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This changes everything

UBC is 100 years old this year. 

UBCO is 10.

I think it’s fair to say that as a community, we are starting to see the benefits of having UBCO in Kelowna. One of the nice spin-off benefits is the UBC Okanagan Distinguished speaker series, presented by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences.

I was over the moon to see that the series is hosting Naomi Klein on February 18, and when I found out that it was free, my jaw dropped. Too bad I didn’t go online at that moment. Instead I waited  24 hours, and by then the event was fully sold out.

For those who don’t know the name Naomi Klein, I am using my column today to share three of her most provocative points of view.

No Logo
Essentially this book foresaw the total takeover of brands in every aspect of society. Where we used to have brandless school lunches we now serve hot lunches from name brand stores. Where we used to have lesson plans created by teachers, we now have lesson plans for schools created by oil lobbies. Where the product itself used to be the thing of value in a sale, it’s now more about the brand.

Shock Doctrine
The essential thought behind this one is that governments have agendas. To further that agenda governments use shocking news items to push forward controversial agenda items. In a bit of a flip, she is currently talking about using the low oil price to shift our focus on oil. More info on that thought. 

This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
To be honest, I haven’t dug much into this one, thus it was truly amazing to see her name announced as a distinguished speaker. 

For those of us who missed the sign-up for the event next week here is a past presentation at UBC last year. 

Ryan Donn

Click here for more information on the UBCO Distinguished Speaker Series.

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Rock those Flaming Hearts

Flaming Hearts Food Bank Fundraiser

Three new local bands will be performing throughout the night at this fundraiser presented by Focus On Great. The event will be held at the Brooklyn Pub at Lake City Bowl on February 13 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

The Bands

The Renita Zintel Band is bringing you some seriously bluesy Blues Rock

Steel Toad will get your toes tapping with Classic Rock from the 80s

Silent Gun Phenomenon will rock you with Classic Rock/Indie Rock

Musician Stefan Pimenta, says, “We, as musicians, would like to give back, to benefit those less fortunate than us in our community. Stocks are depleted by January, and we would like to help restock the shelves.”

By utilizing Valentine’s Day, the organizers will be helping the Food Bank at a time when it is most needed. Food items can also be donated at the event. Please note this is a 19+ event, and ID will be required. 

There will be a chance auction as well, with lots of great donations, including two guitars, one electric and one acoustic, from local businesses who wish to help support the cause.

Look for plenty of door prizes, and games throughout the night. 

For tickets, please visit the Flaming Hearts website

Other great events on Valentine's Day weekend

February 13

Lucy Blu & the Blus Boys
Minstrel Cafe & Bar 8 p.m.
Originality with sultry smokey vocals and guitar, resonating tranquility in writing and performance. Call 250.764.2301

How Sweet It Is
Creekside Theatre 7:30 p.m.
An intimate Valentine's concert with Canadian singer & pianist Rod Russell. Relive the romance of the Golden Age of popular music - the best of the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s, with songs of Floyd Cramer, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and more. Call 250.766.9309

Winter Carnival Blues Festival
Vernon Recreation Complex 7 p.m.
The Vernon Winter Carnival Theme this year is Carnival of Mardi Gras, so you won’t want to miss the 7th Annual Winter Carnival Blues Festival. It’s the perfect celebration for a Mardi Gras theme. Call 250.864.3155

Cabin Fever Concert with Saskia and Darrel
Summerland United Church 7 p.m.
Come for an evening of great Canadian Music with Folk, Celtic, Bluegrass and Gospel. https://www.facebook.com/events/180763932281327/

February 14

Kinga Heming Jazz Trio
Minstrel Cafe & Bar 8 p.m.
Elevating jazz beyond mere music to an indisputable art form, Kinga’s sweet vocals and talent will be sure to provide you with an evening you and your loved one will not forget. Call 250.764.2301

Don’t forget Castanet’s Event Page is your fast track for more information on the above events.

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Running across Haiti

Team Tassy

In a few short weeks, UBCO student, Paige Marzinzik, will be running 350 kms over eight days across Haiti, to raise funds for Team Tassy. 

Paige selected Team Tassy after her mum volunteered with the team for the past couple years. All money raised goes towards the work Team Tassy does in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Team Tassy is fighting to end poverty, one family at a time, by helping provide the necessary health care and education so Haitians can find sustainable employment. 

