Ecotone – The Experience

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There was no shortage of things to see and do at this year’s Ecotone, held in the Rotary Center for the Arts, and while I can’t dream of having been able to cover it all I can give you a taste of my experience in the hopes of getting you out to the next one. This year’s Ecotone was the “6th Annual Local, Organic, and Zero-Waste, Okanagan underground creative gathering known as Conduit”. It featured a massive line-up with events happening simultaneously all throughout the centre.  General Admission was $15 at the door, which opened at 4pm. The event ran until 2am.

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The atrium was the center of the festivities and hosted several drum circles, poets, and musicians. There was everything from hip hop and beat boxing to folk and rock bands. Some performances were accompanied by artists from other disciplines, including a poet who had a melody support their words and a musician who had a visual canvas express their music. It was a great mix of mediums and skills that really displayed the bonds between the people involved in the art community.

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The Arcade room, a pitch dark room lit up by a cool projection in the center, hosted other assorted performances and provided yet another space to dance in; the Alternator Center showed a few shorts created with stop motion film techniques and clay figurines; and the main theater hosted a one-time comedy performance titled “This is Cancer” by Bruce Horak, who lost most of his vision to cancer.

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In the Exhibit Hall and upstairs you could find visual art by dozens of artists displayed on the walls. There was everything from photography to collages to paintings and more. There were also a few interactive installations. One of my favorite was the “stream of consciousness” typewriter that’s fed with a roll of paper towel. Anyone could sit down and contribute anything to the narrative that they felt like sharing.

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Hall wanderers might have been lucky enough to catch one of the more remote and furtive performances being held in the center. In my adventures I was fortunate enough to witness performers juggling, spinning fire, and playing the extremely majestic and rare instrument called a Handpan – a small bowl like instrument with indentations in the side that create a unique tone when you play it.

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Ecotone also featured a host of crafters and not-for-profit organizations to provide you with information and products at your leisure. You could sign up for petitions and support causes you are passionate about, or support the local community by purchasing their handmade crafts. Food and beverages provided at the event were also local and organic. All of the art from Ecotone is still on display at the Rotary Center for the Arts, so if you didn’t get a chance to attend the festival you still have a chance to check it all out!

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