Owen Kincade was a participant in the 2020 festival. He received a scholarship to the National Ballet of Canada through the festival. (Kelowna Kiwanis Festival)

Owen Kincade was a participant in the 2020 festival. He received a scholarship to the National Ballet of Canada through the festival. (Kelowna Kiwanis Festival)

Kelowna Kiwanis Festival cancelled due to pandemic

The Kelowna Kiwanis Festival celebrates amateur performing arts in the Okanagan

An annual festival celebrating amateur performing arts in the Okanagan has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 95th annual Kelowna Kiwanis Festival won’t be welcoming performers as gathering restrictions continue throughout the province.

“When we heard last Thursday that Dr. Bonnie Henry was extending restrictions on gatherings for another month, the board had no choice but to cancel, disappointing many young participants who are starved for opportunities to perform,” the festival board’s president Zonia Arnold said.

The festival was scheduled to begin with dance events at the end of February and was also scheduled last March as the pandemic’s first wave hit B.C. Fortunately, many of the festival’s choral and dance events had already taken place before the shutdown.

“This means a significant number of our community’s young performing artists have missed out on the Kiwanis Festival experience for two years in a row,” the board said in a statement.

Though the 2021 festival won’t be going ahead, the festival’s executive director Dr. Stephen Berg said he is now using the time to plan ahead for 2022.

“When it is safe to gather again after we all get the vaccine, I look forward to delivering the best Kelowna Kiwanis Festival ever,” he said.

The Kelowna Kiwanis Festival is a dance, voice and music event open to amateur performers. The festival offers opportunities for awards, scholarships as well as a chance to represent Kelowna at provincial performances.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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