As we look ahead to May, culture is in full bloom in Kelowna! There are lots of great events on the horizon. Here are four upcoming art and culture experiences that caught my eye.


Ballet Kelowna: Macbeth

Where: Kelowna Community Theatre (1375 Water St.)

When: Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4, 2024. Starts at 7:30 p.m. on both evenings.

Admission: $34.35 to $77.25

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To put it succinctly as possible, you NEED to see this show! 

In spring 2022, I was at the Kelowna Community Theatre as Ballet Kelowna’s Macbeth had its World Premiere. Now, I’m no ballet aficionado, but it immediately had me gripped and absorbed. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish as the evening flew by, and a familiar story was told with stunning ingenuity. It’s definitely one of the most enjoyable pieces of art I’ve ever experienced in Kelowna.

Based on William Shakespeare's iconic tragedy, Macbeth was Ballet Kelowna's first full-length work. The talented Alysa Pires choreographed it, and it was significant in more ways than one. When Ballet Kelowna hired Pires, she became the first female Canadian choreographer in over 40 years to be commissioned by a Canadian ballet company to create a full-length work.

The finished work is truly superb, and I’m delighted it’s being reprised for Kelowna audiences on May 3 and 4 in the Cultural District. From the set design to the soundscape to the performances from Ballet Kelowna’s dancers, it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in years, and it is worth every cent and more of the admission price. I can’t wait to see it again! See you there?

If you’d like to learn more about Ballet Kelowna’s Macbeth, take a peek at this article where I interviewed Pires and Simone Orlando (Artistic Director and CEO of Ballet Kelowna). 


Bach in Time

Where: Benvoulin Church (2279 Benvoulin Rd.)

When: Friday, May 17, 2024. 11 a.m.

Admission: $25

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On the morning of May 17, you’re invited to go Bach in Time in a beautiful setting. Enjoy the music of Johann Sebastian Bach at Kelowna’s historic Benvoulin Church.

Musicians Lucy Wang and Cameron Crozman will be performing an intimate concert of solo Bach. They will also be playing two priceless 18th-century instruments. Wang will play a Giovanni Tononi violin from ca. 1700, while Crozman will play a Gennaro Gagliano cello from ca. 1750, which means that the instruments were essentially contemporary to Bach’s life (Bach lived from 1685 to 1750). My inner history nerd loves that!

The instruments are from the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank, which is neat in and of itself. An initiative of the Canada Council for the Arts, the bank holds over 20 exceptional instruments crafted by world-renowned luthiers. Pre-eminent classical musicians from Canada compete for the opportunity to borrow and perform with an instrument from the bank for three years. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy these instruments and the talented musicians who will be playing them in Kelowna.


RCA Presents: Under the Rocks: Album Release Concert

Where: Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre for the Arts (421 Cawston Ave.)

When: Friday, May 24, 2024. 7:30 p.m.

Admission: $35

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Kelowna band Under the Rocks has emerged as one of Canada’s premier bluegrass acts. The string quartet, comprised of acoustic guitar (Jordan Klassen), banjo and mandolin (Chris Baxter), fiddle (Chloe Davidson) and upright bass (Nils Loewen), makes a big sound that tips its cap to tradition while incorporating singer-songwriter music intentionally put together with clever, inventive song arrangements, emotive instrumental breaks and powerful vocal harmony.

An Under the Rocks show commonly features dancing, laughter, joyful hoots and hollers and serene moments accompanied by tears and tranquil sighs of release or appreciation.

On May 24, they celebrate the release of their second studio album, Honest Try, with a performance at the Mary Irwin Theatre in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District. The band will perform their new record as well as some fan favourites. Regularly on tour, this is Under the Rocks’ first local gig since last summer and their only confirmed Kelowna date for 2024.


Kelowna Summer Afro Fest 2024

Where: Vice and Virtue Brewing Co. (1033 Richter St.)

When: Saturday, May 25, 2024. 5 p.m.

Admission: $20

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On May 25, Kelowna Summer Afro Fest 2024 kicks off at Vice & Virtue in Kelowna’s burgeoning brewery district. 

The first of five dates running through to September 14, the event series promises the best DJs in town playing a wide range of music, including Afrobeats, hip-hop, dancehall, R&B, Latin, and Amapiano.

And in addition to the beats, there will be great beer and tasty food from the talented team at Vice & Virtue.


To see even more Kelowna events, visit the Tourism Kelowna events calendar here. See you around town!


Cover Image: Photo by Emily Cooper. Dancers: Naomi Kawamura, Emily Murray and Mckeely Borger, as the three witches in Ballet Kelowna's Macbeth.