Monday, July 28th32.3°C
Whats On

Tale of Two Festivals

This weekend two festivals with strong grassroots foundations will fill our city with music and entertainment. They couldn't be more different. One is aimed at the sports orientated, electronic dance music, bikini loving crowd with some amazing live bands headlining while the other is a" salt of the earth", community orientated, artist collective showcase festival. 
Lille Gard, July 25th - 27th, Bottega
This festival is produced by the Tribehouse Artist Collective. They do some really creative events and workshops in our community. I'll give you fair warning that the event is heavily rooted in their faith but it isn't some sort of Bible thumping festival. It's a grass roots, start small, and build it up festival celebrating all things creative. It will feature visual artists, dance, speakers, spoken word and "all the music your ears can handle".  For their full line up and tickets you can go to their site but if your looking for a good wholesome celebrations of art and culture I highly recommend this festival.
A few years ago we had new friends who came and their review was "its events like this that make us want to move here". A couple months later they bought their new home in Kelowna. Bring the whole family and soak up the good vibes, good music, and small town feel to this festival in the forest (well amongst a few trees at least). 
Monster Energy Center of Gravity, July 25th - 27th, City Park
2014 Line up
I don't know why but in all the chatter about this festival folks seem to forget that this event features over 150 professional athletes competing in 7 different sports; Beach Volleyball, Basketball, Wake-boarding, Freestyle Motor-cross, BMX, Skateboarding, and Freestyle Mountain Biking.  On top of that there are some of the best touring indie bands in N. America performing including Matt and Kim, Capital Cities, and Tegan and Sarah (full line up on their site:
With the new date and the new format (more live bands to round out the EDM artists) it's the first time in years that I've had an interest in checking out this sport/music festival. While the event isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea I'm confident that anyone checking it out during the day will discover Kelowna's premier sports event and perhaps a bikini competition. 
This event is produced by WetApe productions. I interviewed the founder of WetApe, Scott Emslie, last year. Full interview here:


Get Inked in Kelowna

Roughly 20% of Canadians have tattoos. Whether its due to popular reality tv shows, a reduction in the negative stigma or some other more subtle trend that percentage seems to be creeping higher. They have gone from taboo to trendy. 
If your interested in some tattoo stats check out this graphic.
This weekend in Kelowna over 50 tattoo artists will descend on Parkinson Rec as part of the second annual Okanagan Tattoo Show. They are coming from as far as Germany and will also feature a number of our local tattoo shops.
I caught up with Diana Paraschiv (and her daughter) from Don't Look Down Tattoo who along with her co-conspirator Danielle are the organisers of the Okanagan Tattoo Show. 
If your interested in attending the event happens this weekend and doors open Friday at 4pm. Weekend passes are $45 but day passes are $15-20. Danielle mentioned that a lot of the artists are taking bookings in advance so if you want to get a tattoo this weekend or if you want to take in a few of the shows tickets and full details can be found at 
Live Music
The Music in the Park headliner this Friday is indie bluegrass legends, "My Kind of Karma", with rising country star Tanya Ryan opening the show. Here is a video for her tune "Cry for the Devil". Tanya has won a ton of awards and her music is fantastic so if you want to discover a new country act this weekend this is the show for you:

Rediscover Parks Alive!

Did you know that there are free concerts 5 or 6 nights a week in Kelowna all summer long?
It's a well known program called Parks Alive! (for which I'm the program coordinator) and we will be hosting 49 shows throughout July and August in various parks around Kelowna. 
If your looking for the full schedule of the free concerts in Kelowna check out For today's article I've focused on five highlights happening over the next few weeks.

1) Ricardo Tesi and Banditaliana, Stuart Park, Tuesday, July 15th, 6:30-8:30, 
This show came together through a partnership with the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club. Ricardo Tesi is an Italian folk musician who specialises in the accordian. I'm thinking it would be the perfect night to pick up a geo-beans coffee and enjoy some good Italian culture at Stuart Park (bring a lawn chair though as seating is limited).

