Monthly Archives: March 2012

Fashionate: Sun, Sand and Fashionista’s

The days are growing longer and the sun is getting warmer, which can only mean one thing… Okanagan Summer is just around the corner! I like to be prepared for everything in my life, including fashion trends for the season.  Hot weather requires less layers and seeking out the lightest fabrics possible, although I never complain about the sun I do find it difficult to stay ‘trendy’ when the sun is beating down on me. Luckily 2012 summer trends are full of light airy cotton blends, and beautiful effortless silks to cool off even the hottest Kelownafornia bella’s.

Maxi’s dresses are a MUST have trend this year and they will be your life-saver, taking any chic beach look from downtown cool to cocktail ready in a heartbeat.  Many of the maxi’s we are seeing on the streets this year are featuring the ‘high low’ look with a shorter hemline in the front merging into a longer maxi hem in the back.  Utilize your maxi dress to the fullest with a cropped floral blazer, some long bohemian jewellery and a pair of closed toe wedges and you can rock this look through the spring as well.

The 50’s sex kitten look is also a big inspiration for summer this year, which is a great advantage for the heat that makes waves in the Okanagan. Like all the trends in recent years, it is 50’s with a twist. Pair your floral peasant cut maxi skirt with a short short top. That’s right cropped tops are back ladies, which means pilates will be our friend this year! The 50’s were all about making yourself up and looking put together at all times, drawing attention to yourself was a new revolution and women were loving it. Bring attention to your waist with precisely cut dresses and peplum skirts, or a pin thin leather belt to draw in a flowing lace dress will mimic this classic look without looking like you went shopping in your grandmother’s closet.

Of course denim shorts and a cropped tank will never go out of style, but a slight alter of the cut in your shorts or the length of your tank can turn dated into statement in a flash. High low tanks are a big hit this year and they are so easy and cool to throw over your favourite bikini for a long board along the boardwalk. Switch your daisy dukes for cuffed high waist blue denim wash shorts with a vintage leather belt. Swap your flip flops for a pair of toms or studded gladiator sandals, all these simple changes are great ways to stay on trend and stay ahead of the fashion pack!

Summer is a great time to experiment and have fun with textures and bold prints, use the beautiful valley we live in for your fashion inspiration. Emerald green lakes, vivid golden sunshine, and everything in between can be your mood board for the majestic summer days to come!

Focus Friday: Okanagan Gallery

Our web cousins over at Flickr’s I Love the Okanagan group recently pulled together some of their favourite pictures from last year. Some have appeared here as Focus Fridays or were included In Focus features. Shown together like this, you can’t help but marvel at the beauty of our valley.

Fabulous Finds – An Artisan and Collector’s Show

Bahamas at Habitat

Toronto’s Bahamas played at the Habitat last night to a highly receptive Kelowna crowd who were immediately won over by his catchy, laid-back and creative brand of rock. Opening act, Vancouver’s Wake Owl provided a welcome acoustic counterpoint and warmed up the mostly still-seated crowd with their soulful indie folk.

Bahamas is the stage name of Afie Jurvanen, a toronto singer-songwriter who has performed with numerous canadian acts over the years, including Feist. His current tour, in support of his recent album “Barchords”, will take him across North America to the UK and Australia by June.

Jurvonen seems like a man who was born to perform. His stage presence and effortless mastery of his guitar held the crowd’s attention for the duration of his hour-and-a-half long set. He was particularly vocal in his appreciation for the hardy souls that had turned out for a late show on a wednesday night, and showered the audience with praise. That praise was gleefully reciprocated. Never crowd-shy, Bahamas even seized an opportunity to teach the audience a little something about concert etiquette when, halfway through, he grabbed a phone from a woman in the front row (see photo below). He played off the moment brilliantly, taking what might otherwise have come off as an abrasive act and carefully weaving it into the rapport between performer and fan. He mused about putting his number into the device and made a few playful jokes about “sexting” before getting right back into his groove without missing a beat. He was on: a broadly-smiling miscreant breaking down the fourth wall with a wrecking ball of bonhomie.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding Bahamas: his single “Caught Me Thinking” can be overheard in coffeeshops and bars across the country. He certainly didn’t disappoint Kelowna. Was it the catchy melodies? The sequined backup singers? Or his devil-may-care charm? Probably all of the above. The two-song encore won’t have been enough to satisfy, but this tale of requited love should have a happy ending, as the performer seemed enthused about the prospect of returning to the Okanagan, vowing to coming back.

