Centre Point: Local artists draw in the visitors

These next few weeks are your perfect opportunity to indulge in shows and events; all of which have a distinctly Okanagan flavour.

This past week I had a chance to sit in on a meeting for tourism stakeholders in the area. As representatives from various businesses, accommodation providers, wineries and more shared some really fantastic accomplishments from their respective industries, I naturally left the meeting with a refreshed sense of local pride.

It’s so satisfying to say that Vernon is where I grew up and where I call home. The shores of our lakes and the peaks of our mountains (and most things in between) are truly something to brag about, including, of course, our thriving arts community.

These next few weeks are your perfect opportunity to indulge in shows and events; all of which have a distinctly Okanagan flavour:

Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics and the Cirque Theatre Company are back at the Performing Arts Centre this coming weekend for Aladdin’s Lamp.

Led by Olympian Camille Martens, this crew brings an incredible blend of circus arts, drama, dance, music, gymnastics and acrobatics to the stage to delight the senses.

There are three performances of Aladdin’s Lamp to choose from: Friday at 7 p.m. or Saturday at 2:30 or 7 p.m. Purchase your tickets through the Ticket Seller by calling 549-SHOW (7469).

Treat yourself to a night out Celtic style at St. Andrew’s Ceilidh Saturday at the Schubert Centre. With music throughout the evening by Kelowna’s Celtic band The Malarkey’s, this Ceilidh features a traditional turkey dinner, prizes and draws and performances by highland and Scottish country dancers, pipes and drummers. Reserve your seats through the Ticket Seller.

Also on Saturday, local talent Olivia Penalva is on stage at the Powerhouse Theatre in support of her first album, Rainfall. She’s been performing extensively in festivals and competitions and brings familiar Vernon musicians including Dan Oldfield, Betty Anne Northup and more to the Powerhouse stage. Tickets are on sale now through the Ticket Seller, 549-7469.

The Argyll School of Performing Arts and Motion is at the Powerhouse Theatre Dec. 1 for an afternoon of celebration. Starting at 2 p.m., Into the Mystic is a tribute to Van Morrison performed by the school’s students. All proceeds go to Santa’s Toy Club and tickets can be purchased through the Ticket Seller.

You can catch a first glimpse of what’s to come in the 54th Vernon Winter Carnival at the Queen Silver Star Official Debut and Fashion Show at the Performing Arts Centre Dec. 2.

The event will formally introduce this year’s Queen Silver Star candidates who will be modelling clothing from local merchants. Tickets are still available through the candidates or the Ticket Seller, www.ticketseller.ca.

The Louisiana Hayride returns to the Performing Arts Centre Dec. 5 for their unique holiday celebration. A Louisiana Hayride Christmas features tribute acts to Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and more singing your favourite holiday tunes backed by a live band and the Hayride set. Get your tickets through the Ticket Seller.

And the ever popular Rotary Carol Festival is set to take place Dec. 7 and 8. It’s a true Okanagan holiday tradition featuring local choirs, musicians and this year’s multi-talented guest Henry Piovesan. The festival consists of three different shows: Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. Year after year this is a well-attended event and admission is by donation so plan to arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Enjoy the shows!

Brian van Wensem is the audience development coordinator at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

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