Posts in Culture

These People Are A-OK: Mel Schmidt

Mel is one of those people you remember. You’ve seen her on the street, you’ve seen her in salons, and you’ve seen her in your dreams. You probably didn’t even know it was her because of her ever-changing hair colours but you’d easily recognize her unique style. Since her—and her husband’s—salons started popping up all over Kelowna years ago, they’ve slowly shaped a part of the culture in Kelowna to what we know it as today.
Mel Proof

Why We Love It Here

1. My awesome dog Betsey. This was her first “couture” shaving a beautiful pink coat made from her very own fur courtesy of Donna at PetSmart, who is awesome.
2. My first trip to Chicago for one of North Americas largest hair conventions. These are my feet which I thought were on the beach of the ocean but turns out was just a really friggin’ huge lake!
3. This is my hand which does makeup, counts money, smacks people when they misbehave and signs on the dotted line, how can you not love your job with this accent piece right!
4. A trip to meet the legendary hairstylist Oribe in Las vegas led us by this poker table and I thought to myself, yep Oribe is so amazing he has his own poker table. And I love that about him. Oh, his hair skills are alright too hahaha.
5. Some makeup I did for a fashion show in Vegas, the theme was Grotesque Glamour!
6. This isn’t me but its my manager Danielle putting on a girls nails. I love this photo because you can literally see the energy that exists in our shop every day!
7. Bedhead makeup is my fave, look closely and see the happy guest in the mirror, haha…
8. Me and my hubby at our grand opening of our West Kelowna location. Why he’s making this face I have no idea but I knew he’d kill me if I submitted it. I’m naughty.

Why They Love It Here

What neighborhood do you live in?
I live in the deep rut (Rutland) in a condo with my husband and awesome dog.

What do you do and where?
I own and operate 3 hair salons (yes, with my husband and awesome dog) Our salons are called Cream Hair & Makeup Lounge.

What are you working on?
Right now I’m working on getting the doors open to our third location at the Madison, just a few weeks away, yay! And I’m also working on something so top secret I cant even give a hint, sorry!

Where can we find your work?
You can find my work at:
1. Cream on 1771 Cooper Road
2. #313- 3021 Louie Drive, West Kelowna (Staples building)
3. 1389 Ellis Street, the Madison

The Enchanted Hidden Forest

There is a buzz in Kelowna this time of year as people get excited about which festivals they plan to attend. Outdoor music festival culture in BC is unique. There is so much vast land to host such incredibly diverse and intimate productions. The passion and work of those who make them happen is remarkable. For those attending, these festivals are often a highlight of the year. We are truly spoiled.

Many of these events take place within a 30 to 60 minute drive of downtown Kelowna. They have minimal advertising and attract and “those who know” crowd and those who know like to keep the knowledge of these events a little underground.

There are typically no age restrictions at the shows and “party safe and have fun” is the attitude of all. There is a hired security team and a sense of everyone looking out for one another and making sure everyone is having fun. This attracts huge numbers of people who can attend with their older sisters or younger brothers, who often experience their first big event with live music. Some of the highlights at these festivals include live DJs, bands, MCs, and vocalist, huge stage productions with art pieces, incredible lighting and sound, live visuals, and room to dance. There are other things like hookah lounges, puppet shows, and a vendors’ area with great food, clothing, jewelry, hats, beads, and the likes of. Daytime workshops are scheduled for those looking to share and connect about things like spiritual healing, yoga, perhaps learn a little more about digital art and music. There are a whole bunch of how-to type classes on hula hooping, beading, Reiki massage, MCing and DJing basics, and all this is included in the admission price. It is truly amazing what a group of like-minded people can share.