If and when he does return, he and his entourage will be welcomed with open arms, as they provided Kelowna with one of its best shows so far this year.

Thanks, Bahamas: hope to see you again soon.


The Kelowna Museums Collection Connection – We Have a New Exhibit!

There is a new exhibition at the Okanagan Heritage Museum that highlights what an Archives is. Did you know that the Kelowna Museums has two very different Archives and Reference Libraries?

Our Archives act as the community’s and region’s memory by collecting, cataloguing, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting archival material of social and historical significance.  As a general rule the majority of documents are primary sources, making them unique, as they are mostly unpublished papers and photographs that have been accumulated by individuals or organizations over a period of time.

Prepping the Space for the New Archives Exhibit

The Kelowna Public Archives, located on the first floor of the Okanagan Heritage Museum, is an important community resource. Historians, students, personal and academic researchers, special interest groups, media and professional personnel all use the Archives to access information on Kelowna and the surrounding area, people who live here and our associated industries such as the Orchard and Wine Industry.

Prepping the Exhibition Case

The Vince Bezeau Military Library and Archives, located on the second floor of the Okanagan Military Museum, focuses on those who were born here, those who live(d) here and those who fought in the battalions and regiments of the Okanagan. Items are collected in order to preserve this rich history and to teach the next generations about the vital role the Okanagan Military plays in Canadian sovereignty. The associated Reference Library compliments the Archives and is specialized as this collection focuses on books relating to the Canadian Military, those published by Canadian authors or published by Canadian companies.

We would like to encourage you to come to the Okanagan Heritage Museum to visit our newest exhibition and make an appointment with one of our Archivists if you are interested in seeing what the Kelowna Public Archives or the Vince Bezeau Military Library and Archives has to offer.

Be sure to stop by the Okanagan Heritage Museum often, as the Archives exhibition will be changing every few months to highlight the breadth of materials and stories that these important community resources hold within their walls.

Colleen Brown this Saturday!

Some non-stadium Canadian folk artists struggle to fill a 30-seat restaurant with a $5 cover charge. Then there are others like Colleen Brown, who put 300 butts into seats at St. Albert’s Arden Theatre at $25 a pop.

What makes the difference? What sets one so far apart from the other? Well, if I could tell you specifically, I’d be rich and famous as an indie-musician consultant. One thing I know for sure, though, is that Colleen Brown is very good: she’s a highly talented musician, she’s got an outstanding voice, and she writes fantastic songs. And her albums (three full-length ones to date) are very tastily produced. ‘Twould seem she’s got a lot going for her – and ‘twould seem that a lot of that lot has come as a result of a great deal of hard work on her part and a commitment to walk forward in the same direction no matter what happens.

Brown makes her home in Edmonton. She’s gonna love it here in Kelowna when she plays Streaming Café on March 31.

Brown’s climb upward seemed to pick up speed with the independent release in 2008 of her second album, Foot In Heart. Songs from the release found regular airplay slots on CBC, CKUA, and different college stations across the country. CBC liked her song ‘Love You Baby’ so much that it was featured on one of their Radio 2 TV commercials.

Others outside of the college circuit started taking notice, and Brown soon received an Alberta Emerging Artist Award, which of course brought her to even more people’s attention. Two full-length feature films (“Campus Radio” and “The Pharmacist”) had Colleen Brown songs placed in them.

It wasn’t long until Brown’s indie status was relegated to the archives; 2010 saw her Foot In Heart album re-released by Emm Gryner’s Dead Daisy Records and Outside Music, and Brown herself hit the road with a vengeance, playing festivals, concert halls, and clubs across the country. She played the 2010 Edmonton Folk Fest. She shared the stage with luminaries such as Don MacLean, Hannah Georgas, Brandi Carlisle, Hawksley Workman, Jim Cuddy, and Jakob Dylan.

