Posts by Jaimie Miller

Picture The Ocean Back In Peach City


Matt Blackie (Drums, Vocals), Jacquie B (Keyboard, Accordian, Vocals) Jess Dee (Guitar, Vocals)

A musical trio called Picture The Ocean, who happen to be three of my favourite musicians will be arriving in Penticton on Thursday (May 23rd) for another intimate performance at The Elite. Special guests this go-around will be local favourites Jack Rabbit & The Beetles.

What makes this visit by PTO extra-special is their return from international touring visiting the UK, Europe and India for the first time together. Before embarking on such a stretch of travel they did a tour across Western Canada and even up to Anchorage, Alaska… Then across the northern US with some stops in Ontario before catching their flights to the UK. I need a nap just thinking about the miles they’ve put in!


Taking time off since setting foot on home soil has afforded some much needed R&R and family time, as well as a whole flood of new material which I can’t bloody well wait to experience! PTO can’t be put into a shoe box, categorized or labelled. They are their own unique creation of substantial musicians and performers. They are singers, songwriters, players, and storytellers. They’re the drivers and mechanics of a well oiled machine; evident in the nature of their songwriting with tales of insight and adventure on the exciting but often lonely open road. Most important to be on this road with those you love, and with that I offer another CONGRATULATIONS to Jesse & Jacquie on their engagement last summer!

I strongly urge everyone to check out PTO’s tunes on their site by clicking here… Perhaps purchase their debut album (or anything in the catalogue!) and show support for this insanely hardworking and talented band.  And then pop on down to The Elite at 340 Main Street in Penticton on Thursday, May 23rd to see your new favourite band perform LIVE!

The Washboard Union to Play in Waterfront Park in Kelowna on Canada Day!

The Waterfront Park in Kelowna is going to be the #1 place to be in the Okanagan for the Canada Day celebrations this year, with huge anticipation of seeing The Washboard Union, an outlaw bluegrass band from Vancouver! The band is comprised of 7 players and 10 instruments including banjo, dojo, guitar, harmonica, fiddle, mando, drums, bass, electric guitar, and YUP!

You guessed it! WASHBOARD!

While on a telephone call to Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, we talked about the debut self titled album that dropped this passed Tuesday (June 26th) with much anticipation. It ain’t evr’day a band gets the opportunity to record their debut album with producers like Garth Richardson and Bob Ezrin. GGGarth is the son of famed producer Jack Richardson (Alice Cooper, The Guess Who) who was highly influential  in the music industry in the 60’s & 70’s. GGGarth himself has produced records by famed musicians like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motley Crue, Rage Against The Machine, The Melvins, and Mudvayne. When I asked Dunner what the experience was like recording at Richardson’s “Farm” in Gibson BC there was no hesitation in him saying, “It was like Disneyland for musicians. It is a 14 acre property out in the country, down a long dirt road. It was great to be away from the pressures of the city or being on the road. To lock yourself in a room, as a band, and just make music. It was magic.”

This album was a long time coming for The Washboard Union, although performing together for upwards of 5 years, this was the first opportunity for them to record their work.  Each of them are enthralled with  storytelling which is incredibly evident in this album, listening to this kind of music makes just me feel like it’s time to hit the road myself.

When the boys met GGGarth Richardson, he was floored by the sound and quality of music they were making and ended up gettin’ in touch with his old pal Bob Ezrin to produce the tune “Half Cree”. You might have heard some of Ezrin’s productions in works by Alice Cooper, KISS, Pink Floyd, Loud Reed, Hanoi Rocks, Roberta Flack, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart, Julian Lennon, Jane’s Addiction… the list goes on…

If you are in Kelowna for the Canada Day celebrations in Waterfront Park, keep your eyes on these guys. If you are given the opportunity, be sure shake their hands and wish ’em the best!

Watch “Midnight Train”

Watch “Lost & Found”

“Land Awakening” Documentary in Penticton

Filmmaker Raul Alvarez

On Monday June 11th the Western Canadian premiere of the independent documentary by Mexican-Canadian filmmaker Raul Alvarez’ “Land Awakening” will be showing at the Okanagan College Lecture Theatre in Penticton.

