President of the Penticton Arts Council Tim Tweed.

President of the Penticton Arts Council Tim Tweed.

Arts Matter: look local for the holidays

Penticton Arts Council president Timothy Tweed explores unique local gifts as the holidays approach.

  • Nov. 2, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Halloween is barely over, and the biggest retail shopping season of the year is already upon us!

As you are reading this, store shelves are being stocked and re-stocked with all manner of holiday gifts and gadgets. Surveys indicate that the “average”

Canadian will spend about $1,500 on shopping during the winter holidays — including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, as well as others. That figure includes food and beverages, entertainment and gift items.

I want you to close your eyes and try something … think back to all the things you spent your hard-earned money on during the holidays last year (can you even remember the gifts you purchased for others nearly a year ago?). Now, thinking about all those gifts — how many of them were hand made? How many of those gifts were locally made? How many of those gifts were made by local artists and artisans? If I had to guess  I would say, in all likelihood, very few. That’s OK, I’m not here to judge or shame you, we’re all bombarded relentlessly by the media to purchase all the latest-and-greatest gadgets released just in time for holiday gift giving.

What I would encourage you to do this year is to think more about the long-term value of your holiday gift purchases. Is it a well-made product or cheaply made and mass-produced? Is it something that you can buy locally, rather than online? Even more importantly, what does your gift say about you to the person that you are giving it to? Does it say “This gift is as unique as you are,” or does it say “I just needed to find a cheap gift in a hurry?”

There are many, many opportunities this time of year to find more thoughtful, hand made, artisanal gifts in Penticton. These are just a few:

Okanagan Makers Christmas Fair: Nov. 5 & 6 (Penticton Trade & Convention Centre)

Penticton Art Gallery’s Under $500 Art Sale: Nov. 18 thru Dec. 24

SS Sicamous Christmas Market Nov. 19 & 20

Saint Germain Café & Gallery’s POSTCRD Show & Sale: Nov. 24 thru Dec. 1

Martin Street Gallery ’s – Waxing Poetic Encaustic Exhibition: Nov. 25 thru Jan. 4

Leir House Christmas Art & Craft Show : Dec 10 & 11 (Leir house)

Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts : Why not give the gift of art classes?

Check their website for upcoming courses.

Tumbleweed Gallery : This artist run co-op gallery always has many pieces for sale

Penticton Academy of Music : Giving children the gift of music is something that nurtures their mind, body and soul. See website for more details.

There are many, many other local galleries and shops with artwork for sale — be sure to check them out for unique holiday gifts!

They say when it comes to gift giving, that it’s the thought that counts. So, make that thought count – give the gift of the arts this year! Dollar for dollar, giving art as a gift yields far more long-term memories and appreciation that most other gifts. Long after those other gifts are lost, broken or forgotten — the art you gifted will still be enjoyed and appreciated for many years to come!

If you would like to get in touch, please email me at

Timothy Tweed is the President of the Penticton and District Community Arts Council’s board of directors.



Just Posted

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read