And in October 2011 she toured across Canada with Crash Test Dummies.

How does one top a cross-country tour with CTD? One puts out a new album: October 2011 also marked the release of DIRT, Colleen’s third album of original material. Thirteen songs, including Fight! Fight! Fight!, winner of the New Music West 2011 Songwriting Award.

March 31 promises to be a special night at Streaming Café as we play host to Edmonton’s Colleen Brown. Links to her website, facebook, and twitter pages are on our ‘artists page’ page at, and less than 60 seconds of listening will be enough to convince you that Colleen Brown is an artist worth getting to know. You can do that in person here in Kelowna at 7pm Pacific on March 31, or you can join in online to listen and ask questions of the artist.

Kingdom Cloud Releases “Electric Domain / Love Goblin”

Kingdom Cloud release a new 7″! Produced by Paul Boechler, Shawn F Cole, Cam Tatham with some slick photos byCaleb Jon Bon Kramer, Brett Johnston and a natural shout out to sound man Sven Niklas Peterson.

My Wife’s Notes – Rigamarole Red – Piri Piri Chicken

Click here for recipe
Piri Piri Chicken

  • 4-6 pieces chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 in piece of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 bottle Nando’s Piri Piri Sauce
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 large bell peppers
  • rice

NOTE: The chicken needs to be marinated for a minimum of 4 hours before cooking.  Prep the meal the morning of, or even the day before serving for best results.

Start by making the marinade.  Place 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, chopped ginger, shallot and garlic in a food processor, and blend until finely chopped.  Add 3/4 of the bottle of Piri Piri sauce (about 1/2 cup), 1/2 cup olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, and a little salt and pepper, and blend until throughly mixed.

Spoon about a third of the marinade on the bottom of an oven dish, and place the chicken in the dish.  Smother the chicken with the rest of the marinade, cover the dish and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

When you’re ready to cook the meal, preheat the oven to 350F. De-stem and seed the bell peppers, and slice into 1 inch wide strips.  Place the strips on top of the chicken, rubbing them with the marinade.  Place the dish in the oven when hot, and cook until chicken is cooked through, approximately 45 minutes.

While the chicken is in the oven, cook the rice on the stove or in a rice cooker.  Once the rice is tender, add the remaining 1/4 cup of cilantro, a small splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and stir.

Place the chicken on a bed of rice, place several slices of bell pepper on the side, and spoon a generous serving of sauce from the oven dish over the plate. Add a few cilantro leaves on top, a slice of lemon on the side, and serve.

Last week I was introduced to quite possibly the greatest potato chips the world has ever seen.

I met up in Kamloops with several photographer friends, and one of them brought a bag of President’s Choice Spicy Piri Piri chips. They were amazing. This is the Moët & Chandon of snack food.

I’d never actually heard of Piri Piri before this, but the Internet has taught me that piri piri is the colloquial term for the African Bird’s Eye chili.  Piri Piri Chicken, the most well known dish to use this pepper, is Portuguese in origin.  Spicy and flavorful, the dish is every bit as good as the chips.  Maybe, dare I say it, even better?

With all the spice going on in this dish, I chose an old stand-by to pair it with.  Rigamarole Red is one of the best values out there: at $12.99 per bottle, it makes a perfect table wine and tastes better than many $20+ bottles out there.

My Notes:

A medium red in the glass, this wine gives off a bright berry-like aroma.  It is a soft and gentle red, obviously designed to appeal to the masses. It is aromatic in the mouth, with berry and plum flavors. The blend of Gamay, Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes creates a very pleasant, balanced wine, and although it doesn’t excite or intrigue the senses, it tastes great and goes well with pretty much any food you throw at it. 88 points.

My Wife’s Notes:

“I cannot WAIT to see the Hunger Games tonight!!! It is going to be just amazing. What? Oh yeah, I like this. It’s tasty.”

Rigamarole Red. $12.99 at BC Liquor Stores.