. Awards are presented in each category, with only the top award reserved for “Best Interpretation of the Theme”.

The theme could be understood as seasons of nature or take on a more metaphorical interpretation. Artists are encouraged to take broad inspiration from the theme. It can be applied to landscapes, flowers and trees, or animal and human stages of growth. A more abstract interpretation could be emotional changes or cognitive growth: from innocence to experience, from rebellion to maturity, from anger to acceptance. The theme can be an expression of one particular “season”, or show a range of seasons.

Awards will be presented in nine categories, including seven media categories: photography, acrylics, fibre arts, oils, mixed / other media, watercolours, and three-dimensional. Fibre arts includes (but is not limited to) quilting, weaving, felting, knitting, needlework, tapestry, rug hooking, fashion design, tatting, millinery, and the like. Some fibre artists might choose to categorize their artwork as “three-dimensional” instead. . Three-dimensional includes many forms such as sculpture, decorative arts (ceramics, woodwork, metalwork, glasswork, leatherwork, jewelry), assemblage, and product design (e.g. furniture, luthiery).

There are also two youth categories: budding artists (12 and under) and emerging artists (13 – 18 years).

Show Dates: October 3 – 4, 2020 at the Oliver Community Centre
Entry Form Deadline: Friday September 11, 2020
Early Bird Draw Deadline: Thursday September 10, 2020
Extension for Youth Artists ONLY: Friday September 18, 2020

The Fall Art Show and Sale is always well-attended, with up to 125 works of art in this multimedia event. Partnered with the Festival of the Grape, the show attracts many wine tourists (and art buyers). This is your season to shine in the sun! Please download the following package of information to help you get a head start on your art!

Two tributes, one concert

With incredible authenticity, DREAMS replicates the Fleetwood Mac sound as they were at the pinnacle of their fabulous run. Fleetwood Mac was the band of  the 70s and 80s producing a stunning range of musical styles and powerhouse vocals. Today, 30 plus years later, their music still fills the airwaves. Close your eyes and let Dreams of Fleetwood Mac, take you away.

The great ABBA tribute band ARRIVAL has a sound and stage show honed and fine tuned to such a degree that they have often been actually mistaken for the real thing. Be part of this lucky audience singing along with all of ABBA’s famous great tunes during ARRIVAL’s exciting high energy live stage show! Every song on ARRIVAL’s roster was a number one ABBA hit. ARRIVAL delivers with such incredible, accurate and enjoyable authenticity. You will be transported back to height of ABBA’s glory.


Special offer – purchase a ticket to DREAMS / ARRIVAL and one other show being presented by OM Oliver Music & Entertainment by February 15th and save $15. Telephone or in person only for this special offer. Call or visit the box office Tue – Thu from 10 – 3, 250-498-1626 or visit 6100 Gala St.
Qualifying shows:
The Day Trippers – Friday May 8
Moondance – Friday June 26
Tower of Song – Friday September 18

Open house gets you warm and fuzzy

The Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers hold their annual spinning retreat at Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos on Saturday March 28. The public is welcome to attend their Open House, view spinners at work and purchase hand-dyed rovings and other fibre goods.

Vagabond at Firehall

Vagabond performs at the Firehall Brewery on Tuesday February 11th at 7 p.m. $15 ticket. 6077 Main Street, Oliver

Vagabond is a Penticton-based acoustic trio specializing in “rockabilly, blues, and country soul,” comprised of none other than veteran lead guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, founder and guitarist of renowned Canadian rock band, PRISM, with lead vocalist Leslie Thompson, and double bassman Stefan Bienz. Tickets are only $15, with only 40 seats in the house! Reserve yourself a seat for this intimate show while you can, tickets available in advance by clicking here: Vagabond Concert at the Firehall

Expect an eclectic repertoire of radio hits from the 1950s and 60s, plus original tunes penned by Lindsay Mitchell as founder and principal songwriter for the classic 1970s Canadian rock band PRiSM.

Lindsay Mitchell began his career in the mid 1960s as lead guitarist and songwriter with the notorious Vancouver-based rock band the Seeds of Time. His 1969 composition My Home Town (Coast Records) was a nationwide hit. In 1977 he formed the multiple Juno Award winning group PRiSM (GRT Capitol) for whom he composed numerous multi-gold and platinum hits including Armageddon, Young & Restless, and A Night to Remember. Along the way he has shared the stage with a host of rock celebrities: Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, the Byrds, Meatloaf, Heart, Roy Orbison, kd lang, and AC/DC just to name a few. He has also performed with many blues and R&R legends: T-Bone Walker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Del Shannon, Willie Dixon, Pinetop Perkins, Big Joe Duskin, Albert Collins, and many more. But the musical memories he holds most dear involve old friends: the late Billy Cowsill and Long John Baldry, and celebrated BC bluesmen Kenny Wayne and Jim Byrnes.

