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The Ryga Festival

Our Festival

About the Ryga Festival

The Ryga Festival is a multi-day arts festival featuring live music, play readings and artistic workshops, symposiums, and more – all with a connection to – or that are inspired by – internationally performed Canadian playwright, novelist, poet, and Summerland resident George Ryga. Considered by contemporary critics to be Canada’s greatest playwright, George Ryga was born in rural Alberta in 1932 and spent much of his life in Summerland where he died in 1987. The Ryga household was always full of music, discussions, poetry and theatre, and the love of language, learning, and expression – and the Ryga Festival continues that tradition.

Highlights of our previous two festivals include:

  • a sold-out performance at Centre Stage Theatre by Juno Award-winning jazz musician Campbell Ryga.
  • a unique solo concert by renowned singer-songwriter Ann Mortifee backed up by her amazing musicians.
  • a standing-room-only spoken word event, “Outspoken” featuring poets, storytellers, actors, and raconteurs that has inspired a continuing series of spoken word events in Summerland, and has become a festival favourite.
  • a series of theatre vignettes that take place in downtown Summerland businesses on a "theatre trail".
  • a life-changing storytelling workshop that provided a springboard for a new and lively storytelling group in the Okanagan plus other inspiring activities.
  • an enthralling singing workshop led by inspiring teacher Ann Mortifee.