Posts in People

BC Celebrates Family Day

It’s BC’s first Family Day stat holiday. What are you doing with your family? I’ve found three major events happening in the Kelowna area for Family Day.

familyday11) BC Family Day (by Creative Okanagan, Province of BC, and the City of Kelowna)
Parkinson Rec: Family Day, Feb 11th, 10-3pm. All activities are FREE.

BC Fun

  • Free swimming (in partnership with the City of Kelowna)
  • Face painting (by KBAAD)
  • Instrument petting zoo (hosted by Wentworth Music)
  • Circus Yoga (hosted by Success by Six)

BC Culture

  • Arts and Crafts station
  • Story telling area

BC Discovery

  • Gold Panning Station
  • Science World Exhibit

familyday32) Family Day Skate for Hospice (by Prospera Place and Delta Grand hotels)
In support of the Central Okanagan Hospice Association. Prospera Place, $5 donation for entry. Admission either at the door on the day of the event or pre-purchase a ticket from the Front Desk of the Delta Grand.

Bring the family and skate with Rocky Raccoon for this amazing cause! Complimentary Hot Chocolate and Cookies. Center ice goal scoring competition for prizes.

 

 

familyday23) First Annual Kelowna YMCA Family Day
YMCA, February 11 9:00am-5:00pm

Fun family activities all day long. Come and celebrate BC’s first Family Day and the launch our annual Strong Kids Campaign. All activities and admission are by donation.

  • Family Fitness classes
  • Drums Alive
  • Face painting
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Family games
  • Pool games
  • Giant inflatable toys
  • Hot dogs and lemonade (by donation)
  • Bake Sale

All proceeds from the hot dogs and bake sale go to the Strong Kids Campaign. Please consider making a donation to the Strong Kids Campaign as Melcor will be matching every donation made.

These People Are A-OK: Topher Edwards

I recently tracked down graphic artist Topher Edwards, a talented pixel-pusher I’ve known of (thanks to mutual friends at Mosaic Books) for a couple years. As is often the case with the internets, I soon realized I knew his work before I knew him personally (Topher, I even have one of your PMA Podcast images in my inspiration folder, so there). His is the kind of work I would expect to see on Grain Edit or some equally incredible blog. It’s tight. So tight that I’m practically foaming-at-the-mouth-excited to be able to pick his brain and share this interview with you.

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When did you first catch the design bug?
Around grade 6, back when the internet took 24 hours to download a single song, I was learning HTML and building websites to host my growing collection of skateboarding videos. It must have started around then. (I was much better at HTML in grade 6 then than I am now, unfortunately.) When I went in to high school I stopped coding and got into music, so I was learning Pro Tools instead but ended up going to school for coding in a roundabout way. It was there I learned about Shepard Fairey and Obey who ultimately inspired me to do graphic design. I saw the fun in it; making art with propose and message became an important tool to spread my own views, ideas and creativity whether it’s on the street, on paper or on the web.

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How long have you been doing it for now?
I started school in 2007 with no real skills other than bad Photoshop filters. Graduated in 2009 and have been working as a full time designer since then.

What’s your relationship to the Okanagan?
I moved to the Okanagan immediately after graduating and landed my first paid design gig in the Okanagan.

What types of local business have you worked with?
A month after moving to Kelowna, I was offered a full time design position at Vital Waters after meeting the owner at a print shop I was working at. After a few months I was offered a job at Think Marketing where I worked with all kinds of local businesses like, Lake City Casinos, PlayGolf Kelowna, BOSS Manufacturing, K963 and many others.

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What inspires your work?
I am a vintage and retro enthusiast. I love neon lights, hand-painted signs and the simplicity of a time I wasn’t even alive in. I see the world as a busy, complicated place with too much visual information overloading us in our day-to-day. I like to take a step back and keep things simple. Classic is classic for a reason; it’s simple, it’s strong, it has staying power. I want to design with staying power that generally means cutting back on the hokey shit like drop shadows, glows, and make it ‘pop’ mentality. I see good design as the strong, silent type that becomes a pleasant addition to our environment rather than and intrusive, attention grabber. When I see it working – it inspires me to work harder to be better at just that.

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You recently moved to Vancouver but are still working on projects in the Okanagan. What are some of these and what are you doing for them?
Though I am juggling a few big design jobs right now, Okanagan Home Magazine took me on as Creative Director last year allowing me to work with all the advertisers in the magazine. In a way, I am working with 50+ Okanagan businesses at any given time now on ads for the magazine as well as the editorial layouts.

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Do you have any favourite Okanagan musicians/designers?
I’m a huge fan of Jon-Rae Fletcher and loved his music long before I even moved to the Okanagan. As far as designers, I really respect the work of Tara Simpson, a freelancer and friend in Kelowna. We worked together at Think and find her professional style truly inspiring. I also worked alongside Sean Shepard who pushed my abilities outside of the walls I usually put up. He puts a lot of personality and brilliance into his work – also great at spinning vinyl while we’re talking about musicians.

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 ecotonefestival.ca

“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.

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.