“Land Awakening” is my personal journey to experience hands-on organic sustainable agriculture, turning into the discovering of alternative technologies and approaches to producing and gathering food.  The experience resolves to a spiritual reflection into our deep and sacred relationship with the Land.  It has been a long personal challenge to put at test my perseverance and commitment to the cause of healthy food and to my profession.”

Roused by his son’s WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) expedition to Spain, Raul set off on his own journey which eventually took him around the Mediterranean and back into Canada.

Ines Sanchez of the Institute Of Permaculture Monsant

Through dynamic characters comes exploration into alternative ways of understanding terms like ‘agriculture’, ’tilling the soil’, ‘supermarkets’ and even ‘weeds’.  What we have come to depend on as ‘easy living’ is nothing more than huge profit for mega-corporations and pharmaceuticals;  in fact a supermarket is not ‘easy’ for the consumer!  It’s full of confusion and trickery and 9 out of 10 times you come out with way more purchases than you wanted, or spent way more money than you intended.

We’ve learned to survive without having any responsibility for our humanly consumptions or the impact we make on the earth we all live and depend on.  But there

Francois Couplan

are people out there who giving back and in turn re-building the foundations of a happy and healthy community where everyone prospers.  Call it a revolution, call it a global transformation – regardless,  filmmakers like Raul Alvarez are capturing it on film for the rest of us to see.  Once you can see someone else ‘doing it’ the idea of an honest and sustainable life doesn’t seem ‘utopian’ but rather attainable and ENJOYABLE!

A big thank you to C.URB – Centre for Urban Agriculture and Nikos Theodosakis from “THEOS Restaurant” both of Penticton for showing their generosity and support for this event.

Where: Okanagan College, Penticton Campus Lecture Theatre
When: Monday, June 11th – doors open at 6:30 PM, show starts at 7 PM
How Much: $10
For: Everyone

For more information click here…

Inspiring New Winery & Creamery Now Open in Penticton

It all comes down to living life with passion and not letting even the largest obstacles cloud your vision, a great lesson learned through the creation of Upper Bench Estate Winery & Creamery in Penticton.

I’ve recently had the opportunity to sit down with Shana Miller, Cheesemaker and part owner of the newly opened winery & creamery in Penticton. Shana’s husband Gavin is the winemaker, Wayne & Margareta Nystrom are part owners and grow grapes for the operation, and their daughter Tessa is in charge of marketing AND will be organizing and producing Tessa’s Tree Fruit Stand this summer. Plus her beautiful photography is showcased in the tasting room!

Gavin & Shana Miller met each other while Shana was living at Poplar Grove Winery in the 90’s. That Gavin Miller has quite the following in the industry, they all know who he is and just what he’s capable of producing. Throughout the years he’s created award-winning wines at places like Painted Rock and Poplar Grove. It’s long been a dream of theirs to open their own family operation, but of course finding land on the Naramata Bench and kicking the whole thing off the ground ain’t no walk in the park!!

King Cole, the boldest of the blue cheeses produced by Upper Bench Estate Winery & Creamery

In January 2011, a foreclosed Holman Lang establishment was up for auction so Gavin and Shana viewed it, it was perfect! But hold on… after more number crunching they realized they were just not going to be able to scrape the money together to launch the business the right way, and there is no such thing as doing a half-ass job in that family. Dismayed and downtrodden they felt it all sliding away…

A peek into the cheese locker!

