If you haven’t heard about the Ignite the Arts 10-day extravaganza planned for Penticton, let me to enlighten you.
Boldly, the organizers have declared the annual event is “here to ignite Penticton as the arts capital of B.C.”
And why not?
Last year’s inaugural festival featured more than 200 artists of almost any genre you can think of – visual, musical, theatrical – and created not just a vibrant buzz, but an enchanting sense of cultural community.
Events, exhibitions and performances are set to take place at multiple indoor and outdoor venues (as well as virtual) and there are numerous workshops to attend with both free and ticketed (paid) experiences.
Smartly, the calendar of events is split into two main themes: Community Week from March 24-30 with the majority of Ignite’s free events, and Festival Weekend from March 31 to April 2 with the majority of the ticketed events at host venues the Dream Café, Tempest Theatre, the local Elk’s Hall, Cannery Brewing and Britbar.
More than 40 community partners have come together for Community Week, kicking off at the Penticton Art Gallery at 5 p.m. Friday, March 24 with a “Parade for No Reason.” Bring the kids, wear a costume, paint your face and decorate your bikes or strollers for a parade that declares its sole purpose is to spread happiness and cheer. Everyone is then welcome to head to Cannery Brewing for the unveiling of 10 mini-murals.
Keep the wagons and fuel-free transports spruced up for the Penticton and District Community Arts Council Art Walk the next day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday, March 25). Download a map and draw your route to more than two dozen galleries, studios and artistic pop-ups throughout Penticton.
From March 26-29, plan on attending some or all of the virtual Confluence Conference, a series of virtual events that will showcase, workshops and keynote presentations in partnership with 2 Rivers Remix Festival. Indigenous musicians will present their craft in a virtual livestream, culminating in a live music showcase.
The schedule for the Festival, aka "wristband," Weekend is packed and colourful, much like the weekend itself. Look for colour codes indicating music, workshop, kid-friendly, food, workshop, dance or theatre. Paint Your Pride over brunch with the South Okanagan Similkameen Pride Society, watch a fire spinner, stay up late for HARDBALL, Balkan Shmalkan or Blackberry Wood and Take in one-minute or 10-minute plays.
Get your wristband or day pass online and choose from an incredible lineup of 100 performances across six venues in Penticton’s downtown core.
Prepare to be inspired and probably a little exhausted when this whirlwind wraps up.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.