The weather may be cooling down, but Kelowna’s art and culture scene is not! Some great events are coming up in Kelowna, so don’t miss out. Here are two noteworthy art and culture events for your fall calendar.
Kelowna Art Gallery — Wolves: The Art of Dempsey Bob
Where: Kelowna Art Gallery (1315 Water Street, Kelowna)
When: Now through February 18, 2024
Admission: $7 (Adult), $6 (Students and Seniors), $14 (Families). Free for children under 12. Admission is free for all on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
One of the leading woodcarvers and sculptors of British Columbia’s Northwest Coast, Dempsey Bob, currently has an exhibition on display in Kelowna.
Dempsey Bob is of Tahltan and Tlingit First Nations descent and studied under legendary female carver Freda Diesing. Bob has been carving since 1969, delighting many, sharing stories, preserving culture and picking up awards along the way. Bob carves totem poles, masks, bowls, and other items in the Tlingit style.
Bob’s work can be found in many important cultural collections and institutions around the world, such as the Canadian Museum of History, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the National Museum of Ethnology in Japan, the Smithsonian Institution and the Hamburgisches Museum fur Volkerskkunde (Hamburg Museum of Folklore) in Hamburg, Germany. Bob has also had some significant commissions, including from the Vancouver Airport Authority, with several of his works on display at the Vancouver International Airport. If you’ve flown in or out of Vancouver in recent decades, you’ve likely seen one of Bob’s incredible works.
Bob uses many different materials in his work, but his preferred medium is wood. His work was first displayed at the National Gallery of Canada in 1992 in an exhibit called Land Spirit Power – the first survey exhibition of First Nations contemporary art ever held at the National Gallery of Canada.
The current exhibit in Kelowna offers a chance to see some breathtaking works up close and personal. Wolves: The Art of Dempsey Bob showcases the artist's development from his early years to his masterworks. It’s an exhibit you don’t want to miss and one that is sure to leave you feeling inspired.
In addition to Bob’s exhibit, visitors can also enjoy several other exhibitions at the Kelowna Art Gallery (KAG). KAG is always worth a visit, and if you’re on a budget, it’s 100% free for everyone every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Learn more about Wolves: The Art of Dempsey Bob here.
Okanagan Symphony Orchestra: AMPLIFY
The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) is the third-largest professional orchestra in British Columbia and has been delighting locals and visitors for almost 65 years.
If your tastes in music run diverse or contemporary, their upcoming show, AMPLIFY, is for you. On Saturday, November 18, the OSO plugs in and amplifies new artists and their music. Throat singing, beatboxing, Indigenous songwriting, and electronic dance music cross over with symphonic music to create an eclectic and electric evening of live music in a program aptly titled AMPLIFY. The OSO is collaborating with throat singer/beatboxer Poppa Nuge, syilx singer song carrier Cori Derickson, Cree cellist Kethra Stewart, and the innovative, gender-bending queer vocalist Quinn “Quarterback” Bates.
“The OSO will be trying on a brand new sound as we join with these fabulous artists,” says OSO Music Director Rosemary Thomson. “I am so excited to share the stage with them and to feature the orchestra in this contemporary repertoire.”
Hailing from the rough streets of Regina and Saskatoon, Poppa Nuge skirted with the gang lifestyle but avoided it by embracing skateboarding, “a piece of wood” that took him to people and places he’d never expected. He began practicing beatboxing right after hearing it for the first time and then advanced to throat singing. As an artist, his style and flow have been shaped by his environment. Prepare for a rugged and raw, hip hop and house-influenced performance!
Of Okanagan/Colville/Arrow Lakes, Nez Perce, Hawaiian and Irish descent, Cori Derickson is both a multi-interdisciplinary artist and a holistic practitioner. Through art and ceremony, Cori has found healing and a way to connect to the spirit world and create beauty. An accomplished musician, Kethra Stewart is a Cree cellist/drummer/vocalist from Saddle Lake Cree Nation on Treaty 6 territory and has been in the Okanagan since 2019. She is currently studying for her master's degree in health studies. These two gifted Indigenous artists have performed as a duo for both public and private events in Kelowna and are thrilled to share traditional Okanagan songs with the community.
Although Quinn “Quarterback” Bates is a passionate studio mogul, he thrives most onstage — he’s been a multifaceted trained performer since age 10. Influenced by R&B, house, dance, and hyperpop, queer artist Quarterback creates a juxtaposition of feminine angelic vocals with gritty distortion that brings excitement, gender-bending innovation, body positivity and heartfelt lyrics.
It’s happening on one night only – November 18. Get your tickets today!
For those who prefer more traditional classical offerings, SHIMMERING STRINGS — featuring the OSO’s wonderful string players — fits the bill beautifully. More on that here.
To see even more Kelowna events, visit the Tourism Kelowna events calendar here. See you out and about!