Until one fateful day Gavin found himself standing in line at the grocery store with an old friend he hadn’t seen in ages and the pair got to talking; catching up on years past. Gavin filled his friend in on what life’s hand was dealing them, feeling so close but so far away to building their own piece of the wine industry pie. The very next day they received a phone call from that friend in line at the grocery store, saying that his wife had recently been talking about opening their own winery (they already grow grapes on their property at Margaretta Vineyards), and they were ready to make partners. Instantly the bond was formed, they created their partnerships and got right down to business. Gavin and a realtor friend made the trip to Vancouver to fight for the property. The anticipation was fierce, but in the end the Miller’s bid was the highest. THEY WON! THEY WON! Oh how their heads were spinning, they were about to live out their dreams! The years and years of each of them perfecting their craft was about to be realized in starting their own company in the sunny Okanagan! One year later, viola! Upper Bench Estate Winery and Creamery is now open for business!

 Here’s a list of the goods they have on sale in their tasting room right now:


Riesling (2011)

Pinot Gris (2011)

Pinot Blanc (2011)

Chardonnay (2011)

Upper Bench Winery's 2011 Rose

Rosé (2011)

Pinot Noir (2010)

Merlot (2010)

Upper Bench Estate Winery supports the “Put a Cork In It” recycling program. Cork is a 100% recyclable and renewable resource that can be used to make building materials such as cork underlay, cork flooring, acoustical cork wall tiles, and

cork fabrics which all qualify for LEED points in sustainable building practices. For more information on “Put A Cork In It” check out their website at


Gold (washed rine, firm, many ‘eyes’, pairs with Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc)

Gold French (firm, brine washed, mad with basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, lavender, fennel, tarragon herbs, pair with Riesling)

Gold Italian (firm, brine wash, made with sundried tomato, onion, and garlic herbs, pair with Pinot Gris)

Okanagan Sun (mild, soft, brine washed, pair with Pinot Noir)

U & Brie (buttery, creamy, pair with Rosé)

King Cole (12 wks old, full flavoured blue cheese, pair with Merlot)

Grey Baby (mild blue, veins throughout, pair with Pinot Noir)

Moody Cow Coming Soon!

Artist Johann Wessels paints the mural on the side of Upper Bench Estate Winery & Creamery

When it came time to start re-designing the drab building, the owners threw around the idea of having a mural painted on the facade of the building. Next thing they knew an artist walked through the door and pitched the idea of having a mural painted on the side of their building. “Oh really? Funny… we were thinking the same thing!!”

Johann Wessels is the artists name, originally from South Africa he was used to seeing great wineries cloaked in beautiful murals and just felt something was missing from the wine country in the Okanagan – there was no large-scale art. On a hope and a prayer he approached the Upper Bench owners and pitched the idea of having the murals on their building. That project went off without a hitch and Johann would love to see more being created throughout our area.

He’s been a part of the Re-Imagine Festival which is an event hosted by the Downtown Penticton Association. The organizers get artists together and disperse them throughout the downtown core to places graffiti (artists?) would target, and create a mural there instead. As a graffiti (artist?!) would not likely paint over someone else’s art it is a great way to beautify and preserve the downtown core. You will have to keep your eyes open the next time you’re in our beautiful little city!

Please check out Johann’s website at

I would definitely keep this stop on your list of places to visit this summer!

Ciseaux Joins Dominique Fricot at Fernando’s

On May 19th Awesome Okanagan welcomes Dominique Fricot and Ciseaux‘s Katie Shaan to Fernando’s (279 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna) as part of their Western Canadian tour to promote each of their new albums.

Dominique Fricot

Fricot, from Vancouver, was once songwriter and frontman for a band called “The Painted Birds”.  While together they had been involved in some remarkable events like the 2009 PEAK Performance Project, Canadian Music Week, NXNE, The Western Canadian Music Awards, and the prestigious SXSW in Austin Texas. They’ve since parted ways, but Fricot is pursuing the dream and celebrates the release of his newest record, If Baby Could Walk.

If Baby Could Walk opens with a gloriously heart wrenching track called “Seashore”. It emulates the feeling of being so goddamn sad and emotionally broken, and all the while you let yourself baste (yes, like a turkey) in the gluttonous pleasure inside the pain. Fricot’s writing style in this tune would pair ever so beautifully with someone like Dan Mangan.

