The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society will again shine a spotlight on a series of acts from around the planet.
The society has announced a September of its no-holds-barred SPOTLIGHT Season of unforgettable stories, breathtaking acrobatic spectacles, and heavy-hitting musical acts from across Canada and around the world.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to throw open our doors with a full season of performances from Canada, Germany, the United States and even Australia,” said VDPAC artistic director Erin Kennedy, named B.C.’s Presenter of the Year in April 2022 by the B.C. Touring Council. “Our 2022-23 season is packed full: 22 spectacular shows, four intimate OnSTAGE Concerts, and our second annual North Okanagan Children’s Festival.”
The SPOTLIGHT Season again offers a wide variety of unique programming that, all together, make up this year’s familiar series of dance, theatre, special presentations (concerts, special events, and the genre-busting shows), kids and First Stages (toddler) performances.
“For the first time since fall 2019 we are able to offer subscriptions to a full season of live performances with a revamped, more flexible series subscription program,” said VDPAC executive director Jim Harding. “We are excited to safely welcome back our subscribers, sponsors and supporters, as well as the many first-time patrons and Vernon newcomers who took in performances this spring”
The Special Presentations Series offers heavy-hitting concerts and not-to-be-missed spectacles.
The 2022-23 Season opens with Juno award-winning singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett on Sept. 10. Fan favourite Michael Kaeshammer returns in concert on Dec. 2, and circus lovers will be delighted by the acrobatics and live music of Cirque Alfonse, who return to Vernon with their irreverent, farm-themed Animal on Sept. 29.
“There are no animals in Animal,” said Kennedy. “Unless you count the mechanical bull.”
VDPAC’s ever-popular, cabaret-style OnSTAGE Concerts will feature four events with a roster of uplifting, diverse and mesmerizing performers, including Indie-pop powerhouse Begonia and the otherworldly acoustic folk of Raine Hamilton Trio.
The Special Presentations Series closes in June with Dirty Laundry by the multi-award winning, glitter-bombing, Briefs Factory, who bring their mix of drag, burlesque and circus to Vernon all the way from Australia as part of their cross-Canada tour.
“Special Presentations are some of our most in-demand SPOTLIGHT performances, and our unique OnSTAGE Concerts routinely sell out,” said Harding. “The best way to ensure you get tickets is to subscribe to one of our Classic Series and add them on to your package.”
The 2022-23 Dance Series features a mix of returning crowd favourites and Vernon-premieres.
On Sept. 23, the Yukon-based Dakhká Khwáan Dancers spin an energizing fusion of traditional dance, song and storytelling with the electronic hip-hop beats of DJ Dash as this year’s Birthday Bash celebration. World-touring Ballet Kelowna returns in November with a mixed program featuring taqəš, a powerful and compelling new work by Vernon’s own Cameron Fraser-Monroe.
The 2022-23 Theatre Series begins with The Cave featuring music by John Millard and lyrics by Tomson Highway. This humorous, dystopian musical cabaret tells the story of a ragged group of animals who take shelter from a forest fire. Ridge by Brendan McLeod is an intimate music storytelling show featuring reimagined World War I soldier songs performed by the Canadian folk quartet The Fugitives – recognized with a 2022 JUNO nomination for Best Traditional Roots Album.
The 2022-23 SPOTLIGHT Season will also see the return of VDPAC’s North Okanagan Children’s Festival (admission by donation) and a special Kids Series for children, toddlers and families featuring four shows for just $40. On Oct. 2, Broadway-based, Grammy-nominated artist Mil’s Trills shines in her gentle, participatory show Let It Out! perfect for little ones ages two and up.
“Our Kids Series is filled with fun and interactive shows that will delight kids of all ages and their parents,” said Kennedy. “Parents will laugh just as hard as the kids when Alex Zerbe juggles bowling balls and slices flying vegetables in half with a playing card in The Zaniac Comedy Show, and I dare you not to get on your feet for Karima Essa’s Body Positive Bollywood Dance Show.”
Subscriptions are on sale now.
Classic Theatre, Dance, and Kids Series subscriptions are available via the VDPAC website or the Ticket Seller Box Office. Flexible “Pick 5” and “Pick 10” subscription packages are currently available by phone or in person and will be available online as of Sept. 1, 2022. Single tickets for most SPOTLIGHT performances will go on sale on Sept.1, with a few exceptions that have been released early.
VDPAC is finalizing plans for the return of its “FREE Night in the Theatre” event on Sept. 14. Those curious about the upcoming SPOTLIGHT Season who claim a free ticket from our Ticket Seller box office can get a firsthand sneak peek at video highlights of the 2022-23 season, including interview clips with some of the guest artists.