Hidden2010 took place a few weeks ago. A large team of Kelowna event hosts teamed up to create edition number 4 of this music festival where urban arts and digital music come alive, only in the deep woods of BC and this year private land in Beaverdell was the playground. Folks from Kelowna arrived by the hundreds on Thursday afternoon to set up their prime camping spots. They met up with their friends from neighboring communities like Nelson, Grand Forks, Penticton, etc… Performers and festival-goers from as far East as Calgary and as far West as Vancouver made the long trek into the show. One of the highlight performances took place Friday night as France’s Dirty Phonics took to the stage with their 2 DJ and 1 MC live act. The performers were just as enthralled as the crowd. Their MC felt the love and said: “We can’t believe you people built this incredible show in the middle of nowhere. We’re in a forest! Look at all of you amazing people!” I couldn’t believe I was catching of the world’s best DJ acts live near Kelowna. A Hip Hop showcase on Saturday afternoon kept the daytime busy with rhymes, beats, break dancing, and live graffiti art. Saturday night played to host an array of favorites including Mat The Alien, Smalltown DJs, and Fresh Baked DJs who are all Shambhala Music Festival performers this summer. Hidden-goers came together for three days and two nights to celebrate the beginning of summer and dance under a starry sky and it was a darn good time.

Up next in the festival circuit in the Kelowna area is my pick of summer: Rustic Robot, also into its fourth year, which is taking place on Saturday July 24 in the back woods between Kelowna and Penticton. Local performers include awesome metal band DFY (my neighbours!) and Poor Little Rich Girl and DJs Chaosphere, DeeBass, and many others. Find them on Facebook in your Kelowna network.

If you want to enjoy dancing under the stars, look for information in underground. Hemp City on Bernard Ave is usually a hub of details as is a multitude of Facebook listings. Also, head to The Grateful Fed every Thursday night for Basswave with live locals DJs. These folk also know about the festivals, so make a friend, dance, and get your camping gear together for a summer of fun. There are a few more outdoor events coming up in August and we will take a peek at those in a future A-OK entry.


Photos by: Darth Raver and Tomas A.

Score G Productions Inc. on Kickstarter

The Okanagan is Awesome, and a big part of that is the people who make it that way. One of the Locals guilty of awesomeness is Adam Scorgie. You may recognize him as filmmaker of the documentary “The Union: The Business behind getting High“. He is now undergoing a new project “Ice Guardians”, but he needs our help!

The obstacle facing many indie filmmakers is that most studios are only looking for movies that they think will be big box office hits, rather than movies which are thought provoking and educational.

“My true passion in addition to being creative is to focus on very compelling topics that both stimulate interest and educate people. The one quality that separates me from other filmmakers is that I am not in the industry simply to make a lot of money. The passion that drives me is to make thought provoking films that inspire the world in a positive way. ” -Adam Scorgie

Adam needs our help to raise $24,000 to start Score G Productions Inc., this will be “the production company created for the indie community by the indie community.”

In the spirit of A-OK, I raise my glass and popcorn bowl to Adam Scorgie. A true visionary and fellow Kelownian, dedicated to making Kelowna, the Okanagan, and the world, awesome.

These People Are A-OK: Nasim Jamal

Nasim is easily regarded as the Okanagan’s most recognizable photographer with the largest collection of the most expensive, eclectic, defunct and utterly useless camera lenses around. After amassing such a collection for professional reasons Nasim stopped taking photos almost entirely and now shoots with a Canon point and shoot. In his spare time time, which is all of his time, he has created some of the most innovative designs and alterations the trucker hat world has ever seen. Sometime working as a stagehand but mostly doing it for the t-shirts and donuts.

Why We Love It Here

1. Helping a friend rebuild a motorbike.
2. Theft Buster? Who would steal a car painted like that?
3. Dropped in on friends at Cafe Soleil. They are such pretty mutants.
4. Calling mom is always a good idea. She just wants to know you’re o.k.
5. Me!
6. Hunting for car parts at the Pick-n-pull.
7. Levitating my Delorean with the power of four cinder blocks.
8. A sampling of Nasim’s Hat World (formerly Lee’s hat world) with my manager Tim Janzen.

Why They Love It Here

What neighborhood do you live in?
Around Leon Avenue.

What do you do and where?
Dumpster diving in the downtown zone.

What are you working on?
Adding secret storage compartments to my Delorean. Seriously.

Where can we find your work?
I am currently a fashion designer specializing in hat making. You can find my hats locally at Tweaked and Yummy on Ellis. You can find my photos online on the [Face]Book.