“Haunted By Love”, the second track on the album made me stop and do a double take. “Yo dude, that’s not Coldplay, is it?!” Nope, not even close… BETTER. Fricot’s styling just sounds so easy, the layers are definitely complex and the way it comes together in the end is remarkable. Someone took this guy’s heart and broke it into a million beautiful little pieces.

The last track “Burn and Start Over” shows the natural progression of healing a broken heart. Realizing that he may have been blinded by the love he had for this girl and feeling a bit stupid because of it. She’s trying to avoid him, and it scares him that she’s now gone from his life. The structure of the song is the most energetic of the lot, showing faster tempo and rockin’ guitar riffs to cap off the story to this man’s heart break.

If you’ve ever had your heart broken you’ll eat this up. You might even find your new musical obsession. Keep you eye on this guy, he’s going places!

Watch this interactive Music Video he made!


Ciseaux is the latest project of Katie Schaan of Victoria, BC. This young lady has wicked classical stylings and takes great influence from some fantastic genres which makes it hard to nail down what her music ‘is’. It’s magic. It’s happy, it’s tragic, it’s engaging, it’s full of flavour. This album breathes. I highly suggest you spend some time with it and uncover its many layers of craftsmanship.

One of my fave’s is “Dance Card”, an energetic approach to disco, get out on the floor and dance baby! Ya! “You want a spot on my dance card?” Classic!

“The Story” is another great track. Drawing influence from pop queens of the 80’s and current celebrity performing artists, this song is shrouded in mystery. Think Pat Benatar, Madonna, and Gaga.

I also have to mention the first two songs on the album, “The Ocean” and “The Game”. The lyrics and the music in both these tracks are epic. They remind me of songs performed by people like Florence Welch & Adele. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ciseaux’s music gets used in the film industry, every song is flawless and dynamic.

I’m very excited to see where this girl’s career takes her, I got the feeling you can’t keep her pinned down.

Where: Fernando’s Pub (279 Bernard Avenue)
When: Saturday, May 19, 2012 — 8:30pm
How Much: $8
For: 19+

These People Are A-OK: Leslie Zednai, Penticton Difference Maker

Rick, Hansen, 25th, Anniversary, Relay, Difference, Maker, Penticton

Leslie Zednai, a Difference Maker in the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay

Tomorrow, May 3rd the Rick Hansen 25thAnniversary Relay will be rolling through Penticton and more than 30 local athletes have been chosen to take part in the relay celebration.  One such athlete is Leslie Zednai who was chosen as a Difference Maker in our community through her advocacy for women’s rights.

“I support those individuals who choose empowerment because I believe in walking that fine line where one can maintain integrity and dignity while taking a stand for oneself and for others. When women are empowered a new leadership style is implemented, affecting both genders. Results are in increased economic stability and improved relationships; whether professional, personal, or intimate. It’s time to rise above the gender power struggle and come to a place to really see and value each other. That is a world that I want to live in – it’s one worth working towards.” -Leslie Zednai

The only previous running experience Leslie had prior to her start in 2010 was back in ’95 when she took part in the Vancouver Sun Run 10k, at that time also discovering she had exercise induced asthma, but that’s not holding her back now.

Leslie, Zednai, Rick, Hansen, 25th, Anniversary, Relay, Difference, Maker, Penticton

Leslie getting warmed up for a run along Skaha Lake.

Fast forward 15 years and she’s picked up her running shoes again, just to get that old feeling back. Shocking even herself she was running longer and with more ease than she ever had which motivated her to sign up for the Scorched Sole Ultra 50k in Kelowna the following June.

Having been on crews for various Ultra runners has been a great influence on Leslie, and as so she began training for her first Ultra Marathon in February 2011. Her goals for 2012 are to complete a 100 kilometer, as well as a 100 mile endurance run.

You can catch Leslie and the other 30 Difference Makers in Penticton tomorrow for the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay. Her portion of the relay will be from behind City Hall on Martin and then along Westminster Ave ending just in front of the Bike Barn, watch for her medal bearer number MB254-032.

