Vernon and North Okanagan
Youth ambassadors cause a riot
Aug 22, 2013 / 5:00 am
Summer youth ambassadors Jamie Friesen and Robert Schley might not be setting fire to garbage cans or jumping up and down on police cars, but they could definitely be accused of starting a riot.
Vernon Public Art Gallery (VPAG) is hosting its 5th Annual Riot on the Roof on Saturday August 24th between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Riot on the Roof is an alternative arts event aimed at all-age audiences and held atop the 31st Avenue Parkade. Alternative art forms include music, dance, fashion, film, performance, and visual arts.
“The goal was to make alternative arts more accessible to youth,” says VPAG Marketing and Programming Coordinator, Kelly MacIntosh.
Friesen and Schley have been working tirelessly to line up bands, contact performers, and schedule in artists from every medium imaginable.
“The great thing about it is that we’re giving back to the community in two ways,” says Friesen, who is studying political science at the University of British Columbia.
“We’re providing an arts event for people to attend, plus it’s an opportunity for artists to be seen and heard,” she said.
Friesen says the most challenging part of planning a non-profit event is reaching out to the community for sponsorships.
The students have been extremely successful this summer, says MacIntosh, raising more money for local artists than any previous year.
“It’s not a fundraiser for the gallery. It’s really about the artists, getting them some exposure and payment for the work that they do,” she said.
MacIntosh says that this year’s sponsors, including CGL Contracting, Sweet Caroline’s Bakery, and Roko Service Ltd., have been extremely generous. Wentworth Music is also donating equipment for the main stage bands.
The most highly anticipated act of the evening is a high-powered hair, makeup, and fashion show produced by Peter Downie of Chatters Salon and accompanied by the Okanagan’s most notorious heavy metal band, Xul.
Lead vocalist, Levi Meyers, says the band was a little apprehensive at first.
“The thing about playing heavy metal in Vernon is that it’s so rare. But there was this whole vibe of supporting arts culture in the community and we wanted to be a part of that,” said Meyers, who just returned from a Canada-wide tour with his band mates.
Also in attendance are bands Paperboy, Crowd the Joanna, and The Dragstrip Devils, along with acoustic performances by Raquel Warchol, Peter McKillop, Eli Garlick, and Fern.
“To see a show of this calibre, in an outdoor show at night, with a live metal band... it’s not your average evening in Vernon,” says Friesen.
Also new this year for artists is a Chalk Art contest. The Gallery is offering space for artists to show off their 2D talents in chalk pastels on the top floor of the Parkade for anyone wishing to take part. $150 cash is awarded for top prize of the night.
More than 400 people attended last year’s event.
“It’s a really unique venue, being on top of the roof under the stars, outdoors but in an urban environment. There’s nothing else like this in the Okanagan,” said MacIntosh.
For more information about VPAG, Riot on the Roof, or the Chalk Art contest, please Jamie or Robert at 250-545-3173, or by email [email protected]
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