Dates set for popular Rotary Carol Festival

The annual Rotary Christmas Carol Festival returns to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Dec. 7 and Dec. 8.

A long standing and popular pre-Christmas tradition in Vernon since 1952, the annual Rotary Christmas Carol Festival returns to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Dec. 7 and Dec. 8.

Entertainment will be provided by more than 20 groups including a cross-section of local children’s, church and community choirs, as well musicians and vocal ensembles.

The Carol Festival enables the Rotary Club of Vernon to provide a venue for the many talented singers in the North Okanagan and to provide financial support for the annual Spring Breakout for Seniors, a free dinner and dance with entertainment and live music organized for more than 500 local seniors.

“Through the support of generous local sponsors and volunteers from the Rotary Club of Vernon, most of the Carol Festival proceeds go directly to the Breakout for Seniors,” said festival chair Stewy Stuart.

This season’s special guest entertainer is multi-hyphenate entertainer Henry Piovesan.

Trained at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he studied under such luminaries as Chuck Mangione, Mike and Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, and Quincy Jones, Piovesan has performed with Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, Banner Thomas (Molly Hatchet), George McKorkle (Marshall Tucker Band), and Dan Toller (Allman Brothers) before forming the bands Formation and Whitewater.

He was employed for four years as a theatre music director in Saskatchewan before moving to Vernon, where he has performed in several bands and written and directed several comedy music theatre productions.

He now teaches at the Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna  and owns and operates  PianoJam recording and instruction studio in Vernon.

The concerts start Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. Admission is by donation. For more information, visit www.vernoncarolfestival.ca.