You can also find Leslie on Twitter @UltraRHighness, or by email at

Come down and cheer on your local Difference Makers!

Masters of Reverie

Jesse, Jacquie, and Matt performing at the Penticton Art Gallery

As mentioned earlier in the week I attended the Jesse Dee and Jacquie B performance in the Tearoom at the Penticton Art Gallery, performance commencing Wednesday night. Although we showed up a tad early we were warmly greeted by PAG Curator, Paul Crawford and his beautiful wife Julie, and were given time to meander through the gallery rooms and soak in the various artistic pieces. I’ve not been to a musical performance at an art gallery before and found the entire night to be incredibly magical. Coffee, tea, and hot apple cider was served in the Tearoom and as the people started to file in, the band stayed near the entrance to welcome their guests until it was time for them to hit the stage.

Matt Blackie keepin it real on drums and vocals

Paul Crawford introduces “The Travelling Troubadours” (as he calls them) and we all take our seats. The next 2 hours are ones I will never forget! Jesse Dee and Jacquie B, along with their drummer Matt Blackie create a sound together that transcends auditory magic. My imagination was inundated with scenes of places I’ve never been before, each song different from the last and with each place we “traveled” a different emotion was shared. It was so fascinating that this trio could evoke so much emotion in their deeply reflective box car blues, it was captivating.

Jesse Dee rippin it up on the guitar

They are not strangers to the road, and admittedly produce music accordingly. In having the opportunity to talk with Jacquie, the trio hit 14 music festivals last year alone and are anxious to get their new self titled album out this spring in preparation for the upcoming festival season.

In speaking of the upcoming album – ever so cloaked in mystery… the band under the current name “Jesse Dee and Jacquie B” now have a third player, the fabulous Matt Blackie and are undergoing a group name change before the new album is released. A few of the new songs were played Wednesday night and I need to include a major WOW factor with what we heard, we pre-ordered the album which will be mailed out to us in a month or so, and I CAN’T WAIT.

I strongly urge you to check out their website at There are samples of their tunes on the site that you can preview as well as purchase.

Spectacular accordian work by Jacquie B

A special thanks to the remarkable Lisa Haywood of Lisa Haywood Photography for taking these beautiful photos of the event. Her work is available to view on her website (website is under construction, although portfolios are available for viewing.) If you would like to contact Lisa please find her on Facebook by clicking here, or by email at Also, if your in or around the Penticton area, do yourself a favour and check out the Penticton Art Gallery, there are events and classes held all the time, its a truly fantastic place to spend your time!

That’s all for now folks, but until next time remember:

Seven days without laughter makes one weak.” (Joel Goodman)


Jesse Dee & Jacquie B in Penticton this Wednesday!

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to split up the work week with some unique, down home, new-age country rock.  It seems to be the way the music industry is moving these days and I do declare, the transition makes me happier than a gull with a French fry!

If you are in or around the Penticton area Wednesday (Feb 15) you’ll find me at the Penticton Art Gallery’s Tearoom watching Jesse Dee & Jacquie B perform as part of their tour promoting their new album, “Our Ghosts Will Fill These Walls”.  Join me Wednesday night and you’ll know what I mean!

If you want a sneak peek into their sound and want to find out what they are all about, check out their website at

Otherwise, check the deets:

Wednesday February 15th, doors open at 6:45  show starts at 7:30

Tickets are $12 for gallery members & $15 for non members

@ T he Penticton Art Gallery located at 199 Marina Way, Penticton.

For more information or to reserve your tickets please call 250-493-2928

I will have photos and a review of the show after it happens, can’t wait to see you Wednesday night!

The Penticton Art Gallery (formerly the Art Gallery of the South Okanagan) is a registered not-for-profit, charitable organization. We acknowledge the support of the City of Penticton, the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development as well as community arts councils, sponsorships, memberships and donations. The PAG is grateful for all donations to, and supporters of our development events including the Annual Art Auction, Kitchen Stove Film Series, the Soup Bowls Project and Treasures from the Attic.