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Ryga Festival

Summerland's Arts Festival, 

Inspired by George Ryga

Ryga Festival Events

The Ryga Festival features concerts, workshops, spoken word performances, and readings. The festival includes popular artists and exciting new faces from as far afield as Syria.  Here are the highlights:

Warm up: Free Concert by Blue City Trio
The smooth tunes of the Okanagan's own Blue City Trio, with Sergei Ryga (keyboard & vocals) , Tom Esson (guitar & vocals), and Dan Marcelino (drums, percussion &vocals),
Wednesday, August 30th, at 6.30 pm; co-sponsored by the Summerland Community Arts Council.


Rita Joe 50: A Re-Think
The Festival opens with a public conversation about the historical significance and continuing impact of George Ryga’s ground-breaking play, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, premiered by the Vancouver Playhouse fifty years ago. A diverse group of artists and community leaders have been invited to discuss not just the historical context and impact of The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, but also the role of the political artist in framing contemporary debate on issues of inequality and social justice.  Thursday, August 31, 10:30 am to 1 pm Free. Everyone welcome.


Staged Reading of George Ryga’s play Ploughmen of the Glacier
Heather Davies directs a rehearsed reading of one of Ryga’s most popular plays which premiered in Kamloops in 1976. Rooted in the history and exploited landscape of the Kootenays, the play juxtaposes, with comic effect, a rugged prospector and a refined journalist to examine the myth of the Old West.

Thursday, August 31st, 2-4 pm   By Donation.


Outspoken! Back by Popular Demand!
A medley of spoken-word performances and recitals, featuring local poets, storytellers, actors, and raconteurs in a relaxed atmosphere, Outspoken! last year left standing room only, and inspired several similar events in Summerland since. Curated by Sophia Jackson and Dianne Hildebrand.  Thursday, August 31, 7:00 pm $12 ($8 students)

Seven Is The Magic Number - a Magical Evening with Ann Mortifee
Witness the birth of a brand new musical work, as legendary singer Ann Mortifee takes us on an adventurous ride. She weaves a story from each of the seven decades of her life, which began in South Africa, combining each story with one of her songs. Ann will be accompanied on this journey by an amazing trio of veteran musicians:
Ed Henderson (guitar), Finn Manniche (guitar and cello) and Bill Sample (keyboard)
Friday, September 1, 7.30 pm. Tickets $27 (students $17)


Adrenaline - A Play for Our Time 
Written and performed by Ahmad Miree, a Syrian theatre artist who found refuge in Canada last year, this one-man show explores the psychological impact of war and loss of loved ones on one man. The production, directed by Majdi Bou-Matar, Artistic Director of the IMPACT festival in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, will be followed by a discussion with both artists. This matinee event is co-sponsored by the Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group and the Summerland Community Arts Council.
Saturday, September 2, Matinee at 2 pm. Tickets $20 ($15 students)


The Ryga Reunion Quartet at Centre Stage
Three-time Juno Award winner Campbell Ryga returns after last year's sell-out concert, and teams up again with the musicians he grew up playing with in Summerland: his brother Sergei Ryga and two other local favourites, Scott Gamble and Cameron Ward. It will be another unforgettable evening of nostalgic mellow jazz and blues.
 Saturday, September 2, 7.30 pm. Tickets $27 (students $17)


And still more!

Tickets & Registrations
Event tickets and workshop registrations are available through Eventbrite, the Summerland Visitors Centre, Dragon's Den in Penticton, and the Ryga Festival office in the Summerland Arts Centre.