Coming to the Venables Theatre

alicelogo25_origFriday September 30, 1pm & 7pm
Missoula Children’s Theatre and Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School present


Take a wondrous trip with Alice, the White Rabbit and a host of others as the Missoula Children’s Theatre and more than 50 Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School students present ALICE IN WONDERLAND. This original musical production is part of the Missoula Children’s Theatre’s unique international touring project.

The story begins with Alice and her older sister Margaret reading together. Margaret becomes frustrated as Alice is curious about absolutely everything. Suddenly, a White Rabbit appears from nowhere. After a quick and nonsensical conversation, Alice follows the rabbit to a strange and wonderful place. In the course of her adventures, Alice meets a band of Flowers, the King and Queen of Hearts, the Knave and the rest of the suit of Cards, a giant Caterpillar, a Fish, a Frog, the Duchess, the Cook, the Cheshire Cat, the Gryphon, the Mock Turtle, a group of singing Lobsters, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Dormouse and Humpty Dumpty. Through it all, Alice grows “curiouser and curiouser” as to where she is and even who she is. In the end, the answers she seeks are unimportant. Wonderland is all nonsense, anyway. As the White Rabbit explains, “Nonsense is fun!”. For more information, call Tuc-el-Nuit at (250) 498-3415

Friday October 7, 2016 – 7:30 pm

Presented by Global Village B&B for the MS Society


A Fats Domino Musical Tribute

kenny_blues_boss_wayne1The Legendary Blues and Boogie Woogie piano master Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is hailed by LIVING BLUES magazine as “an artist bringing the piano back to the front ranks of contemporary Blues.” This 2006 Juno Award winner was raised in New Orleans and his powerful music recalls the era when piano players like Fats Domino worked the “strolls” in dozens of American cities. Resplendent in one of his many multi-hued, French, custom-tailored stage suits, he’s a throwback to the golden age of classic rhythm and blues. Wayne is a soulful vocalist and an electrifying performer – a cross between Fats Domino and Professor Longhair.

This concert is sure to be a Wine Festival highlight and all proceeds will go directly to the South Okanagan Similkameen Chapter of the MS Society. Come early and enjoy a glass of Road 13 wine which will be available for purchase, or enjoy a glass during intermission or after the concert when you can mingle with Kenny and his incredibly talented band.

All over North America and Europe, Kenny’s concerts sell out quickly, so buy your tickets early.

All Seats Reserved

Tickets $35

Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3

Buy tickets online for best seat availability

Select seats also available at

Beyond Bliss Esthetics

Medici’s Gelateria and Coffee House


Saturday October 22nd, 2016 – 7:30pm

Frank Venables Theatre Presents


lorneelliot-web_origCanadian born LORNE ELLIOTT has performed from Newfoundland to New York City, from Los Angeles to Australia and points in between. Lorne started performing in 1974 as a folk musician in East Coast Canada. At the same time he kept writing fiction as well as songs, monologues and one-liners. The outcome of such a training is a very special show of comedy and music, totally original, entertaining, foolish and uplifting. Along with his unique performance style it is the timelessness of his material, joined with keen observations on today’s trends that make LORNE ELLIOTT ‘s work so special. Lorne has been gracing the airwaves as host of CBC Radio’s “Madly Off In All Directions” for 11 seasons.

“I was born so far back I can hardly remember and grew up normally, I think. I started going on stage at a time when hair like mine was fashionable, and I hung a guitar hung around my neck to complete the look. Somewhere around that time people started laughing at me, and I saw no reason why I shouldn’t join them. I’ve made a living off the products of my imagination for thirty years, so if you’re wondering if that’s possible I am here to tell you it is. Give it a whirl. You just might find an audience.”

All Seats Reserved

Tickets- Adults $35, Students $15

Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3

Buy tickets online for best seat availability

Select seats also available at Beyond Bliss Esthetics


Thursday, November 10, 2016 – 7:30pm

The Louisiana Hayride Show

Fall Tour Spectacular

hayride-poster-cut-web_origJoin the incredibly talented cast of the Louisiana Hayride Show as they pay tribute to the iconic live radio program, The Louisiana Hayride. Join them on this magical, musical journey, to a time when songs were meaningful, words were understood and the sound was pleasant.

Here to delight you will be “Patsy Cline”, “Roy Orbison”, “Willie Nelson”, “Hank Williams”, “Loretta Lynn” and more! Plus, tributes to our Great Canadians; Hank Snow, Anne Murray, Ian and Sylvia and Shania Twain.

Come for a FUN night out! You will be entertained from beginning to end!

All Seats Reserved

Tickets $39.50

Available at Frank Venables box office Mondays 11-3

Buy tickets online for best seat availability

Select seats also available at Beyond Bliss Esthetics

Seats or Smiles?

an editorial by Penelope Johnson

As a representative from the arts council, I was recently invited to attend a joint meeting of School Board #53, the Town of Oliver, Oliver Parks and Recreation, RDOS, and community groups who all had a vested interest in the rebuilding of the auditorium at Southern Okanagan Secondary School. The architect and structural engineer were also in attendance to present some early designs, based on the existing footprint of the previous auditorium. While many of the financial details are still in negotiation and not yet released, there were some illuminating threads in the discussion. Here are some of my personal reflections.

