Centre Point: Take a peek behind the curtain

Presenting seasons in the North Okanagan wrap up while new shows begin.

It’s been another wonderful season of performances from Vernon’s cornerstone arts presenters.

The North Okanagan Community Concert Association, the Powerhouse Theatre, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and, most recently, the Performing Arts Centre Society each brings a series of high quality performances to our community that has come to a close within the last few weeks.

Coordinating and presenting events is not for the faint of heart. At the Performing Arts Centre Society, we are busily unboxing the figurative puzzle pieces of our 2012/2013 presentation season.

Phone calls, e-mails and conferences are culminating as contracts with dates are finalized and booked. From this groundwork, every detail must be worked out from hotel rooms or airport transportation for the performers, to specialized equipment rental, tech staffing and crew, to volunteers, to advertising, posters, brochures, and even approving the words that appear on a ticket face.

Realistically, what happens on stage is always part of a much bigger picture. Next time you’re at a performance, take a moment to soak in all of the behind-the-scenes efforts that happened to get to that moment.

And about those performances, as usual, I have a few suggestions happening in the coming weeks:

Coming up this Thursday, crowd favourite Louisiana Hayride in Story and Song returns to the Performing Arts Centre for a night of tributes. Music from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Hank Williams and more are featured in this show inspired by the hit radio show in the ‘40s and ‘50s. The Hayride’s new show includes more than 25 new songs for a journey down memory lane. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are still available through the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469).

Also on Thursday, country musician and comedic storyteller Fred Eaglesmith is live at Caravan Farm Theatre in support of his 19th album, 6 Volts. It’s a concert that draws on the spirit of the rock ‘n’ roll era, with country and southern roots added to the mix. His side-splitting diatribes peppered between songs go perfectly with Caravan’s outdoor venue as Eaglesmith and his band, the Traveling Steam Show, dish out unique alternative-country entertainment. Gates open at 7 p.m. at Caravan Farm and tickets are still available through the Ticket Seller by calling 549-SHOW (7469).

Accentz Dance Studio takes the stage of the Performing Arts Centre for their two-part recital, Out of This World, May 26.

Starting at 2 p.m., Matinee from Mars features Accentz’ younger students (ages two to 11) and starting at 7 p.m., students ages 12 and up take the stage for Night Flight to Venus.

For each show, students will be performing a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, tap, jazz, musical theatre and hip hop.

Tickets are available for both shows, and two-show discount packages are available by calling the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469).

Enjoy the shows!

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