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What's On  

Taste of Japan

Nov 19, 2015 / 8:30 am
Photo: Contributed Photo: Contributed In two weeks, the Kelowna Kasugai sister city association hosts their annual ‘Taste of Japan’ annual showcase event at Parkinson Recreation Centre. Date: December 6 Time: 1 - 4 p.m. Tickets: $2 per person or $5 per...

What's on November

Nov 12, 2015 / 8:30 am
This column was founded a few months after Breakout West came to Kelowna. During three days in 2009, our city was filled with some of the best live music from around Canada. The energy was pretty inspiring, and it left a bit of a legacy of folks eager to support live music in our community. A...

'The Voice' of Strauss

Nov 5, 2015 / 8:30 am
Few folks know, but local Kelowna musician, Norm Strauss, played at the very first Parks Alive! show (which was at that time called Kelowna Pride). His singer/songwriter, folk music filled lifestyle has taken Norm on many adventures in life, but one of his recent experiences was being featured on...

Men who give a damn

Oct 29, 2015 / 8:30 am
This year has been an amazing year, but I have to confess that it has also brought more tears than I was ready for, when I tragically lost two friends. I find them on my mind almost daily - my boss at Castanet, Trevor Rockliffe, and Rene Bourgault (someone I call the leader of leaders). It is...

Free instruments!

Oct 22, 2015 / 8:30 am
At the tail end of the last school year, Ellison Elementary received welcome news from MusiCounts that they would be receiving a $5000 grant for musical instruments for the school music program. The video above is my interview with the music teacher, Mrs Brucker, and some of her students...

Stayin' alive

Oct 15, 2015 / 8:30 am
This Friday night, October 16, a local non-profit group, Sing for your life, is hosting the stayin' alive dance party, a fundraising dance and silent auction. Sing for your life is based in Kelowna, and their vision is to bring participatory singing and music-making to seniors throughout the...

Libraries ramp it up

Oct 8, 2015 / 8:30 am
Libraries are undergoing a dramatic and exciting transformation. With the shift to digital from print, libraries everywhere have been forced to look at their business models to find fresh new ways to play their role as the community hub for information and connection. Today I want to focus...

Power in Partners

Oct 1, 2015 / 8:30 am
In a world where collaboration is one of the main tools to move our community forward, it's exciting to see the Power in Partners event return to Kelowna. Founded by Fred Sarkari, the event brings together some of our community's most influential minds who will be sharing...

Things to do at Parkinson

Sep 23, 2015 / 8:30 am
Take a tour of the Parkinson Activity Centre. This top notch facility features pool tables, gymnasium, table tennis,... Posted by Ryan Donn on Monday, September 21, 2015 The Parkinson Seniors Society hosts its first craft fair this Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Parkinson...

Culture Days in Kelowna

Sep 18, 2015 / 8:30 am
Culture Days returns to Kelowna Sept 25-27th. It's a celebration of culture in our community and I caught up with Rawle James to talk more about Culture Days (video above). Here are the events happening for Culture Days in Kelowna this year: Friday, Sept. 25th ...

First Nations art at RCA

Sep 11, 2015 / 8:30 am
Cori Derickson featured at RCA I caught up with Cori Derickson for my Castanet column this week. She is one of the featured First Nations artists being celebrated at the RCA Art Exhibition that runs throughout the month of September. Some beautiful pieces of art being showcased if...

Okanagan Organic Festival

Sep 3, 2015 / 8:30 am
It’s one of four hallmark events in B.C. for Organic Week and a real feather in the cap for the Canadian organic movement. The 10th Annual Okanagan Organic Festival converges on Summerhill Pyramid Winery this September 27th and it’s bringing an important message to its ever-growing band...

Student Union funds jobs

Aug 27, 2015 / 11:05 am
What's on this week is that every parent, school-aged child, college and university student is getting ready for school starting. While looking for various events to promote in this weeks column I found this amazing new initiative launching at UBCO this fall. Simply the UBCO Student...

West Kelowna Music Fest

Aug 20, 2015 / 8:30 am
Salsa Dance band Mazacote, from Vancouver, headline this years West Kelowna World Music Festival.... Posted by West Kelowna World Music Festival on Monday, August 10, 2015 The second annual West Kelowna World Music Festival arrives this Saturday. This festival features...

