On Friday, MP Richard Cannings took the opportunity of a statement period in the House of Commons to recognize Peach City Radio and the Dream Cafe as examples of arts and culture in the Okanagan.
“It really makes the community a richer place to live, to have organizations like this,” said Cannings on Sunday. “There are so many more that I wish I could have recognized.
“In the Okanagan, I would add the Venables Theatre in Oliver, I would list the Okanagan School of the Arts, the Okanagan Symphony which is celebrating it’s 60th, and I would certainly mention the Kootenay Co-op Radio.”
Cannings represents the South Okanagan – West Kootenay riding, stretching from Penticton to Osoyoos to Castlegar and up to Nakusp, and sporting too many organizations and venues to list in the time available on the Commons floor.
“The spot opened and I had a day to prepare,” said Cannings. “I only get this opportunity once every few months, and I only get 60 seconds to fit as much as I can.”
One of the two community efforts that he was able to recognize, Peach City Radio CFUZ on 92.9 FM, celebrated its first anniversary of being on air on February 3.
“I’m probably going to get in trouble for missing others, but I thought Peach City Radio was celebrating it’s the first anniversary and this was a good opportunity,” said Cannings. “The Dream Cafe is such an institution, that really is something special in Canada as a whole, not just in Penticton. I really wanted to brag about it.”
Recognizing the arts and cultural institutions in the community also comes with recognizing the work from the people behind them, like the Clelands, who were one of the couples who helped start the Okanagan Symphony and whose name now graces the local community theatre.
“There are people who were very much devoted to the arts,” said Cannings. “The Okanagan Symphony started here in Penticton. It takes a core of dedicated people to start that.”
Once that cultural organization is established, Cannings was proud to speak on how it can continue to influence the community
“When you have the symphony, you have the professional musicians here, who can provide lessons for young people and support for youth orchestras,” said Cannings. “It feeds on itself, and its such an important part of our lives.”
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