Whether you’re a visitor or a local, you’ll want to check out Living Things - Kelowna’s International Arts Festival, before it is too late.
Since January 11, audiences have been treated to an array of high-quality, colourful, inspiring, curious, and funny performances. There’s been a production of Macbeth without any words but substantial amounts of blood, improvisational jazz, workshops, escape-room style theatre, and more, but the fun isn’t over yet.
Hopefully, that has you curious because Living Things is a festival that essentially demands curiosity. Now in its third year, the whole ethos of the festival is open-mindedness and pushing boundaries. It has been overwhelmingly successful so far in this regard, and that is surely going to continue through to the end of the festival on February 9.
Performances & Events Not to Miss
Politics in the Room Workshop - January 30 & 31
If you feel like being adventurous and taking in a workshop with award-winning international theatrical performers, you can do just that. Right here in Kelowna. The workshop will be hosted by the UK’s Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas. Titled Politics in the Room, the workshop explores “ideas around disagreement, frustration, hatred and reconciliation – particularly as these relate to contemporary society – using the stage as a space for artistic and political negotiation.”
The workshop will be held at the Black Box Theatre (1375 Water Street - behind the back of the Kelowna Community Theatre) on Wednesday, January 30 at 7 p.m. and on January 31 at the same time. More information, including registration details, can be found here.
Palmyra - February 1
Lesca and Voutsas will also be putting on a performance at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (421 Cawston Ave.) on Friday, February 1 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 2 at 8 p.m. The performance is titled Palmyra and according to Lyn Gardner of The Guardian:
“[is a] brilliantly conceived, absurd two-hander that takes its name from the much fought over ancient Syrian city. It could be seen as a show about the west’s inability to take action in Syria, but equally read as a metaphor for a personal relationship breakdown. Viciously funny.”
Clearly, this is a performance that deserves an audience and is one that you do not want to miss. Advance tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students - they can be purchased here.
Upside Down - February 2
Also on February 2, there will be an interactive pop-up art gallery, performance, and party - Upside Down - taking place at the Black Box Theatre from 10 p.m. Guests will see the “space will transform over the course of the night” and “people are invited to step outside of their daily, normative behaviours” in an inclusive space. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Patterns - February 9
Living Things wraps up on Saturday, February 9 with Patterns - “an interactive art, science, and technology performance featuring highly acclaimed Western Canadian musicians and artists.” Taking place from 8 p.m. at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, the concert will showcase “the diversity and trans-disciplinary nature of technologically-informed art.” General admission is $15, while students can attend for $10. Find out more here.
The Living Things festival is organized by Neil Cadger of Inner Fish Performance Co. and UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, and he would love to see the festival continue to a strong conclusion - “In a time when opportunities for virtual communication expand exponentially, the power of live presence becomes rarer and consequently, more valuable...”
In other words, do yourself a favour; put your butt in a seat and enjoy a live performance at 2019’s edition of Living Things before it is too late! Hopefully, I’ll see you there.
Learn more about the Living Things Festival here.
Vincent Jones is a Bachelor of Arts graduate from UBC Okanagan and a passionate supporter of local and independent music. In the past, Vince was featured on 102.7 The PEAK in Vancouver, contributed to CBC Radio West and KelownaNow as a music columnist. He has hosted and contributed to indie music podcasts, and has booked, emceed and promoted numerous shows. He is the Co-Owner of Kelowna marketing and branding agency, By Jove Co.