March towards the arts this spring with several upcoming events

Okanagan arts festivals

The beginning of 2024 felt incredibly slow. Then, like the rubber band of a slingshot being pulled back, it suddenly started to speed up.

And suddenly, we are flying into spring—the impending time change, Easter for those who celebrate, bistros and tasting rooms coming to life and more.

This season also brings a fresh start to the arts and culture scene throughout the Okanagan for all ages to enjoy, so break out the day timer or Google calendar and start saving some dates.

This coming Saturday in Lake Country, the Creekside Theatre will welcome the Lake Country Children’s Festival presented by Venture Commercial and Stream Property Partners, back after a three-year hiatus. There will be activity booths, Nerf gun area, Zumba and more to stave off spring fever. The theatre’s calendar has a number of events on the horizon.

Before a Saturday of youthful fun, head to the Reel Rock Film Festival at Kelowna’s Rotary Centre of the Arts this Friday night for an on-screen adrenaline rush, plus take a walk through the galleries on your way in.

The New Vintage Theatre Society will host the Black Cat Cabaret and 10-Minute Play Festival March 21 and 22 in the Black Box Theatre behind the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Six original play finalists from across Canada, six emerging directors and their casts will vie for the Black Cat Cabaret Cup and a $500 prize in this five-show celebration of original plays and live performances.

West Kelowna’s Grizzli Winery has a rotating list of live music performances on Fridays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for Happy Hour. Enjoy a glass of wine or peruse the extended bar menu including classic and festive cocktails and local craft beer. Pair with a cheese board, charcuterie, bruschetta or a trio of dips and salty mixes.

In Penticton, Ignite the Arts returns from March 22 to 28, followed by its Festival Weekend March 29 to 31. Community Week will start the 10-day celebration with a week of free and discounted events that will include more than 40 local community partners and businesses.

Highlights will include the unveiling of the Penticton Art Gallery’s Mini Mural project in partnership with Cannery Brewing, a lake-to-lake art walk in partnership with Penticton and District Community Arts Council, and a youth song writing camp in partnership with the Penticton Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

Festival Weekend will have more than 100 acts across multiple venues. Get your wristband before they sell out.

There’s something for everyone to explore this early spring.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

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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