Ok I'll confess it's December 18th and I haven't bought a single Christmas gift yet!!
So just in case you are in the same boat as me, here is a list sampling some great cultural events happening in Kelowna early 2015.
Last minute cultural Christmas gifts.
is offering a Family pass that offers 2 adults and 2 children tickets to their 4 Mainstage shows in 2015. The pass is $199.00
Adult pass is $69.00 and the Childrens Pass: $44.00
Tragically Hip, Prospera Place, Feb 7th,
Bryan Adams, Prospera Place, Jan 15th,
Elliot Brood, Flashbacks Nite Club, Feb 12th, 2015
Burton Cummings, Kelowna Community Theatre, March 11th, 2015
Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe, Kelowna Community Theatre, Feb3rd
Chad Brownlee, Jess Moskaluke, and Bobby Wills, Kelowna Community Theatre, March 31st, 2015
Ballet Kelowna has two main shows it is currently featuring on their website for the 2015 season:
The Ashley Bouder Project, March 3rd, 2015
Forward: A Mixed Repertory Programme, April 24th, 2015
Kelowna Actors Studio are once again set up with their Christmas Special in Orchard Park Mall and if the trend continues they will be selling out even more shows in 2015
Another local arts organisation that seems to be consistantly selling out is Opera Kelowna. They have a lot of events planned for 2015 launching with their Valentines Day Fundraiser Belle Nuit D'Amour.
We are the City got their start in coffee shops in Glenmore. If you got their first album it would have cost you $2 then less than a year later they went on to win the Peak Performance Project along with the substantial $150,000 prize. They have the reputation of being “the nicest guys in the music business” and they also have one of the most unique career progressions. After winnning the PPP top prize they decided to head to Norway to shoot a feature film in Norwegian using their ethereal music as the sonic backdrop.
Then in May they went to Cannes Film Festival to present Violent as an official selection in the film festival’s Perspective Canada program.
Ponder what you just read. A small group of three local lads start a band, win the biggest prize in the BC music industry, and go on to use that funds to create a feature film (shot in Norwegian & Norway), go onto take that film to Cannes. Wild!
So tonight, Thursday, they return home to Kelowna for a show at the Habitat with local music producer and songwriter, Andrew Judah (whose music has been featured on international ad campaigns).
RD: How was Cannes and the journey that Violent has led you on?
Andrew Hootsalak (We are the City):
We made a film with our friends/family Amazing Factory to go along with our latest album. They are both called Violent and they share similar traits, although they are both very much their own thing. The film is a feature length, narrative film that's both shot in Norway and mostly in Norwegian and the film's gone on quite the wild ride. I don't really like bringing this stuff up because it feels like bragging, but I do understand that readers need context, so you can (if you want) mention any of these things about the film: Most recently was selected as one of Canada's Top 10 Films by TIFF, had its world premiere at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic, played at San Sebastían International Film Festival, Los Cabos Film Festival, and won Best Canadian Film and Best BC Film at Vancouver International Film Festival as well as the Signis Award at the Amiens International Film Festival in France, and was shortlisted for Critic's Week at Cannes.
RD: What's next for "We are the City"?
Andrew Hootsalack: I'd like to think that 2015 will be a big year for the band! Right now we're in the final stages of signing to a label in the States as well as another label in Europe to re-release Violent. Then we'll begin work on our next album. We've been talking about a lot of exciting concepts for the next project and we're going to try and outdo ourselves.
We haven't played in Kelowna for a year and a half and this show will most likely be the last time we play in Kelowna before we have new material.
Friends Hurt - We are the City
Here are some more live music options happening this weekend in Kelowna:
Obviously I owe a huge thank you for my new role in the community but first lets ensure you are aware of events happening this week.
Downtown Kelowna Light up! 2014
FREE, Saturday, Dec 6th, 10-5:30pm
Santa, Live Entertainment, Ice Skating, and stocking loads of awesome.
Uptown Rutland Christmas Light Up at Roxby Park
FREE, Sunday, Dec 7th, 4 - 6:00pm. Lots of fun for the family. Entertainment, hot chocolate, cookies, visit with Santa, play hockey with the Kelowna Chiefs. Then join them for dinner at the Rutland Community Hall.
25th Annual Innkeepers Celebration
Thursday, Dec 4th, 7pm, $200
Ezra Kwizera is back performing some shows in Kelowna next week.
You may have caught him at the West Kelowna World Music Festival or Parks Alive!
Dec 9th @ Heart School
Dec 10th @ Minstrel Cafe
Norm Strauss is hosting a CD release party on Friday at the heART school $15, 7pm.
“The Color of Everything”
This show will feature a ton of great local musicians.
2014 Music for Mouths, Dec 6th
Tiger Moon, My Kind of Karma, Floyd Meets Brown, and Paperboy and the Messengers
100% of all the tickets and door fees are going directly to the food bank.
The show is 19+, 8pm, $20
I’ll do a full column on great local Christmas music but for now here is a Christmas music sampler compiled by Tribehouse features 12 local artists performing Christmas songs:
Earlier this month the United Way kicked off their fund-raising campaign with breakfast events in both Penticton and Kelowna. Their goal this year is to raise $1.5 million for various great causes in our community.
We have all heard of United Way but do we know what they do and how they do it? Their mission statement is:
"To improve lives and build community by engaging individuals and mobilizing collective action"
I sat down with Shelley Gilmore recently to get a more in-depth idea of what that means and how they make that happen:
In other local event news did you know that October 1st is National Seniors Day? At the Okanagan Volunteer fair last weekend I discovered a local organisation, CARP Okanagan, and they are hosting an afternoon fashion show with a twist at the Sparkling Hills Resort. For full information on the event check out their site but here is my video interview with their Chapter Chair, Mary Ann Murphy telling us all about the event next Wednesday.
Tickets can be bought here.
When I talked to them they also wanted me to make mention that they have been blown away by the generosity of Vibrant Vines who have been very supportive of the event.
Do you want to write about events, creatives or the great people and organizations of Kelowna? Over the next few weeks we want to mix things up so Rob Balsdon wanted to invite you to send him your potential columns for consideration to run on Castanet.
Look forward to sharing more stories with you later this fall. This week actually marks my 3rd year anniversary with Castanet. Appreciate the opportunity this column has given me to help create and promote arts and culture, creatives, and some good folks/organizations in the Okanagan.