The Westbank Country Opry

The show must go on they say and the Westbank Country Opry have been doing just that ever since their main concert venue was damaged when a fire hit the Westbank Lions Hall in the fall of 2013. Not to be dismayed they have moved into a temporary venue, the Emmanuel Church, and have continued hosting a show monthly as part of their regular show season. So what is an Opry? Well if you ask wikipedia an Opry is not only “an establishment featuring country music” but it's also “provides a forum for new country performers... offers a friendly, non-threatening environment for emerging performers”. For this years season the Westbank Country Opry have been doing just that and actively searched for our communities newest talents and will be featuring a number of them throughout their performance season. As noted they do a show pretty much every month but here are some more details on their upcoming shows.

The following is my email interview with Fred Mason who is part of the Westbank Country Opry

RD: When did the Westbank Country Opry get started?
FM: The Opry was established in 1995 when Lavern Panich moved from Bonnyville, Alberta.  He was a member of the Bonnyville Opry and wanted to establish a similar show in the Okanagan.

RD: You've traditionally used the Westbank Lions Hall for your events but a fire gutted that last year. Until the reno's are completed you are using the Emmanuel Church. How is the new venue working out?
FM: The new venue at the Emmanuel Church auditorium is working out very well. It's a larger room and, unlike the community hall, has unrestricted sight lines to the stage for about 400 people.

RD: For your new series you have reached out to a number of newer acts to join the Opry on stage. What made the Opry want to feature some of our more emerging stars on stage?
FM: We're reaching out to new acts to both expose the traditional Opry audience to rising (or already established) talent and also offer those performers a new venue.

One of those new acts is Nikita Afonso. She recently won a competition to open for “One more girl” in Penticton and will be a part of their May 25th show

The Opry is currently running a free ticket competition on their Facebook page, offering free pair of tickets every 50 likes that they get.


Fred wrapped up our  interview with the following note “The Opry operates as a non-profit group.  Folks can join as performing members, which, after adjudication by the Opry talent committee, gives them an opportunity to perform a few times a year at regular shows or as non-performing members who provide the support services for the association. We also bring in special guests who are not Opry members but who are offered the opportunity to perform.”

For more information on the Opry here is their website: http://www.westbankcountryopry.com/





For those interested in catching a live music show this weekend here is our live music listings for this coming weekend


Friday, Mar. 14th, 2014 venue
Bruce Spencer Minstrel Cafe
Danielle Evjen The Yellow House
Live Jazz Vintner’s Poolside Grill
Live Music Creekside Pub & Grill
Live music Marmalade Cat Cafe
Live music Mission Tap House
Papa Wheely The Blue Gator
Steppin Out Kelowna Lake City Casino 
Tony Dizon O’Flannigans Pub


Saturday, Mar. 15th, 2014 venue
Kytami Doc Willoughby’s Pub
Live music Mission Tap House
Live music Vintner’s Poolside Grill
Live music Neighbors Pub
Papa Wheely The Blue Gator
Poppa Dawg Minstrel Cafe
Slamdogs Riley's Pub
Steppin Out Kelowna Lake City Casino 
The Boom Booms Sapphire
The Lion The Bear The Fox Streaming Café
The Malarkeys Turtle Bay Pub
Tony Dizon O’Flannigans Pub


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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which 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, and others.

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. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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