Nikita walking on sunshine

With a new band in tow, Penticton's Nikita Afonso will play at Peach Fest and Sunshine Cabaret.

Nikita and the Bluffs

Nikita and the Bluffs

Like many college students, Nikita Afonso will spend her summer heading to music festivals, except this Penticton songstress will be on the other side of the stage.

Together with her new band, Nikita and the Bluffs, she won’t have to travel far to provide ear candy to the live music crowds. On Saturday the band will perform their first big Penticton gig (they also played at Relay For Life) at the free concert series, The Sunshine Cabaret, at 7 p.m. at Gyro Park. They will follow that up with a performance on the opening night of the Penticton Peach Festival on Aug. 7 at 8 p.m., it will be Afonso’s second crack on stage at the annual event she grew up with.

“Peachfest was always something I wanted to be a part of and last year was a dream come true,” she said. “It was really neat to be on the other side of the stage for that and performing. We have been working really hard this summer so I hope I will be a little less nervous because I didn’t get to do as many rehearsals last summer. It will be great to get up there again.”

After wrapping up a successful first year at Selkirk College, Afonso joined with a couple of other locals students in Johnny Ciardullo, Josh Visser and Branko Bevanda to form their current band. Not able to come to an agreement on what they should call themselves, Afonso turned to Facebook to ask for suggestions. An acquaintance Afonso knows from Miss Penticton suggested the Bluffs, drawing from the local reference the Skaha Bluffs they thought it was a great fit.

It has been a big year for Afonso, who opened for Canadian country superstar Paul Brandt at the South Okanagan Events Centre in 2012. Since attending Selkirk she also has been involved in several showcases and learned a lot about performing, leading a band and music theory. Afonso has also grown to appreciate new genres of music.

“I’m veering a little bit away from country with this band. Country is still my favourite, but I found that in my year in Nelson that I grew to like singing different genres as well. People will hear things from us like Moondance by Van Morrison, but we still will be doing country songs like Ain’t Nothing About You by Brooks and Dunn and some of my original music,” she said.

Opening for Nikita and the Bluffs on Saturday at Gyro Park is Penticton’s Jolene Hayter, a former Miss Penticton.

Sunshine Cabaret schedule: All concerts are free and start at 7 p.m.

July 12 – Hi Bandwidth, July 19 – Bobby Bovenzi, July 20 — Aidan Mayes and Mandy Cole, July 26 — Out of Eden , July 27 — Flashback, Aug. 2 — Steve Jones Band, Aug. 3 — Great White North, Aug. 16 — Papa Wheely, Aug. 17 — Cynthia and Band, Aug. 30 — Fluxx and Aug. 21 — ABBATribute.

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

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

(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

Most Read