Leslie Thompson, based in Okanagan Falls, began taking music lessons at age 5, and was soon playing drums in her parents’ country western band (mommy played bass, daddy lead guitar). After studying music at Capilano University in the late 80s, she took to the road in Western Canada with a number of country-rock acts, later returning to BC to reunite onstage with her parents. An Okanagan resident since 2000, she plays and sings in several local outfits.

“I saw her a few years ago playing drums for a Penticton country-rock group,” Mitchell explains, “and was so impressed by her voice (a cross between Bonnie Raitt and June Carter), that I resolved to call her up if I ever needed a singer in the Okanagan.”

Stefan Bienz of Summerland is the undisputed number one “go to” bassman in the South Okanagan. As such he has performed with a host of local and visiting musicians and singers. Accordingly, we are delighted to have him on board.

“When I first invited Stefan to play with us,” Mitchell says, “he asked what kind of bass playing was needed.”

“I’m looking for a Willie Dixon,” I answered, “simple, low down, with a deep groove.”

“I’m your man.” he replied.

The rest is history.

Christmas Fair seeks help

Do you enjoy the Christmas Craft Fair in November? Would you like to see it continue? Jen and Klaudia are two great gals, who have run this fair for decades, and who are now looking for some help to manage the fair so they can (eventually) put their feet up. . This is a great opportunity to learn from a very experienced and cheerful team.

Old-Fashioned Family Fun Day at Oliver Museum

Oliver, BC – Longing for the days when family time was separate from screen-time? We’re bringing back family fun, without the screens! This Family Day weekend, join us at the Oliver Museum for our Old-Fashioned Family Fun Day on Sunday, Feb. 16th, an afternoon of fun and creative activities from 1- 4 pm.

This free, family-oriented event includes opportunities for all ages to learn heritage skills such as leatherworking and weaving keepsakes to take home. Kids and parents can craft their leafiest family tree and decorate it with the names of loved ones. Teens and adults can try their luck at a number of different board games in the museum’s main gallery. Finally, join in and build mini catapults for our epic indoor snowball fight at 4 pm where you’ll have the chance to line up and launch pom-pom “snowballs.” The team who sends the most snowballs over the line wins! Free cookies, granola bars and juice boxes will be available throughout the day. Mark Family Day this year by making some memories. We can’t wait to see you there!

Made possible thanks to the support of the B.C. government.

Contact: Julianna Weisgarber, Executive Director, Oliver & District Heritage Society

250-498-4027 info

Let’s get jammin’ — allons-y!

Will Stroet of Will’s Jams is a JUNO, WCMA and CFMA nominated musician, CBC Kids, Universal Kids and Kidoodle TV star, educator and dad, well loved for his original rock, folk, and blues music with witty wordplay and catchy choruses.

Will’s Jams is a power trio who perform high-energy songs in English and French with fun actions and sing-along choruses. Kids and their parents will be cheering for libraries, loving their bikes and rallying for vegetables – all while they’re on their feet and dancing away. Will’s educational rock, pop and blues songs ignite imaginations and motivate movement for the young and young at heart.

For more than a decade, Will’s been entertaining kids through his bilingual music, inspiring them to be active, healthy, creative and engaged in the world. Part of the Family ShowTime Series:

Friday February 21 – Will’s Jams
Saturday April 18 – Uzume Taiko

Arts at the trade show

Visit the arts council booth to find out all the latest arts information: upcoming events, entry forms, and memberships. Ask about the Annual General Meeting and other arts council Board initiatives.

The arts council is offering prizes to be won by entering the free draw at their booth. On offer are tickets to Born Yesterday (produced by SOAP Theatre) and tickets to Will’s Jams, part of the Venables Theatre’s children’s showcase.

Exhibits, trades, and sales in show

The Trade show title “Mainly for Women” reflects the W.O.W. Society mission statement, with the funds raised going to support our projects which focus mainly on women and children within our community.

The trade show displays feature everything from beautifully handcrafted jewelry to pottery, wood crafts, fibre art, health products and services, real estate and investments, home improvement, fashion, food, and many more themes.

The ‘Mainly for Women’ Trade Show occurs every February.  Forty to sixty individual vendors showcase their wares in the Oliver Community Centre, where there is free parking for patrons.  A lunch and snack area is available.

Colour TV coming in April

Sage Valley Voices Community Choir, along with President, Lois Bzdel, presented cheques to representatives of the Oliver United Church and the Sumac Ladies Auxillary respectively.

Proceeds from their 2019 Christmas Concert were in support of the local community outreach programs and soup kitchen.

