Christmas Presence!

Ryan Donn

Above, Anna Jacszyn, Bernie Addington, and Neville Bowman offer an exclusive sampling of a song from their upcoming show, Christmas Presence. 

​Jazz Cafe Presents . . . Christmas Presence!

A new original Christmas musical special, Christmas Presence, is coming to Kelowna on December 23rd at the Kelowna Community Theatre. A Jazz Cafe production, the show features a new  original songbook of seasonal tunes.

Santa will be in the foyer, along with some hot chocolate and cookies. 

The band includes Bernie Addington, Neville Bowman, Scott Gamble, and Stephen Buck, with Anna Jacyszyn on vocals. The show also features vocalist and co-writer Julie Masi, with guest vocalists Amanda Morazain and Kinga Hemming, with Frank Takas as Santa.

The show starts at 7 p.m..

You can get tickets for this show here. 


Wence Upon A Time

Another original production to be released locally this Christmas is the new musical radio play by Andrew and Tami Smith, Wence Upon a Time. 

It's a dramatic musical radio play that puts a new spin on the legend of Good King Wenceslas, complete with original songs, actors, singers, and sound effects. This Christmas, cosy up with friends and family around the ‘radio', and set your imagination free with this funny and heart-warming Christmas tale.  

Download the show from iTunes 

I've had a chance to listen to the show, and I gotta be honest, it transports you to a different time. I reached out to Andrew Smith to ask about his vision for the show. In his words:

"I think it will have appeal for families young and old. Generally speaking, we see that each year there is a hunger (and therefore a huge market) for fresh Christmas-themed creative content, and this idea of a radio play taps into those feelings of nostalgia that the holidays bring. We watch old movies, sing along to old songs, and generally celebrate older, simpler times. So this old-timey practice of gathering with family and friends around the radio taps into a yearning for history and traditions. 

Now, do people have time to sit down for 30 minutes and be entertained without any visuals? Well, people still read books, and listen to podcasts and audio books (which have become hugely popular). And anyone who consumes creative content in these ways understands that much of the pleasure they experience is because of – not in spite of – a lack of visual content. 

A radio play sets the imagination free to create its own world. And again, especially during Christmas holidays, people are looking for ways to fill their free time, looking for an excuse to sit down, slow down and relax.” ~ Andrew Smith 

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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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