Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre launches new online entertainment series

VDPAC plays on, digitally

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society is launching a new online entertainment series in the new year.

The FOCUS Online Series premiers Jan. 21.

An extension of its live SPOTLIGHT Season presentations, the FOCUS series will stream online local and Okanagan Valley artists every two weeks – for free.

Twenty-two artists will be featured, including local Julliard trained opera singer Melina Schein; singer-songwriter Shaughnessy; singer, multi-instrumentalist performer and producer Jodie B; classical guitarist Manfred Harter; fashion designer Jill Setah; and new wave artist Haiden Laird. 

Creative digital performance is becoming the new normal for theatres in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the performing arts industry one of the most affected.

The performing arts centre purchased two digital cameras along with state-of-the-art live-streaming and audio equipment in preparation for the HD-quality FOCUS series.

Over 35 Okanagan artists submitted audition videos, and those chosen recorded in the newly upgraded Marie Fleming Studio, with larger groups performing socially distanced on VDPAC’s main stage. Recordings began in November and will resume in January. 

“When COVID kiboshed my performance career, I didn’t know when I’d see the stage again,” says Melina Schein, well-known to Vernon audiences. “The arts have been one of the hardest-hit industries and we still can’t see the light. I’m so grateful to the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre for creating work for performers during these unprecedented times and offering a beautiful opportunity to make art again. Spending the afternoon performing/recording filled my cup and helped me to remember where my heart is and why I do what I do.”

Upgrading of the Marie Fleming Studio will also allow the VDPAC to make it available for commercial, public and individual artist bookings for HD video and sound recording sessions, including music, online presentations, classes and podcasts.

“During COVID we had to pivot from working artists from around Canada and the world - to focus into a purely local lens. The Okanagan is such an artistically rich and diverse community. The FOCUS Online Series has been a great opportunity to work with such incredibly talented artists,” says artistic director Erin Kennedy.

Visit www.ticketseller.ca for more event streaming information.

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