Andrew Jakubeit is the Mayor of Penticton and provides the Western News with a column twice a month.

Mayor’s Minute: It’s in our culture

Andrew Jakubeit is the Mayor of Penticton

My last column talked about Penticton being an event city and balancing the disruption to our regular routine with the energy, impact and ethos events bring to our community.

Because most people equate events in our community with sports, I wanted to use this column to shine the light on the richness of arts and culture in our community.

This week at the Penticton Art Gallery, for example, there is a showing of the Mystical Arts of Tibet featuring the Drepung Loseling Monks. I encourage you to catch some of the various shows and visit the gallery to view the Mandala sand painting taking shape.

I attended the opening ceremony and was captivated by their chanting, rhythm and ancient tradition. The song, dance and prayers from the Monks reminded me of my recent visit to Ikeda Japan (our sister city) where we were overwhelmed at the Ainu first nations cultural center. It is nice to see more involvement of our local first nations at events as they have significant cultural stories, song, dance and traditions to share.

Speaking of Japan, earlier this week

I also welcomed 17 visitors from Japan currently being hosted by the local chapter of Friendship Force. Having had the opportunity to visit Japan and experience their culture it was nice to see groups like the Ikeda sister city society and Penticton Friendship Force actively promoting exchanges and being host ambassadors. Both groups have an aging membership and are in need of new energy and members.

Next weekend, from Sept. 21 to 24, we will have our first full scale arts festival This is a significant exhibition of arts and culture. This festival has something for everyone — from a rooftop music festival (Parkadium) to wearable art (Artwear Chrysalis), murals (Reimagine street art), spoken word (Pecha Kucha), improv dinner theatre, jazz and orchestra, photography, dance, painting workshops and a film festival (Snakebite). It is an explosion of arts and culture over four days where we can celebrate the talent we have in our backyard and build a cultural identity that distinguishes Penticton from other communities.

Related: Arts Rising Festival to consume Penticton

It is easy to get sticker shock when it comes to artistic and cultural experiences. I’ve been to New York and Las Vegas many times and always balked at the high price of Broadway shows or main stage concerts. An artist’s dream is to perform on Broadway or any big stage in front of thousands of people. My most memorable concert was seeing Dire Straits in 1990 — it was a spontaneous decision made while hearing the concert announcement on the radio. Driving to Vancouver from Kelowna, we missed the opening song so a scalper off loaded front row seats for face value, and we got to witness the true musical talent of the group up close and personal. After all the concerts I’ve seen, it remains one of my best experiences some 27 years later. Regret can’t replace memorable experiences, so take opportunities as they present themselves because they may not be offered again.

We are fortunate with the events we have come to the South Okanagan Events Centre, we have I love the 90’s Tour this weekend and Foreigner and Jerry Seinfeld coming up. These events should provide some terrific strolls down memories lane.

Related: Rob Base ready to rock the I Love the 90’s Tour crowd in Penticton

Arts and culture can be an opportunity to escape from the hectic chaos that life throws our way; it can also help to inspire, motivate, and provide comfort. There is a certain joy in expressing your creative ambition, and the arts scene isn’t just for the artistic community — it is for all of us. It is about time that there is a rising of the arts, we should embrace it. For many it is an undiscovered experience which will add to our community being vibrant, thriving and is something to be proud of.

Andrew Jakubeit is the Mayor of Penticton and provides the Western News with a column twice a month. Contact him via email Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJakubeit

Just Posted

West Bench Elementary makes shortlist for $20,000 prize

Penticton elementary school in the runnings for the Staples Superpower your School contest

Osoyoos border gun smuggler sentenced

Alex Louie, who prefers the name Senk’lip, was sentenced to the mandatory minimum

Okanagan can learn from Washington’s wine industry growth

Winery owner cites importance of industry collaboration

City of Penticton installing new water supply pipe

Residents asked to conserve water during supply pipe connection

Penticton looking to build a smart grid

City is looking at ways to generate electricity

Rainy week ahead for Okanagan and Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecast rain for the next three days, starting Tuesday afternoon

Author: New generation creating disruption and change

Author says millennial generation will be harbingers of change

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

VIDEO: Police officer looking for distracted drivers gets hit by truck

Road safety investigator clipped by trailer while patrolling busy intersection

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Search and rescue help injured sledders off Owlhead

Volunteer searchers also locate two hikers near Little Shuswap Lake

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Most Read