A Multi-Use Facility: There was a strong desire for a space that could serve many purposes and thus attract not only theatre, dance, and concerts but also weddings, funerals, and corporate events. A large airy lobby is proposed, including display areas, concession, kitchen, washrooms,  and a box office. Behind the stage are dressing rooms and a “black box” style performance space intended as a drama classroom, rehearsal area, or even a “green room” area for shows with large casts.  Many of these proposed areas can fulfill more than one function.

An Accessible Facility?: The present theatre design incorporates stairs rather than ramps, as had been present in the old Venables Auditorium. The rationale is that the theatre can be fitted with more seats if the rake (angle of  the floor) is steeper. As the angle increases, ramps become unsafe. Long,  shallow steps descending to the stage are the alternative. The stairs prompted much discussion about universal design and access. An elevator could take patrons to disability seating at the top level (back) of the theatre, but such seating will be limited and could separate families and groups. After community user groups expressing the need to accommodate the large percentage of senior patrons, the architectural firm agreed to consider some minor design changes.

Seats, Seats and More Seats! … or Not?: The current theatre design has about 12 rows of 30 seats, or 364 in total. While most users agreed that figure was plenty for current needs, some discussion focussed on how to increase the number of seats to 400 without compromising the proposed generous legroom between the rows. The consensus was that, to do so, “something’s gotta give”. If  even one more row were to be added, the theatre would lose space somewhere: at the front (the orchestra pit, the false proscenium, the depth of the stage, or the backstage and dressing rooms) OR at the back (the lobby area).

The concern was that Oliver needed the option to have “more bums in seats”, especially for big events attracting big bucks such as business conferences, weddings, or touring professional performers.  The crux of the discussion came down to … What is more important?  What is the chance that the difference between 364 seats and 394 seats would determine whether an event was booked at all? What attracts client bookings and patrons anyway — the number of seats? or having an overall space that balances seating with technical equipment and proper lobby, stage, and backstage dimensions?

A point I raised at the meeting was that, having talked to theatre managers and touring professionals, I have found that performers  overwhelmingly choose a venue based on three things:

1. Technical Specifications : The venue needs to have good lighting and  sound equipment, stage, backstage area, and acoustics.

2. Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff: The rental agent, theatre manager and stage technician need to be welcoming, accommodating, and well-trained. If there are time-consuming hassles, performers go elsewhere.

3. Warm Receptive Audiences: Size doesn’t matter. I’ve talked to performers who will play happily to an audience of 40 or 50, and return over and over again. Why? Because they love the people. Not the seats. The people IN them.  Many pros prefer the intimacy of a smaller venue because the “feel” is totally different.

Now, not even a week after this meeting, a comment arrives at Oliver Daily News, the popular blog “where Oliver gathers to chat”, as its banner headline reads. The comment is from Catherine Laub, a member of the Kallisto Trio who performed here on November 25 as part of the South Okanagan Concert Society series.  The temporary venue was the Oliver Alliance Church. Good sound system, elevated stage, and adequate lighting for a musical concert. “Intimate” seating, seating maybe 300 in a pinch. Here’s what Catherine writes, in response to reading a review of their performance on Oliver Daily News:

“Fabi, Karen and I are in Calgary this week, continuing to perform the music we sang first in Oliver. We just discovered this wonderful and very touching review and would like to thank the whole community for your attendance and support. This was one of the best concerts we have ever sung, and we’ve been talking ever since about how much we enjoyed our trip. Everyone was so kind, genuine and enthusiastic. Furthermore, you really understood what we were doing, and that makes an incredible difference. We loved our time with you so much that we were discussing moving to the Okanagan, and we’re certainly looking forward to coming back to sing again as soon as you’ll have us.”

Now THAT is what draws performers, not once but repeatedly.   Can we provide good technical equipment for most needs? With support from the Ministry of Education, Town and RDOS, and good fundraising by Adopt-a-Seat, yes we can. Will we have a good theatre manager and stage technician in place? I, for one, hope so. Will we have warm receptive audiences that ensure bums in seats (even if only 364 of them at a time)? You betcha!

Come with Your Questions: All-Candidates Meeting Nov. 2

The Oliver Community Arts Council hosts the

All-Candidates Meeting for School Trustees
Wednesday November 2
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Quail’s Nest Arts Centre
34274 – 95th Street, across from the airport

The public is invited to this moderated event.






All candidates will be asked an initial set question from the arts council, followed by their brief speeches  and questions from the public. Please bring your concerns! Refreshments provided.

Pictured are incumbent Tamela Edwards, Martin Cattermole, Tracy Hunt and Robert Zandee. Two positions are open for election.






For more information on the nominees, please visit

and search under candidates’ names.




Jenavieve Moore: Can you match this?!

