Posts in Art

Ecotone – The Experience


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.


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.


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.


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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Ecotone the Sweet

yeah last night's Ecotone was exploding with great music and super creativity

Yeah, last night’s Ecotone was exploding with great music and super creativity.

Ecotone 2013 – Tonight!

ecotoneWhere: Rotary Centre for the Arts (421 Cawston Avenue, Kelowna)
When: Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 – 4 PM—2AM
How Much: $10 Students / $15 General / $5 Kids & Alternator Members. All proceeds towards artists making this event possible through the Okanagan Greens Society.
For: Everyone

The annual, local, underground creative gathering known as Ecotone is happening again!

Conduit Collective has once again partnered with the Okanagan Greens Society in creative collaboration with the pan Okanagan creative community to showcase over 100 emerging and established artists, featuring, installation art, sculpture, performance art, activism, gardening, crafts, musical performances, poetry and spoken word.

This is the 6th festival the Conduit Collective has organized, and was created for the purpose of bringing together the gifts, ideas, and talents of established and emerging creative tribes in the Okanagan. For up to date scheduling of performance and artists roster please visit

“This festival helps support the local arts community, and enables innovation to occur and be recognized. The past six years have been very enlightening as to seeing the support within this community that rarely has the opportunity to gather on mass like this, and we are excited for the experience again this year.” says festival organizer, Gabe Cipes.

Music performances will include Wild Son, Killer Panda, Kinshira and Rumpus Room. There will be original art work on display all around the centre by a number of artists including Kristoff Steinruck, Jordan and David Doody, Meghan Wise, Ullus Collective and Rena Warren just to name a few. The corridors will be filled with tables featuring local crafters wares and activists including Curio Designs, Green City Acres, Green Peace, Scribbled Sun, and many, many more.

This event is designed to harness the diversity of creativity in our community and is not to be missed!

Conduit would like to recognize the support of the Okanagan Greens Society, “Working together in our community for a healthy environment, happy people and a sustainable local economy.” For more information and a full list of contributors, visit the event Facebook page.

Sarah Maloney: Collapse


Visitors to Sarah Maloney: Collapse will likely have first impressions of loveliness and calm, and may enjoy the aesthetic qualities of the artist’s fabric patterns, textures, and the visual surprise of bronze tulips sprouting from an antique divan. Audiences may smile at the innocent, whimsical cavorting of the paired tulips featured in Maloney’s six embroideries. The pieces’ sheer beauty encourages us to let down our guard and consider the deeper implications of Maloney’s art and thought.

Halifax-based artist Sarah Maloney explores the notion of the traditional domestic sphere of women, and the Victorian pastime/skill of embroidery, as well as the female connection to flowers through this body of work. The centerpiece of the installation will be a real chaise lounge which Maloney terms a fainting couch. A cluster of bronze tulips are sprouting from the innards of this piece of furniture, their heads bowed modestly. As well, six wall pieces that are embroidered depictions of pairs of tulips will be on view.

Maloney holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) and an MFA from the University of Windsor, in Ontario. She has been teaching studio classes at NSCAD since 2002.

The show is accompanied by a black-and-white catalogue with curatorial text written by Kelowna Art Gallery Curator, Liz Wylie.

An opening reception to celebrate this exhibition will be held on Friday, January 25, 2013, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Sarah Maloney will be in attendance to deliver an artist’s talk at 7 pm.

Additionally, a ‘Lightning Talks’ event featuring six artists including Sarah Maloney is organized for Saturday, January 26, 2013, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Kelowna Art Gallery. The topic for discussion is issues facing artists working outside of major urban centres of cultural production. This event is free to attend and open to the public.

Sarah Maloney: Collapse will be on view from January 26 to March 31, 2013 at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in downtown Kelowna. For more information about current exhibitions, public programming or special events, please visit the Kelowna Art Gallery online.

World Snow Day 2013

The second annual World Snow Day took off worldwide this previous Sunday celebrating all things snow. The event is organized by the International Ski Federation, known in French as the Fédération Internationale de Ski — or FIS for short. The Okanagan’s very own Big White Ski Resort hosted several of its own events this year to show its appreciation of the white fluffy stuff that provides recreation to its visitors every year.

