Robert Finely Tuned

I first connected with Robert Fine about a decade ago when we were both part of a delegation from Kelowna to our sister city, Kasugai, Japan in 2005. It was a large delegation of over 70 featuring many folks who were highly involved in Kelowna's community. One of the most interesting things I discovered on the trip was that while we have our tranquil Kasugai gardens they have a street in Kasugai called Kelowna Boulevard with its miniature version of the Robert Dow Reid's "Spirit of the Sails". It's almost surreal travelling that far and seeing something from your home community.  Robert was there on his role as Economic Development Commissioner but also to entertain on various stages (including the 2005 World Expo) with his signature brand of Great American Songbook tunes and a highly interactive stage presence. If you're interested in seeing Robert on stage he has a show tonight, August 13th, performing alongside other guest singers with the Dreamland Band at the "Big Band" themed evening of music at Parks Alive! on the Island Stage. The show starts at 6pm.
I sat down with Robert this weekend to hear about his latest band, Robert Fine and the Finely Tuned, a small, versatile 4pc that he is starting to perform with on a more regular basis and also to talk about his role as our Central Okanagan Economic Development Commissioner. For that role you'll most often see his name quoted when new airport routes are being announced, new business initiatives are launched, during one of their business walk programs, or when an article on our overall business climate in the Okanagan is written. What you don't hear about are some of the most fascinating stories. For example did you know that our much loved GioBean coffee shop (who celebrate their 5th year in Kelowna today) is the direct result of some supportive business initiatives done by the COEDC? In the following interview we chatted about his new band, the role of an economic development commission (1:50), their focus on attracting those"foot loose entrepreneurs" (3:00), where their ideas come from on how to build our local economy (4:13), how he got started in this field after quiting his first job on the first day (5:40),  and how his first project saved $5 million for the local municipalities and school boards in Ontario (7:10), and a few more stories along the way. 
Ryan Donn Show: Robert Fine
Robert Fine and the Dreamland Band at the Cancer Relay for the Cure in 2013
For a full listing of live music in Kelowna this weekend check out: http://laner.ca

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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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