Answers beyond Google

Aug 13, 2015 / 8:30 am
What do you do with a problem that you can't google? If you were a company on the brink of extensive growth but lacked the skills to know the best next step to evolve or fine tune your product where would you turn? Well I think the majority of us don't know about a small but...

Salsa in Kelowna

Aug 6, 2015 / 8:30 am
During August there is ample opportunity to dance the night away to the sway of some salsa or latin dance music. 5 places to Salsa this August in Kelowna (and West Kelowna): 1) Every Tuesday night during July and August, for over 5 years, a group of friends have set up a small...

Creating new festivals

Jul 29, 2015 / 8:30 am
10 Tips for creating successful new events/Festivals in Kelowna. Well my story was going to be on the new Arts on the Avenue that was created over the past year, with the team at the Festivals Kelowna office, but I think it's been well promoted on Castanet this week. If...

Kelowna Cemetery Tours

Jul 23, 2015 / 8:30 am
One of the most surprisingly, fascinating presentations we received on council so far this term happened on May 11th. It was at one of our Monday morning meetings, which are public, but rarely attended by anyone other than City Staff and Council. The workshop was on the Kelowna Cemetery and the new...

Okanagan Tattoo Show

Jul 17, 2015 / 8:30 am
2015 OKANAGAN TATTOO SHOW PROMO Check out this rad promo, done nicely by our friends from The Business. Music provided by Shreddy Krueger, how cool is that??Tickets are just a click away, don't miss out: www.okanagantattooshow.com Posted by Okanagan Tattoo Show on Friday, June...

Festival in the forest

Jul 9, 2015 / 8:30 am
The new Bottega Festival builds from the grass roots foundations of Lille Gard Festival into a festival in the forest that almost feels like you've found a little taste of paradise. Nestled amongst a working farm, one of our most specular event venues, and held in amongst the trees on...

Music in the Park returns

Jul 3, 2015 / 8:30 am
Posted by Music in the Park on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Summer has arrived and along with it Parks Alive!, Music in the Park (West Kelowna), Park and Play, Dancing in the Park are starting up for the season. This year’s first Music in the Park show happens on...

Lawn bowling revival

Jun 25, 2015 / 8:30 am
When you think of lawn bowling, images of prim and proper ladies and gentlemen of a certain age tend to spring to mind, not young, successful, professionals. Well, this summer an event at the Kelowna Lawn Bowling Club is seeking to change that! The local Kelowna Lawn Bowling...

Bottles for Change

Jun 18, 2015 / 8:30 am
A couple years ago I had a chance to meet Michael Lavigne. He is the founder and visionary behind the Open for Change initiative. As noted on their promotional material "Open for Change is a For-Profit Social Enterprise committed to making a meaningful impact by investing two-thirds of...

Pianos in Parks

Jun 12, 2015 / 10:45 am
Posted by Pianos in Parks on Friday, June 12, 2015 Earlier this week Pianos in the Park was launched in Kelowna. You may have already seen them but you should know that Kelowna now has 5 pianos downtown for the public to use at their leisure. It’s a program that is...

Summer camps for kids

Jun 4, 2015 / 9:37 am
In just a few short weeks, summer will officially hit the Okanagan! That means lots of sun, beach time, and, the kids are out of school! Thankfully, it also marks the start of dozens of different summer camps for kids. Outdoor, musical, church, artistic, sports, and academic-themed camps...

Special Olympics Kelowna

May 28, 2015 / 8:30 am
I'm always impressed with the options that Special Olympics BC Kelowna provides our diversabilities community. Allison... Posted by Ryan Donn on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 For those that don't know we have a very strong Special Olympics community in Kelowna....

Summer Music Festivals

May 21, 2015 / 8:30 am
I trust you all had a beautiful May Long weekend, man the weather was just fantastic. For those of us who like to plan ahead, it's time to start looking at all of the various music festivals and events happening around the area. The list below was pulled together by Jason Lane...

Volunteer your time tonight

May 14, 2015 / 8:30 am
Gennext Kelowna, a group of local young, community-focused professionals, is getting ready to host timeDrive for the 3rd consecutive year tonight, Thursday, May 14th from 5:30-8:00 PM at Laurel Packinghouse. Combining a fun, networking atmosphere with a growing community need for...