On January 20th activities were happening simultaneously all over the mountain throughout the course of the day. From 12:00pm – 1:00pm a Snowball Softball Super Skills competition was held in Happy Valley. At 3:00pm a Snowman Building and Old Man Winter Dress Up contest were held in the village center. TELUS Park hosted a Canada Snowboard Riders event which consisted of competitive training for young riders by certified coaches. At 6:00pm in the Happy Valley Day Lodge a photo contest based on the snow theme was held, followed by a screening of Sherpa Cinema’s ski film “All I Can”.

It was a warm sunny day up at Big White, a bright contrast to the foggy grey valley. Even if you don’t Ski or Snowboard it’s worth the trip up for the beauty of the resort and the plethora of other things to see and do. If you have a love for snow this was the day to be up at Big White to celebrate it. Since World Snow Day is still young there is plenty of time for growth. Next year should be even bigger. Hope to see you all up there next time.

Below is a segment from Sherpa Cinema’s “All I Can” shot here in BC.

Warehouse Gallery


Stacey & Steve Huculiak are pleased to announce the opening of Warehouse Gallery at 1292 Ellis Street in Kelowna B.C. As Kelowna’s newest gallery, Steve & Stacey aspire to have a pivotal role in supporting emerging, mid-career, and established Okanagan artists by sharing their work with you, the viewers and collectors.

Warehouse Gallery has created a progressive business model that allows the artist’s represented in the gallery to have a greater role in how the gallery operates. The whole group and not just the owners make the decisions such as; events, marketing and which new artists join the gallery. The result is a very fluid business and moves in step with the greater arts context and community.

Warehouse Gallery will have monthly shows and openings featuring local talent. Stacey who previously owned and operated Tweaked and Yummy Vintage Apparel (at the same location) established a strong place in the local arts and cultural district of Kelowna and garnered favour through hosting memorable and varied shows. Building on that momentum, they ask you join them January 18, 2013 @ 6pm – 8pm for the next opening for artists Wendy Porter and Liz Dumontet.

Liz Dumontet was born in Penticton British Columbia and was raised in Kelowna British Columbia. She graduated from Kelowna Secondary School in 2008 with a french immersion dogwood, and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Liz Dumontet and Dylan Ranney co-own Tandem Studios, an artist studio dedicated to their collaborative art practice. It is through Tandem Studios that they paint murals in the Okanagan. From Tandem Studios, they hope to also produce animation, sculpture, books, illustration, and computer design work. From 2011-2012, Tandem Studios has produced seven large-scale murals, six of which are outdoors. From her solo body of work, Liz has worked in portrait painting, abstract painting, animation, video, installation, and illustration. In 2010-2011, Liz Dumontet worked in 3D game design, and in 2012, was teaching beginner art lessons for children and adults alike. Liz is currently working on her sixth painting series and illustrating a children’s book. With a few solo projects on the horizon and many prospective projects for Tandem Studios, she is quickly building up a repertoire of work and has a portfolio to show for it. For CV and visuals of Liz Dumontet’s work, visit her website or the Tandem Studios Website.

Wendy Porter, an established Okanagan artist, has also just joined Warehouse Gallery. Wendy has been painting for over thirty years and is known for her colourful beach and winter scenes within British Columbia. She was on the Board of Emily Carr College of Art & Design in Vancouver, BC for seven years, has taught art classes through the Kelowna Art Gallery, and been on the Acquisition Committee for the Gallery. Wendy is a storyteller, recording “our time”, through paint on canvas. Wendy has been involved in many individual and group exhibitions within public and private galleries, and her work is part of many local and international public & private collections. She is renowned for a summer painting series for the Hotel Eldorado, a winter series for Silver Star Mountain Ski Resort, and a Swiftsure Sailing Race series in Victoria. Wendy’s work is presently exhibiting through the Whistler Arts Council’s Millenium Place Scotia Creek Gallery in Whistler, BC. This January, the Warehouse Gallery in Kelowna will feature her latest winter series inspired while Whistler was preparing to host the Winter Olympics. The work expresses our Canadian engagement with winter and all its beauty. More information on Wendy can be found on her website.

