Vernon company hosts underground affair to remember

Vernon-based Kip Jon Productions is back at it, bringing a 1920s-style speakeasy fashion and arts event to Kelowna's Bottega Inn July 18.

Last year, the Okanagan was exposed to a New York City-style fashion show, showcasing local designers, artists and musicians.

Produced by Vernon’s Kip Jon Whelpley of Kip Jon Productions, who has also produced shows for Vernon pop artist Andrew Allen as well as last year’s A Rock and Rococo AffairCapone’s Underground Affair takes place Friday, July 18 at Kelowna’s Bottega Inn and will be like walking into a movie set in the 1920s’ probation era.

“The affair gives local performers a chance to impress established industry types with their talents as well as to raise funds for a worthy cause,” said Whelpley, adding this year’s event will benefit the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation’s Be a Lifesaver Campaign and the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.

This year’s affair is expected to be bigger than last year, and will include fashion designs by Rachelle Dixon, Sam Shakura and Genessa Jackson. Okanagan-based retailers Influence Clothing, Square One Apparel, Big Sun Beachwear & Tanning, Le Reve Boutique, Bia Boro Boutique will also be showcasing their latest designs and upcoming trends in the industry.

More than 20 local models will walk the runway, while 10-to-20 local actors play various roles. A number of local musicians as well as four dance performers – in B-boy, tap, and ariel– will be part of the event.

Entertainers include Toronto hip hop artist Kardinal Offishall, De’Arte, and Willy B, local jazz musicians Aidan Mayes and Justin Glibbery, jazz vocalists Alexis Leycraft and Lisa Bissonnette, and opera, jazz, and EDM songstress Natalia Kormish.

Guest headliner is DJ EBAR. The famous New York DJ will be accompanied by a production team from Esquire TV, who will be filming an episode of a new pilot TV series, based around his arts and culinary world travels.

“There are producers and A-listers from L.A., New York, Vancouver, and Toronto flying in for the event and to look at the Okanagan and its talent. We have put the event together to give the talent in the Okanagan a place to showcase themselves in front of a crowd they may normally not get a chance to perform to,” said Whelpley.

Last year’s event sold out to 150 people, and this year it is expected 200 people will attend the affair. Limited tickets are available at Tickets will not be available at the door.