New festival this weekend

A first-time festival featuring live music, dance, writing workshops and much more is taking place in Summerland this weekend.

The Marginal Arts Festival is set to unfold from Sept. 1 to 3 at different venues.

"Summerland is a wonderful place to be to enjoy culture and we are commemorating the playwright George Ryga, who wrote all of his material right here in Summerland," said Dorthea Atwater, one of the organizers.

George Ryga, who died in 1987, is known as British Columbia's greatest playwright.

His ground-breaking drama, "The Ecstasy of Rita Joe," awakened the country to the continuing tragedy of indigenous peoples.

Two years later, the play opened in the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The same year "Grass and Wild Strawberries," with Chilliwack, then The Collectors, broke all attendance records at the Vancouver Playhouse.

Highlights of the first festival, which organizers hope will become an annual event, will be performances of poetry and stories accompanied by music – all in a coffee-house style environment – takes place tonight at 7 p.m. at the Summerland Waterfront Resort.

On Friday, an event titled, "Quit Your Day Job," including a tribute to Ryga and performances will be held at 7 p.m. at the Centre Stage Theatre.

During the day Saturday, from noon to 4:30 p.m., there will be a free concert featuring three bands at Memorial Park.

At 7 p.m., Saturday recording artist Campbell Ryga will give a performance at Centre Stage.

A variety of writing, singing and acting workshops will also be held during the festival.

For more information, go here.

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