IN THE ARTS: Appreciating and embracing the winter season

Executive director of the Shatford Centre Jane Shaak explores the positives of the winter season in Penticton.

Although the South Okanagan is in the top five per cent for climate across Canada, we can still use some help in appreciating winter. Winter is considered the most challenging of the four seasons, however, we can practice embracing it together.

A good start is Brother David Steindl-Rast, who has a lovely short video on YouTube called A Good Day, Google it, spend five minutes and you will have a new appreciation of your winter days. It opens with Brother David speaking with his lovely voice. “Do you think that this is just another day in your life? It’s not just another day. It’s the one day that is given to you, today. It’s given to you. It’s a gift. It’s the only gift you have right now and the only appropriate response is gratefulness. If you do nothing else but to cultivate that response to the great gift that this unique day is.”

Historian Randy Manuel, who has lived here his whole life says “Winter is a time to reflect where we have come from, and where are we going, and to make the best of the time that we have left. Spend that time wisely and put spring in your step.” Randy Manuel will be presenting his popular Pioneers and Places series of classes beginning Jan. 29 at 1:15 p.m.

Jacinta Ferrari enjoys winter. “Winter is a time for spiraling inward and rejuvenating — the counterbalance for the active, light-filled, busy times.  It is wonderful for visiting galleries, reading good books, catching up on movies, going for snowy walks and laying the groundwork for spring time plans!”

Georgia Krebs and her husband Andreas enjoy the great outdoors. “Here in the Okanagan we are so fortunate to be able to enjoy the great outdoors all year round. My husband and I take our snowshoes and hike up Turnbull Creek to the hiking and mountain biking trails, just their names inspire me like Three Blind Mice, Narnia, White Tail, Dead Horse and Fred to name a few. Andreas hikes for two to three hours six times a week with his four-legged pal Bruno.

Special thanks to Dustine Tucker who sent this interesting information on cultural traditions. “If we had one word to summarize positive feelings about winter, what would it be? The Danes call this the art of Hygge.  There really is no English translation because it is an attitude towards life and long winters. The concept and practice of Hygga is said to make homes nicer and people happier.  Indeed, it has helped the countries of Denmark, Switzerland and Iceland to be rated as the world’s happiest countries in the world.”

At the Okanagan School of the Arts, OSA, we work on our mission of assisting individuals to awaken their creative spirit. We have just printed the new winter program of creative workshops and classes. You can pick up a copy at the Shatford Centre at 760 Main Street, give us your address and we can mail it to you or go to OSA offers its Creative For Life Winter Series for people who weren’t born yesterday. Check out the affordable classes and activities: pottery, painting, cooking, history and music classes, open studios and documentaries.

As an example, Bob Nicholson, former CBC anchorman and journalist will be hosting a series of documentary films at the Shatford Centre that you won’t want to miss.  These excellent films were selected by Bob and also by Bruce Stephenson from the Book Shop, who has an amazing collection of films to rent.

Starting Jan. 27 with Touch the Sound a documentary about profoundly deaf Scottish classical percussionist Evelyn Glennie, who won a Grammy. In the film Evelyn explains how she perceives sound.

Upcoming documentaries:

Feb. 24: Spellbound — Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee;

Mar 30: Cats of Miri Katani — An intimate exploration of the lingering wounds of war and the healing powers of friendship and art, this documentary won the Audience Award at its premiere in the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.

Apr 27: Man on Wire ~ A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City’s World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974, what some consider, “the artistic crime of the century.

May 25: Kings of Pastry ~ The Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France) is more than the ultimate recognition for every pastry chef – it is a dream and an obsession. The 3-day competition includes everything from delicate chocolates to precarious six foot sugar sculptures and requires that the chefs have extraordinary skill, nerves of steel and luck.



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