I met up with Paige and her mum earlier this week to talk about this fundraising drive:

Ryan Donn

If you are interested in donating, you can either reach out to her directly via email or visit these links:

For more information on Team Tassy 

Click here to donate.

Stone Soup Gala

The Stone Soup Gala is another great fundraising event happening this weekend.

A culinary experience that you won't want to miss, the Okanagan Chef's Association is proud to partner with Niteo Africa to raise funds and awareness for literacy centres in Africa. 

The OCA junior members will create culinary delights inspired by their favourite book. The chefs will compete for bragging rights and prizes, and guests will get to dine on the delectable creations, then cast their vote for the winning team. 

One-of-a-kind pottery bowls by Marijanel Knight are included with dinner, so come browse the collection and choose your favourite to take home as a memento of the evening. 

I always find it much easier to donate to a local cause or a local supporting an international cause. You know that someone has directly seen where the funds are going, and how their fundraising efforts are effecting change. Both Niteo and Team Tassy are great options, as you consider how you can be a global citizen. 

Giving Giggles

The Giving Giggles campaign for the KGH foundation is ramping up efforts to ensure the soon-to-open perinatal unit offers the best services possible for new parents in our community. 

Are you All Shook Up?

Ryan Donn

Mike Schell

Event producers are an unique breed. They are essentially willing to risk their own cash, blood sweat, and tears to offer you a great night of entertainment. 

Once an event is happening, the producer is either front and centre welcoming folk, or working on a few last details, or sitting quietly in the back, content that the great moment you’re about to experience is due to their hard efforts.

There is so much risk in the game it is amazing that anybody still does it, but the drive to create a big moment for audiences, and maybe make some money doing it, is a very fulfilling experience. 

One of our rising star local producers is Mike Schell. You may have seen him play trumpet for Uptown Hornz, or seen him behind the scenes at Westside Daze, or at one of the sold-out tribute act shows rolling through the Okanagan these past few years. 

Schell Shock Entertainment

Mike’s company is Schell Shock Entertainment, and was started by his brother, Trey, seven years ago. It has evolved from a small hip-hop production company to an entertainment company with over 30 acts on their roster.  

The company is now working on national tours, and Mike is the promoter, producer and sometimes the show’s performer. 

The main focus is on tribute acts such as Elvis, Tom Jones, and Kenny Rogers, as they know those shows will sell well to a demographic looking to spend money on songs they know. 

Mike’s last weekend was a bit wild. A show he had worked on, the Janis Joplin tribute, rolled through the Okanagan only to be cancelled 24 hours before the event, because of a medical emergency. 

The conversations to explain the situation, along with the refund discussions, make for a tough situation for Mike. Cancelling someone’s well-planned night out on the town isn’t fun for anyone, but he spend five hours at the Vernon venue offering the news himself to the those who had come for the show. It is an experience that no event producer wants to go through. 

Now, if I do a story on Mike and don’t give more information on the next show he is promoting, it would be a crime. So, here are the details of the next show he is bringing to Kelowna at the beginning of February.

Donny Edwards coming to the RCA

In this show, coming February 2 and 3, the King takes you back to the start of Elvis Presley’s career in the 50s, which was also the start of the rock ’n' roll revolution. You’ll hear hits like Hound Dog, Don't Be Cruel, Love Me Tender, and All Shook Up. 

Then you’ll be grooving in the 60s, with hits like It's Now or Never and Viva Las Vegas.

Finally, you’ll be mellowed out by the Presley concert music of the 70s, with hit songs like Burning Love, My Way, American Trilogy, and Suspicious Minds. 

Donny Edwards’ performance is so authentic with the looks, moves, and voice that you’ll feel as though you're seeing the King himself. 

An internationally known, award-winning veteran entertainer, Edwards performs his tribute to sold-out audiences worldwide. He is a Las Vegas casino headliner act, and is the only tribute artist to perform at Graceland.

He has portrayed the King in commercials worldwide, and has been in several Elvis Presley documentaries.

The Donny Edwards tribute honours the memory of Elvis Presley in the most authentic way possible. 

Donny will be touring with Western Canada's premiere Elvis tribute band, The Cadillac Kings,  featuring the Uptown Hornz.

The show, presented by Schell Shock Entertainment and TCB Rock and Roll Legends, is not to be missed.

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years, I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, and others.

Originally from Scotland, I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years. My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities).

In 2014, I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own, and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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