Neighbourhood Grants

May 7, 2015 / 9:33 am
Do you know the names of our neighbours. Any idea where they work, what their kids like?, when their family is coming to town? How connected are we to those who live right next door? Our "always connected" technology filled culture seems to have missed some key aspects to creating...

An Ode to Beer

Apr 30, 2015 / 9:22 am
Well folks the first ever Great Okanagan Beer Festival is only a week away. Here are some of the key events happening as part of our new spring festival: The Main Event | Waterfront Park, Kelowna, 1-5pm May 9 Nestled on the beautiful beaches of Okanagan Lake and right in the heart...

Parades, Parties and Poetry

Apr 23, 2015 / 8:30 am
Wishing you and your family a fun filled Vaisakhi. Happy Vaisakhi! #kelownavaisakhi Posted by Kelowna Sikh Temple on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 An Evening of Appreciation for Walter Gray, Andre Blanleil, Robert Hobson Posted by What's on? on...

New Petting Zoo for Kids

Apr 16, 2015 / 8:30 am
This past weekend my family had a chance to catch the opening of a new petting zoo in Kelowna. The Hoof Prints Barnyard is located behind the Kelowna International Airport in the Ellison area. Hoof Prints is a partnership between Kristen and Kyra who have spent countless...

Leadercast: The Brave Ones

Apr 9, 2015 / 8:30 am
Leadercast once again returns to Kelowna on May 8th, hosted by the Kelowna Jaycees. This year their theme is “The Brave Ones” and as they say “bravery is not attributed to everyone, but is reserved for those whose innovation in their industry cause them to stand out from...

Robert Hobson Interview

Apr 2, 2015 / 8:30 am
Walter Gray, Andre Blanleil, and Robert Hobson each spent more than 20 years making Kelowna a better place for citizens and visitors. To celebrate that achievement and to show appreciation for these three men, a committee of appreciative citizens has come together to coordinate a celebration dinner...

Appetite for Art Fundraiser

Mar 26, 2015 / 8:30 am
The idea of combining a celebration of the best in local food, art, and drinks has been a successful one for the Kelowna Art Gallery – and it’s back! On Saturday, May 2, 2015, Walker Real Estate presents the Appetite for Art Fundraiser at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Proceeds from this...

Film Factory

Mar 19, 2015 / 9:16 am
Kelowna is steadily evolving into a hub of film and animation. As I noted last week part of that will be showcased at the Kelowna Fan Xpo happening this weekend (story below). This week I wanted to go a step further and introduce you to one of Kelowna's latest innovative hubs for...

Kelowna Fan Xpo

Mar 12, 2015 / 8:30 am
Last year as part of the promotion for a superhero play Bonnie Gratz and Joe Welton decided to do a mini comic-con type event. They expected about 30 people and ended up with over 200. Needless to say this year the Kelowna Fan Xpo is now very much the focus. For those just catching up to...

Spring Break Kids Camps

Mar 5, 2015 / 8:30 am
Regardless of whether you have children who are artistically, musically or dramatically-inclined, nature lovers or sports enthusiasts, there are spring break camps happening throughout Kelowna geared for them! Here is a sampling of what is available around town this Spring Break. The City of...

Devour returns

Feb 26, 2015 / 8:30 am
Devour is perhaps the most scrumdiddlyumptious event that Kelowna will host in 2015 and people are so excited for it that it is already sold out. Aimed at Kelowna foodies, it's mantra is to "Eat, Drink, and be Social". I had a chance to attend the event in year one and it...

Dine out to end Homelessness

Feb 19, 2015 / 8:30 am
Over the Winter months the local charity, Inn from the Cold, hosts a number of "Dining out to end Homelessness" events in Kelowna. They partner with local restaurants and once a month that local restaurant donates the proceeds of their sales to Inn from the Cold. Really this event...
About the Author

Ryan Donn
Singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating and connecting. For years I spent most of my time in Kelowna creating songs, and those songs 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, etc..

I use this column to connect some of our local creatives, events, unique local projects/non-profits, and occasionally a random column about our city. 

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. 

Connect with Ryan:

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.