For Ermengarde, Wherever You May Find Her

I recently received a Facebook message from my friend Kaela, owner of Frock Clothing Co. in downtown Kelowna. It was partially a thank-you to a number of people she credits for inspiring her and also a large blog post about a chance encounter she recently had, how it affected her, how the person she met was affected, and piece of personal advice. I felt it was important to share her post here, with her blessing of course, in case any other creative types were feeling tired, burned-out or confused about where they are in life.

I got the most incredible letter today from a girl whom I met while she was shopping in my store. Let’s call her Ermengarde for storytelling purposes (after a character in my favourite childhood novel. I was always like: wow. Cool name.) Ermengarde was at a crossroads when we first spoke: feeling like she needed to pursue something creative, but also feeling the pressure to succeed financially. These two things aren’t always mutually exclusive (pretty sure Angelina Jolie isn’t ripping through the ‘seen-better-days bargain basket’ at the co-op looking for the loaf of bread with the most easily removable mold). Unfortunately, the term “starving artist” exists for a reason. There are no pensions. There are no “benefits” if you get sick. Job security is as tangible as a pet unicorn, and you’re often asked to work for free. (think of the exposure!) In fact, most of the artists i know have a Joe-job to cover their bills.

Joe-job (noun): The thing you get paid minimum wage to do so that you can afford your career as an artist; e.g. Server, salesperson, pretending to be a criminal at the justice institute while police in training interview you (yes, that’s a job, and yes, you do have to sign a waiver stating that if your acting is so great that you force an officer to physically restrain you and you get hurt, you will not sue).

My First Impression of Ermengarde: A Paragraph

This girl is beautiful. If you were standing behind her in a bookstore line you’d be irritated because she’s too pretty to be reading books and being all smart. That’s not fair to the rest of us. It crossed my mind that I should probably trip her because life is going to be too easy for her and someone needs to teach her that life is hard. Like a floor. After books fall on you. But then when she speaks she’s gracious and funny. She laughs at herself. She’s totally vulnerable when she talks about her dreams, and vulnerability in anyone is so lovable because it makes us feel less afraid to open our own hearts a little. I remember thinking after she left: wow. That girl will succeed no matter what she does. I actually thought that! When does that happen?? And then I got this letter.

Letter from Ermengarde

She starts by thanking me. She says I am inspiring and that my last blog post really moved her. My first thought: holy shitballs! Someone who isn’t my best friend is actually reading my blog!!!! Yessssssssssss!!!! My second thought: ooooh shitballs. Am I being honest in my blogs? I’m a shit-show. Did I clarify that somewhere?? Dear reader: these are my thoughts. I want to share them with you but be forewarned – I’m a total flake. If you want to be inspired you should find a different blog from someone who actually knows stuff. I can’t remember putting that in my last blog. I have a mild panic attack and then continue reading.

Ermengarde goes on to say that she feels lost. She’s got the 9 to 5 job and the boyfriend. She bakes. Her home is so clean it sparkles and she’s hosting this year’s Christmas party. Somehow her life turned into a cookie cutter existence and she’s lost her spirit. She wants advice. She wants to know if I really believe in jumping into something without having any idea where you’ll end up or what the consequences might be. She asks me what steps she should take. She thinks I’m qualified to answer these questions because I’ve somehow opened a business that’s artsy. Jesus.

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Christmas Market + Art Show, This Weekend!

bottega_xmas_posterBo.ttega Farm Inn is proud to be hosting their second annual Christmas Market & Art Show Saturday, December 15th & Sunday the 16th from 11am – 4pm. Over the two days, the festive market will feature some of the Okanagan’s Finest Artists, Crafters & Musicians all set in the heart of beautiful South East Kelowna. Christmas Carols will be echoing through the halls courtesy of local musicians, and you will find savoury European baking, Glog wine, artisan coffee and stollen bread to warm you up while you explore Bo.ttega.

The two day event will include over 35 vendors; Wineries, Food Crafters, Artists & Crafters. Last year saw more than 1,500 people take part in this family friendly event, so come and enjoy the spirit of the season!

Admission is $2, children are free. All proceeds to the Kelowna Food Bank.

For more info go to

Bo.ttega 4485 Sallows Road. S.E. Kelowna V1W 4C2 Canada GOOGLE MAP LINK

A few shots taken by Darren Hull at the 2011 Bottega Christmas Market