The Oliver Community Arts Council was pleased to award Oliver’s Jenavieve Moore $1000 towards her tuition and related expenses at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England. Now in her second year of studies in this prestigious programme, the operatic soprano incurs huge expenses for accommodation, performance costumes, and music, in addition to her schooling costs.  

During this past year, Jenavieve was one of eight singers personally chosen by the Metropolitan Opera’s Thomas Hampson to participate in the first ever Heidelberg Lieder Akademie. In May, she sang the role of the First Lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute at Guildhall. Jena will be the featured soloist in a new music project with the BBC Symphony Orchestra next spring.

While Moore has potential as a professional artist one day, she must first manage a massive debt load, and will continue to rack up expenses just to gain exposure in the world of opera.

Moore may have “unmatched” talent, but she shouldn’t have unmatched funding support! The Oliver Community Arts Council challenges other businesses, service organizations, and individuals to match our donation!

The public is invited to attend the

Jena Moore Fundraiser and Reception
Sunday August 14
3:00 p.m.
Oliver Word of Life Church
35025 – 119th Street (off 350th Ave. near the cemetery)
Information and pledges: 250-498-6473
Donations of all sizes gratefully accepted!

Jena is realizing a dream to take her place in one of the most competitive roles on the world stage, and to share her rare gift with music lovers everywhere. The reception/fund-raiser is one way for our community to show generous support to one of our own.

Jena will demonstrate some vocal techniques she is learning at Guildhall, and perform a selection of her favourite pieces. It is also a chance to meet Jena, hear more about her experiences studying, and performing in London. And get an autograph! Who knows, it may be a priceless memento one day… 


Because Jenavieve + Opera = a match made in heaven!

More about Jena:

Original press release submitted by Val Friesen (adapted)

Fiddling, Strumming, and Dancing Up a Storm

by Marion Boyd

High excitement reigns as Daniel Gervais and Clinton Pelletier, soon to be performing in Oliver, received top honours for the Instrumental Album of the year at the recent Western Canadian Music Awards.

An eclectic program with a taste of classical, folk and gypsy jazz music will showcase the versatility and talents of these superb musicians on

Friday, November 19th
8 pm
Frank Venables (SOSS) Auditorium, Oliver BC
Single Ticket $20
4-way Flex Pass $60
17 and under FREE
Tickets at:
Beyond Bliss, Oliver
Imperial Office Pro, Osoyoos
and at the door

Joining forces with Daniel (fiddle and violin) and Clinton (guitar), will be Aline Dupuis. She is a skilled step dancer and choreographer. The performance is sponsored by the South Okanagan Concert Society and promises a lively evening and great fun.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door.Single admissions are $20 and those 17 and under are welcomed to attend concerts free. The popular four-admission “flex pass” ($60)  allows one person to attend 4 concerts, two people to attend two concerts, or four people to attend one concert for maximum flexibility. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those in the Oliver/Osoyoos area requiring transportation can call Maureen at 250 495 7978.

Daniel’s ability as a classical violinist was broadly recognized in 2002 when he attained the highest mark in Canada from the Royal Conservatory for his Gr. 8 Strings exam. A little older, he is now a 3rd year student in the B. Mus program of the University of Alberta and plays with the University Symphony Orchestra. Daniel’s talents are not one dimensional though. He also represented Alberta at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship and was awarded a first place in the Traditional category of the Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Championships! He loves to compose and entertain. His debut CD “Flying Fiddle” was released in 2003 and his second, “Endless Possibilities” in 2005. He has toured North America and France.

Daniel has also appeared on countless television and radio programs such as Good Morning Canada and various CBC broadcasts. In November 2002, he travelled to London, Ontario to receive the Conservatory Canada Speake Medal of Excellence for Grade 8 Strings for having attained the highest mark in Canada. Daniel was honoured to have competed at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in August of 2003, representing Alberta. In 2004, Daniel returned to this competition and was a top eleven finalist. He was recently nominated for “Young Performer of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Aline has fifteen years training at the Edmonton School of Ballet and is an accomplished step dancer and choreographer. She is the artistic director of Zephyr, a French Canadian dance group. She loves the challenge of choreographing and teaching intricate and complex dance routines.

Clinton is a Performance Jazz Guitar graduate of Grant MacEwan College. He is the producer and performer of Hot Club Edmonton and eclecTrip and he owns and operates the recording studio, Reel Time Studios. Creativity and high energy are Clint’s hallmarks. He has released six albums, toured France with Zephyr and performed in Scotland, England and the Shetland Islands. Check out, and for a glimpse into the style and versatility of Daniel and Clinton as they perform together. Then come out with friends and family to hear them live on stage in Oliver.

The B.C. Arts Council, Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. and the Oliver Community Arts Council provide steady and much appreciated financial support for this concert series. Dwight and Amy Brown at the Adobe Rose B&B offer Okanagan hospitality to the musicians. FortisBC, Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, the Kiwanis Club of Oliver and Maria Gonzales-Richer, denturist, are the local sponsors who make it possible to bring high quality, live music to our community. We cannot thank them enough.