Sage Valley Voices Choir would like to express their thanks to the Oliver Elementary School Choir for their performance and the communities of Oliver and Osoyoos for their continued support of their concerts.

Their upcoming spring concert is entitled TV in TECHNICOLOUR, Lori Martine conductong. Saturday April 25th at 7pm and Sunday April 26th at  2:30pm at the Oliver United Church. Tickets at the door $12.00, children under 12 admission is free.

Hoyt enchants with song and story

review by Bob Park

The South Okanagan Concert Society did it again! The choice of Lizzy Hoyt for the third concert of the 2019-20 series was spot on. Her angelic voice, her virtuosic Celtic fiddle and harp playing, the wide range of songs and styles, and her engaging way of connecting with fellow musicians and the audience all proved to be exactly what the nearly full house at the Venables was craving on a winter’s evening. 

Here in the Okanagan valley, Winnipeg-based Lizzy Hoyt may have been a relatively unknown singer/fiddler come to perform her original Canadian and family history-based songs as well as much-loved favorites in Celtic/Folk style, but after this delightful concert she is “unknown” no more! More than 300 people can’t stop talking about her. The joy, enthusiasm, humour, reflection and memories which Lizzy generated, backed expertly by both Keith Rempel on string bass and Chris Tabbert on guitar and mandolin, are sure to continue to resonate with audience members.

Every song came with a story. The much-loved familiar songs, such as Star of the County Down, Jolene, Loch Lomond, St.Anne’s Reel and V’la Le Bon Vent, all were given a fresh interpretation. The musical rapport between the three performers was evident, with lots of scope for Chris and Keith to cut loose and add interesting solos and arranging to the tunes. You might have heard these songs before, but not the inventive way they played them.

Lizzy draws inspiration in her song writing from her family’s roots and her own experiences. “New Lady on the Prairie” tells of an Irish immigrant woman’s first experience on an intimidating Canadian prairie. The horrors of the First World War appear in “The White Feather” and “Vimy Ridge”.

Lizzy, Keith and Chris are so skilled that they seemed to be effortlessly producing such lovely music for everyone. They were obviously enjoying themselves, and when Lizzy invited the audience to sing along with the refrains of several of the familiar songs, it even felt effortless for the rest of us to join in.

The standing ovation was spontaneous, and we were rewarded with Lizzy singing a most beautiful, heart-wrenching rendition of “Danny Boy”. Many an eye was moist, and every heart was moved.

The Venables theatre has the new feature of wine being served in the lobby, and the SOCS has the new feature of serving plates of snacks for a reception after the concerts. This made for all kinds of wonderful conversations and reactions to Lizzy Hoyt’s concert. Here’s a sample of what we overheard:

“Her storytelling put war and its consequences in a real light.”
“We were there” (at Vimy Ridge memorial)
“I love the way I could hear all the words of her songs.”
“I’ve listened to Celtic music on CDs, but hearing it live tonight was a whole new experience.”
“I don’t actually like Celtic music, but this was amazing!”
“What a fabulous voice!”
“We loved the cooperation among the musicians.”
“She can really communicate with the audience.”
“This concert adds to the rich diversity of SOCS concerts.”

Here is one more comment:
“How can a performer this good not be more famous?”
Well, that can still change. Here at the Venables, a corner has been turned.

The South Okanagan Concert Society is bringing its final concert of the season to the Venables on March 20. The Montreal Guitar Trio is coming. It will be a joy to welcome them back to Oliver, after about a ten year stretch. That particular evening, the SOCS will make early bird tickets for the upcoming season available at their traditional reduced price. Advance ticket – $23, Door – $25, and Student – $2.50

See you there!

Romance + tart political humour

Just when politics has lost its sense of humour, in rides Billie Dawn on a breath of fresh air. Her smarts are buried under layers of satin and showgirl sass but are highly combustible. When her powerful and shady boyfriend, Harry Brock, sets out to buy a senator, he decides Billie needs a bit more class and he hires journalist, Paul Verrall, to make her appear more intelligent. But a little education can go a long way, and Billie may be smarter than the men in her life give her credit for.

​Born Yesterday is a sparkling 1946 romantic and political comedy as relevant today as it was 70 years ago! Personal and political oppression are exposed and outwitted in the intellectual rebirth of the iconic “dumb blonde”, who stands up to corruption & intimidation.​ Suitable for ages 13 and older.

More information on plot, cast, and tons of commentary here:

Fri-Sat February 7 – 8
7:00 p.m.
Sunday February 9
2:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat February 14 – 15
7:00 p.m.
Frank Venables Theatre

Single Show Ticket Prices
Adults Day-of-the-Show $25/person
Adults in Advance $23/person
Group of 10 or more Adults $19/person (use promo code GROUP)
Students Day-of-the-Show $15/person
Students in Advance $13/person