Vaelei Walkden-Brown

Vaelei Walkden-Brown

Arts Matter: the arts in season

Executive director of the Penticton and District Community Arts Council Vaelei Walkden-Brown explores the art of the seasons.

  • Nov. 17, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Autumn is an interesting time in Penticton.  I have lived here now for just over two years and am beginning to understand the strong seasonal contrast in relation to the cultural dynamics of the city.  The hot, dry weather of our beautiful valley brings people from all over Canada.  I grew up in Edmonton and would begin drooling at the thought of the B.C. peaches early in the summer as my parents would begin discussing our summer plans.

Over the last two years living here I have observed myself craving the quiet fall atmosphere when all the tourists have gone and the local arts and music scene have more space somehow.  It is a strange mix.  On the surface, the city seems to go into a slumber, yet underneath it all the really exciting “arty things” really come alive.

Last week the Penticton Art Gallery’s Annual Soup Bowl event was sold out once again.  I finally got to attend as a guest and experience the really great feeling of our community coming together to break bread.  The art on showcase at the Under $500 exhibition is amazing and I really recommend any of you art lovers to get out and add to your collection. Coming up this weekend is Get Bent Yoga’s Snowball Local Charity Fundraiser and Dance Competition. We are so happy to be part of this thanks to Interior Law sponsoring our team. This night is a great platform for local dance teachers, non-profits and businesses and an amazing opportunity to show the positive financial impact the arts can have on our community.

On Wednesday, Nov. 23 the Penticton and District Community Arts Council is proud to present Michael Occhipinti and the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra.  Occhipinti will open the evening at St. Saviour’s Church with a talk about his music and the inspiration behind the Sicilian Jazz Orchestra. His touring resume includes The Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), the Festival Cultural de Zacatecas (Mexico), the Jazz Yatra (India), The Ubuntu Project (Netherlands), Musikfest (U.S.), and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival (Canada).

We are also excited to work with the Downtown Penticton Association and downtown business and building owners to exhibit more local art in storefronts through the downtown core.  You will be able to see these windows come to life over the next few weeks.

When I first moved here I was told countless times that “Penticton dies in the winter.”  I have found this to be entirely opposite.  In my opinion the spirit of the city in these shoulder seasons really shows the creative depth of the city.  We, along with our fellow arts organizations, understand the need to unite and create a collaborative community resource that makes exciting events such as the ones mentioned here, more readily accessible.  Conversations and strategies are being made and you can look forward to learning more about Penticton’s vibrant arts and culture scene in the very near future.

Vaelei Walkden-Brown is the Executive Director at the Penticton and District Community Arts Council.

She can be reached at


Just Posted

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

Jann Arden will embark on Canada-wide tour Spring 2022 with a stop in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre on June 13. (Contributed)
Jann Arden coming to Penticton in 2022

The Jann Arden Live! tour has been rescheduled for 2022

A storm watch has been issued for the Okanagan, Kootenays and Columbia regions of B.C. (Calvin Dickson photo)
Another severe thunderstorm watch issued for the Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for thunderstorms that may produce strong wind gusts, hail and heavy rain

The South Okanagan Tim Hortons raised over $4,000 through the three day orange doughnut promotion with 100 per cent of proceeds going to to the Residential School Survivors Society. The owner of these locations matched the amount. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
South Okanagan Tim Hortons raises over $8K for residential school survivors

More than $4,000 worth of doughnuts were purchased over three days

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read