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On a dark winter night in a cheap hotel lobby, Romeo Kuchmir shares his earthy
vision of the world, spinning tales about the wild 1950’s Canadian wrestling world,
forbidden loves and growing up on the prairies. All the while, the young hotel clerk,
the Kid, quietly scribbles down the stories. Romeo wants to be remembered, but he
wants it done his way... And that ain’t gonna work for The Kid.
“Comic and raging. A fight promoter’s ringside tales of life and love.” With actors from across Canada creating this online event, adapted by Heather Davies, original novel by George Ryga.
Join award-winning lawyer, activist,
Métis expert, the great-grand niece of Louis Riel, accomplished visual and
performing artist, for a reading from her highly- acclaimed book on the missing
chapter in the narrative of the Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, The Northwest is Our Mother
- The Story of Louis Riel's People, the Métis Nation.
“When Jean Teillet talks about The Métis Nation, we all need to listen. She is passionate. She is a great expert. She has a profound understanding of the Métis story. This is a narrative which flows effortlessly and movingly through her book”. – John Ralston Saul, author of The Comeback.
Back by popular demand!
Our 2019 workshop was so popular we’re diving back in to learn more! Led by videographers Brandyn Steels and Erick Thompson, discover the creative potential of your own smart phone and how to edit at your video at home.
Showcasing BC Authors and Indie-folk. We’re thrilled to partner with the Summerland Branch Library for a second year to bring you an engaging mixed program of readings and music. Award-winning guests this year will include author Frances Greenslade, queer writer and performer, Michael V Smith and poet Sharon Thesen, with music from BC indie-folk singer-songwriter Marin Patenaude.
Call and Response, in partnership with the Arts Council. We’re thrilled to
be partnering for a third year with artists. Here’s the inspiration, by George Ryga:
I can provide you with a shadow in which you may grow for a little while.
Like call and response in music, the visual art will not be an echo, but rather the personal response to the “call” in the quotation. Based on the last two years, this event will be a ‘must see’.
This feast of talent will feature Okanagan slam poetry, storytelling, music and more, with surprise guests ‘popping into the kitchen’ from further afar. Hosted by david sereda, (Ryga Arts Festival artist-in-residence, 2019); a relaxed, lively evening, hanging out where the best parties always end up, the kitchen!
Le Mo Nay (lemonay.com), the soulful duo with Julie Masi and
Steve Soucy join the Ryga Arts Festival music events with their
‘sexy, soul jam’.
Julie is a 6 time Juno Award winner with the successful 80s group Parachute Club, and Steve is a 5 time BC Country Music Association Award winner as All-Star Keyboardist.
The evening, rich with their versatile music loves from ‘new takes’ on jazz standards and old school R&B to hip-hop and 80’s pop, rounded off with magical ambience and irresistible grooves, will be a soulful treat of delectable music.
Join author and educator Gerry William to hear selections from two of
his novels, The Black Ship and The Woman in the Trees. Gerry is of
Okanagan-Shuswap ancestry and is a member of the Splatsin Indian Band in
The Black Ship is the first science fiction novel written by a Canadian First Nations author. As an avid "trekkie" and and sci-fi reader himself, Gerry believes that although science fiction is a field rarely explored by First Nations writers, it provides many of the techniques and structures needed if the future is to be explored in a meaningful way.
Gerry will also read selections from his novel, The Woman in the Trees. Set during the time of first contact, the story takes place around what is now Vernon, BC., moving effortlessly from myth to dream time to narrative real time. Spanning the historical period from 1780 to 1860, The Woman in the Trees addresses a time of massive upheaval for the Okanagan people (the syilx).
The event will include an opportunity for conversation with Gerry after the readings.
For 2020 our Theatre Trail is nimbly changing to the Short Play Competition, which allows our imaginations to return to the ‘theatre space’. We’ll be sharing the top five plays on Saturday, August 22nd and will decide whether we’re online, in person or both, a little closer to the event. It’s bound to be exciting- so please join in and join us there to experience the joy and adventure of new writing!
Winner of multiple Juno, Maple Blues and Canadian Folk Music awards, Jim Byrnes joins the 2020 Ryga Arts Festival for an intimate on-line concert with Simon Kendall (composer, producer and long time keyboardist for Doug and the Slugs). We invite you to join Jim and Simon for this interactive music event with evocative, smoky vocals from Jim’s recent release, Long Hot Summer Days, along with an array of music and stories from the rich life of this extraordinary artist.
A reading from My Body is Yours, Michael V Smith’s memoir, about breaking out of gender norms and breaking free of a hurtful past. We’re thrilled that Michael is a guest artist here at the 2020 Ryga Arts Festival. Michael V. Smith is a queer writer, performer and Associate Professor teaching Creative Writing in the interdisciplinary department of Creative Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus in Kelowna, in BC’s Interior. Smith is an MFA grad from 1 UBC’s Creative Writing program (1998). For his full biography please click here
Dialogues: a creative conversation through music and spoken word, with
award-winning Canadian author Anne Michaels and celebrated singer david
sereda, (Ryga Arts Festival resident artist 2019).
Join these virtuoso artists for this unique interweaving of words and song, created specifically for the 2020 Ryga Arts Festival.
Celebrating the range of Canadian George Ryga’s writing, performed by many of the professional artists at the 2019 Ryga Arts Festival.
Centre Stage Theatre
Experience iconic Haida artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, joined by Bill Henderson, Claire Lawrence, Jodi Proznick, vocalists Saffron Henderson and Camille Henderson.
Centre Stage Theatre
An evening of music with Ed Henderson performing solo guitar music, and david sereda alongside our Summerland ‘pop up’ choir performing folk songs and more.
