My last column talked about Penticton being an event city and balancing the disruption to our regular routine with the energy, impact and ethos events bring to our community.
Because most people equate events in our community with sports, I wanted to use this column to shine the light on the richness of arts and culture in our community.
This week at the Penticton Art Gallery, for example, there is a showing of the Mystical Arts of Tibet featuring the Drepung Loseling Monks. I encourage you to catch some of the various shows and visit the gallery to view the Mandala sand painting taking shape.
I also welcomed 17 visitors from Japan currently being hosted by the local chapter of Friendship Force. Having had the opportunity to visit Japan and experience their culture it was nice to see groups like the Ikeda sister city society and Penticton Friendship Force actively promoting exchanges and being host ambassadors. Both groups have an aging membership and are in need of new energy and members.
Next weekend, from Sept. 21 to 24, we will have our first full scale arts festival www.artsrising.ca. It is an explosion of arts and culture over four days where we can celebrate the talent we have in our backyard and build a cultural identity that distinguishes Penticton from other communities.
It is easy to get sticker shock when it comes to artistic and cultural experiences. I’ve been to New York and Las Vegas many times and always balked at the high price of Broadway shows or main stage concerts. An artist’s dream is to perform on Broadway or any big stage in front of thousands of people. My most memorable concert was seeing Dire Straits in 1990 — it was a spontaneous decision made while hearing the concert announcement on the radio. Driving to Vancouver from Kelowna, we missed the opening song so a scalper off loaded front row seats for face value, and we got to witness the true musical talent of the group up close and personal. After all the concerts I’ve seen, it remains one of my best experiences some 27 years later. Regret can’t replace memorable experiences, so take opportunities as they present themselves because they may not be offered again.
We are fortunate with the events we have come to the South Okanagan Events Centre, we have I love the 90’s Tour this weekend and Foreigner and Jerry Seinfeld coming up. These events should provide some terrific strolls down memories lane.
Arts and culture can be an opportunity to escape from the hectic chaos that life throws our way; it can also help to inspire, motivate, and provide comfort. There is a certain joy in expressing your creative ambition, and the arts scene isn’t just for the artistic community — it is for all of us. It is about time that there is a rising of the arts, we should embrace it. For many it is an undiscovered experience which will add to our community being vibrant, thriving and is something to be proud of.