2) Pirates in the Park, various locations this summer
This one is a very unique collaboration between Bumbershoot Theatre and Festivals Kelowna with some significant financial support from the Central Okanagan Foundation. Rather than just do music for the whole show we will blend an original show "Pirates in the Park" as part of the Parks Alive! program.
Its happening three times this summer:
July 27th @ Gyro Beach, 1pm
Aug 10th @ City Park, 1pm
Aug 21st @ Gerstmar Park, 7pm
3) Compassion Gorilla at Sarsons Beach, Tuesday, July 22nd, 7pm
To catch a band of this calibre on a Tuesday night is truly a gift. They were touring through and it worked with their schedule that we could host them for one show at Sarsons Beach. Its going to be a full crowd (Sarsons always draws a full crowd). Our local world music specialist, Trevor Salloum, will be opening this show with a short set by his act Kalumba. 

A series of live clips from Compassion Gorilla's CD release for their 2013 recording, "Colibrís en Vuelo". Live video recording by Steven Reilander and Darin Steinkey, post-production and editing by Steven Reilander. The CD was recorded in April of 2013 at DubWorks Studios in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

4) Tonight, Thursday July 10th, is Blues night at Birkdale Park in Black Mountain. Last year was our first year in Black Mountain and a few people showed up for some blues so we are doing it again. The show starts at 6pm and features Leila Neverland (my favorite underdiscovered act so far this summer), Kath and the Tomcats, and Half a Quorum. I don't have any video for you but all of these acts are worth far more than the price of admission (which is free).
Here is a link with directions on how to find the park: 
5) Jessica Stuart Few, City Park, Sunday, July 13th, 1pm
I was blown away by her show last year. Its another fluke that we are able to get her trio again this summer.
Check out her cover of the Eurythmics that she shot in Japan recently:
Of course if your in the mood to discover tons of new acts then this weekend is also Keloha.
In West Kelowna on Friday we have Easy Fix and Double Click performing at Music in the Park. 




Music in the Park returns

Summer has arrived in the Okanagan and our free concert season has begun. In todays post I want to let you know about the free community concerts happening in West Kelowna every Friday night, Music in the Park. They are held in Memorial Park, below the Johnson Bentley Pool, and have been rapidly increase in their popularity since their launch in 2012. Last year an average of 650 folks came out to every show and I expect our crowds will get even larger this summer. 
It was a concept that I pitched Mayor Doug Findlater at a networking event in the fall of 2011 and the District of West Kelowna staff jumped whole-heartily at the opportunity to present this free community concert series to West Kelowna residents. In 2013 the Creative Okanagan Society was formed to produce the event for the District. 

The lineup for the first Music in the Park event on July 4 is:

Talented Kid: 6:45 p.m. Antony Knight
Headline Act: 7 p.m. A Tribute to Sinatra and the Big Bands featuring Dreamland Band with guests Robert Fine, Gary Cable, Alisa Parker, and Grant in Concert

Each week there are three acts performing on the stage. We kick start each with a Talented Kid, then feature a duo or trio act before wrapping up with our headliner. Parents can bring their children every week and while they enjoy the show from the hill as the District of West Kelowna staff host a variety of the children's activities in the field. Of course you should be warned that there is a strong likelihood that the children will be asking to enjoy some of the ice cream sold by the food vendor that sets up at every show. 
This season we kick start the season with the Dreamland Band. They were one of the very first acts to play at Music in the Park Back so after a hiatus in 2013 we wanted to bring them back to West Kelowna. 
Without further ado here is the interactive 2014 Music in the Park schedule
A lot of folks as for directions to the event so here is a video I made showing how to find us every Friday night in July or August. The shows start at 6:45pm. See you there. 


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About the Author

Ryan Donn, singer/songwriter who started his career around the same time that cassette tapes were losing out to CD sales. He produces events such as Global Music Fest,, and Music in the Park (West Kelowna). You can also find him in local schools teaching songwriting or sharing the stage with many of our emerging local artists. He is a passionate supporter of all things creative and his column focuses on the creative community and events throughout the Okanagan.

The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the views or opinions any of my employers (Festivals Kelowna and Creative Okanagan).


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Email: [email protected]


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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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