David Wilson’s painting Return of the Owl Clan  is now hanging in the lobby at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

David Wilson’s painting Return of the Owl Clan is now hanging in the lobby at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre.

Centre Point: What a year it was

Looking for last minute stocking stuffers? Tickets make a great present.

Today and tomorrow serve as a golden opportunity to focus on what matters most to us.

For me it’s about friends and family gathering for long overdue visits, board games, jigsaw puzzles and gift exchanges.

I also fully intend to bask in a day of rest as nearly all shops, traffic, appointments and errands enjoy their one-day relief.

Then it’s time for a little bargain hunting, followed by some reflecting on a year past, and celebrating the arrival of the year to come.

Ah, the holidays are truly magnificent!

Looking ahead to 2012, ring in the new calendar with Komasket Music Festival’s New Year’s Eve Dance Party at the Vernon Recreation Centre.

Five Alarm Funk and DJ pioneer Adham Shaikh headline the event and will be joined by local band Sound-Splash!

The evening, open to all ages, also features art and food vendors, a silent auction, a champagne and refresh bar and the distinctive Komasket atmosphere.

The dance starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are on sale through the Ticket Seller by calling 549-SHOW (7469).

Among the first events scheduled for 2012 is the Vernon Community Music School’s Glee Club serving up a performance of live music, song and dance featuring the ABBA songs that inspired the hit musical Mamma Mia!

It’s a fundraiser for the critical Sound Foundation Capital Campaign, which is raising funds for the repairs to the foundation of the music school’s historic main building.

The whole family will be entertained from start to finish with ABBA’s enduring music.

Choose from three performances at the Powerhouse Theatre: Jan. 6 and 7, starting at 8 p.m., or a matinee performance starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Call the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469) for your tickets.

And, looking back to 2011, I’m excited to announce new artwork now on display inside the main foyer of the Performing Arts Centre.

Commissioned to honour the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre’s 10th birthday, which took place in October, the colourful five-by-seven-foot painting, titled Return of the Owl Clan by local artist David Wilson, is now installed above the centre’s main entrance on the south wall.

You’ll have a chance to see the artwork while attending the centre’s final event of 2011 –– the Banff Mountain Film Festival screenings on Dec. 28 and 29. Each show starts at 7 p.m. and has its own selection of films from the festival along with Paralympic medalist Josh Dueck’s film The Freedom Chair.

Dueck himself will be on stage for a prize draw and you’ll enjoy some of the greatest outdoor adventure films of the year. Tickets for these adrenaline filled evenings can still be picked up at the Ticket Seller by calling 549-SHOW (7469) or online at www.ticketseller.ca.

Wishing you and yours a joyful Christmas and best wishes for 2012. Enjoy the shows!

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