Centre Stage Theatre
Come join the fun as we learn how to enjoy filming on our smartphones. Led by vidoeographers Erick Thompson and Brandyn Steele, everyone will learn how to film and edit on their phone and at home. Continues August 25th.
BC poet Nancy Holmes leads this workshop for all writers, exploring the questions, “How do we write about nature at a time when species are disappearing and our environment is in such trouble? How do we create art that inspires hope or activism?” and will include a short outdoor excursion.
A reading with Canadian novelist, essayist, editor, professor and cultural
In her work, Aritha tells more than just Alberta stories; she also gives voice to women’s stories and perspectives. Both a nationally and internationally awarded author, in 2018 she received the Order of Canada, in 2017 she was celebrated as one of Canada’s 150 women, “She Who Dares”. A mainstay of Calgary, Alberta and Canada’s literary scene, she has written seminal works of fiction, non-fiction and criticism, garnering national recognition, all the while honouring the stories of her native soil. Join us as Aritha shares some of her audacious work here in Summerland.
Playwright and actor Ahmad Meree (Adrenaline, Ryga Festival 2017), explores how to create theatre ‘on your feet’, discovering two ways of creating plot and dialogue: at your desk or on your feet.
Words, music and more, inspired by George Ryga.
Celebrating the range of Canadian George Ryga’s writing, performed by many of the professional artists at the 2019 Ryga Arts Festival. Including excerpts from One More for the Road, Just a Ploughboy, a new documentary film about Ryga’s early life; songs from George Ryga’s ground breaking plays, and more. Performers include: Wanda Cannon* (CBC’s Heartland), david sereda (singer- songwriter), Ahmad Meree (Adrenaline, Ryga Arts Festival 2017), Dick Clements (Summerland Legend), Roark Critchlow, Sergei Ryga (TBC) and other special guests*. (Availability may change).
Join us for this dynamic workshop as david leads us through uplifting
traditional and new songs (written by sereda), ‘by ear’, using call
and response, no music reading required. This is music to open your
ears, voices and hearts.
Participants will also have the opportunity of joining david in a "pop-up choir" and perform in our Acoustic Blend concert on August 30th!
Showcasing BC Authors and Summerland Jazz.
This engaging mixed program will include Sophia Jackson, Adam Lewis Schroeder and Alix Hawley, plus fun jazz standards by Alan Crossley, Yanti and company.
Arts Council partnership
Building on last year’s successful partnership with the Arts Council, “Inspired By,” we are thrilled to be continuing the creative conversations through “Mixed and Merged”. We are opening up the possible artistic responses to include spoken word and dance.
Sergei Ryga, Shae Ryga and Dan Marcelino share their acoustic approach to a wide spectrum of music, from Bruce Cockburn to Sting and much more. Joined by guest artist and Summerland favourite Tiana Ferlizza.
Sold out last year, Outspoken! offers a delectable feast of slam poetry, storytelling and more from Okanagan artists, in a relaxed (and lubricated) atmosphere. Curated by local author Kim Stansfield and hosted by Summerland’s own Erick Thompson. Get your tickets early!
Mia Harris’ on a personal play: Biography of a Voice. A story of self discovery and transformation as the character journeys inward in search of resonance and vocal wisdom; a vocal journey that is mirrored by the human search for self acceptance.
An evening of music with Ed Henderson, david sereda and our Summerland ‘pop up’ choir
Ed Henderson: - An ‘unplugged’ evening with Juno award-winning BC musician Ed Henderson performing solo guitar music from his dynamic and wide-ranging career, including iconic Canadian band Chilliwack, to the Olympic opening ceremonies and almost everything in between. “A dazzling display of low-key acoustic virtuosity.” …“marvelously lyrical” Georgia Straight
david sereda with Summerland Community Pop-up Choir: - The second half of the evening will feature our Summerland community pop-up choir with david sereda, Canadian musician, singer, actor, playwright and activist, performing folk songs and more, plus an array of David’s own songs and poetry- and there may even be surprise guests.
A public conversation about the role of the artist
Invited guests will include the visiting artists, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Bill Henderson, Ed Henderson, our two resident artists for 2019, Ahmad Meree and david sereda and more to be confirmed. Join us as we explore George Ryga’s view on agitation or entertainment and we voice our own current debates/views/thoughts on this conversation.
Home-grown plays and Summerland stories
Inspired by our Wine, Nature and Hiking/Biking trails, our downtown Summerland theatre trail lets you enjoy our eclectic ‘micro’ theatre performances in surprising downtown venues including The Bead Trail shop and Summerland library. Five “tours” available, with only 16 people per group. Storytelling guides will escort you between venues and there may even be free baked goods. Sold out last year, get your tickets now!
A remarkable evening of music.
Experience iconic Haida artist, performer and activist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, joined by Bill Henderson (from Canadian band Chilliwack), Claire Lawrence (early Chilliwack), Jodi Proznick (Juno nominee, bass), and talented vocalists Saffron Henderson and Camille Henderson.
Virtuoso artists and activists coming together with the spirit of improvisation that lives in both the Haida culture and jazz improvisation. We’ll hear songs in Haida and maybe hear songs from Grass and Wild Strawberries, the album Bill Henderson co-created with George Ryga.
Ahmad Meree, david sereda and Heather Davies, sharing their creative process.
Ahmad Meree:Ahmad is returning to Summerland. Inspired by meeting our recent Syrian-Canadian community in the Okanagan in 2017, when he performed Adrenaline here in Summerland, this year he’ll be interviewing people about their experience of refugee camps and camping, as well as working with Artistic Director Heather Davies to begin developing a play around these conversations. Join us as Ahmad shares some of his creative process with us. A “pay what you want” event.