Hannah Georgas & The Belle Game

For what seems like weeks I haven’t posted any articles on music… on Second thought, it probably has been close to a month. But I want all you readers to know that I’m back and will be covering events of all kinds. Most recently, last Thursday night at The Habitat, I caught Hannah Georgas & The Belle Game play an awesome show.

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The Belle Game played first and was a good way to start the evening. Their music is unique because of the composition and their almost orchestral pop sound. Originating from Vancouver and formed in 2009, currently this band holds five members: Adam Nanji, Andrea Lo, Alex Andrew, Katrina Jones and Rob Chursinoff.

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After their set, the audience was left silent and in anticipation of Hannah GeorgasAlthough the night started off later than expected, the wait was well worth it. Georgas, a Vancouver based pop/rock songwriter controls the stage with an outstanding presence and vocal quality that’s a shock to hear live. Her clarity and ambiance created by the melodies of simple chord progressions, strung together with her lyrics makes for a beautiful delivery. This band is a must see live and if you don’t believe me, listen for yourself.

Overall, it was a great night and was hosted at one of Kelowna’s best downtown venues. Stay informed and up to date here.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve the New Yorker Way

If you were downtown on New Year’s Eve the action was hard to miss. Two large spot lights dancing in the night sky directed thousands of people towards Stuart Park where the city was having its New York New Year’s Eve celebration, an event inspired by the popular New Year’s Eve countdown happening simultaneously in Times Square, New York. If you had young kids or no intention of staying up until midnight this was the place to be to make your New Year’s Resolutions and celebrate with friends and family.

There were plenty of activities for young kids to do downtown on this night, including snowmen building, snowball target practice, and even soccer. Since the weather wasn’t quite what you would expect during this time of year the city had to bring in a truck full of snow to dump in Stuart Park, creating an area where kids could build snowmen and play on the piles. There were also snowball targets set up for kids to practice their aim with rubber balls.

Despite the lack of snow the temperature remained a reminder that it was still winter, keeping the ice on the skating rink frozen. Several thousand people filled the park on this night, and I’m willing to bet the majority of them were crammed onto the ice. Vendors supplied waffles and other hot treats to keep everyone warm.

When I arrived, managing to catch the coattails of this family friendly event that began at 6pm and ran until 9pm, the stage which was previously occupied by a DJ was being set-up for a maritime folk band that came out and rocked it until the end of the night. When they finished their set the people then crowded the boardwalk to watch fireworks which were set off at 9pm sharp and lit up the night sky for the next fifteen minutes or so. This concluded the New York New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Stuart Park.

A New Year’s Resolution Success Story

It’s that time of year again, the time when we think about that one thing that we really want to accomplish in the next year and fervently promise ourselves that THIS YEAR we’ll really lose twenty pounds, go to the gym religiously, quit our horrible jobs, etc.

The New Year’s Resolution!

Generally the success rates are not good. How often do we have the same resolution (“No, seriously, this year I’m really going to lose twenty pounds!”) from year to year to year?

So I thought I would give an example of my own of a New Year’s Resolution that I actually fulfilled. New Years 2011 I decided to set myself the goal of completing the Across the Lake Swim. I had heard about the swim ever since moving to Kelowna, but was always away when it occurred. In 2011 I promised myself I would complete it, and although I probably could have survived it without too much training beforehand, I decided to prepare by joining the Okanagan Masters Swim Club. I told myself that as long as I attended practices once a week I would be ready for the swim in July. Well, the first practice had me tomato-faced and gasping for air, not because the practice was extremely difficult, but because I was so out of shape! What had I gotten myself into? But I plugged away, attending practices, and slowly getting in better shape to the point where I was no longer exhausted at the end of practice but exhilarated! By my third month with the club I was swimming three or four times a week instead of just once. I made new friends, fell in love with swimming, and couldn’t wait for my first try crossing the lake.

Ashley, Myself, and Paul are ready to go!

Ashley, Myself, and Paul are ready to go in our matching wetsuits!

When the swim finally rolled around I was nervous but ready. I wasn’t sure what it would be like, swimming with 400 other swimmers, both faster and slower than myself. I had received lots of advice from other swimmers about how to spot the finish line, where to place myself at the start line to avoid being run over, and how to deal with the current (yes, there is a current in our lake!). But when the start gun went off for my group, all planning went out the window and I just put my head down and swam!

Running to the finish while also trying to pull off my cap.

Running to the finish while also trying to pull off my cap.

In the end, I swam faster than I thought I would, but that wasn’t important. What mattered was that I had achieved my goal, a New Year’s Resolution completed! And with it came the added benefits of new friends and new swimming challenges.

My Across the Lake Relay team: The Fintastic Four. Phred, Ashley, Myself, and Paul at the finish line.

My Across the Lake Relay team: The Fintastic Four. Phred, Ashley, Myself, and Paul at the finish line. Photo by Angelique Duffield at BrightSparkMedia.ca

In roughly seven months I will be attempting to achieve pretty much the biggest swimming goal there is, crossing not a lake, but the English Channel. That would never have entered my mind if it weren’t for that New Year’s Resolution to cross our very own lake. So go ahead, make a resolution this year. You never know what might come of it.

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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