The Oot n Oots are performing in Lake Country this weekend

BreakOut West livens Kelowna with days of music

The Kelowna music festival will take place this weekend

Kelowna’s creative IQ has skyrocketed.

BreakOut West got underway Wednesday, and with it an estimated 500 music industry insiders and performers from across the globe started to make themselves comfortable at points across the city, said Karma Lacoff, chairperson of the house committee for BOW 2018.

They will be here until Oct. 14 and they will share expertise, mentoring opportunities for up-and-coming artists and a bounty of good music for the general public.

They’re also bringing fresh eyes and a lot of economic opportunities to the valley.

Chris Babcock, with the City of Kelowna said that in 2010 there was an estimated $3.1 million economic impact — it, he said, was just the “icing on the cake.”

“You’re getting people like me who don’t play an instrument at all, but do love live music,” he said. “And to have something like this come in, animate our local venues and bring the industry, too ..it’s really fun and it gives Kelowna vibrancy.”

Lacoff said that the energy is already palpable, not even a day in.

“At the welcome party last night there were 200 people and everyone I talked to said they can’t get over how beautiful Kelowna is,” Lacoff said. “What was cool, was when Mayor Colin Basran asked who was (new to the area) around 90 per cent of people raised their hands.”

READ MORE: BREAKOUT WEST TO BRING KELOWNA TO ITS FEET

More than 60 bands will be performing at 10 downtown Kelowna venues. These bands have a wide array of styles and will appeal to a vast demographic.

One event particularly unique to this city is the Mini BreakOut West, a family music festival that is free to attend. Mini BOW is taking place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“Mini BOW is a very unique event and we’re extremely excited about it. In addition to the fantastic music, there will be all sorts of fun activities for the whole family. Everything from a musical petting zoo through to karaoke. You do not want to miss Mini BOW,” said Nicolette Jacques, program co-ordinator with Festivals Kelowna.

There will be musical performances from Kelowna’s The Oot n’ Oots – rising stars of the ‘kindie’ rock scene, as well as high-energy folksy band, The Kwerks, award-winning, ukulele-strumming, five-piece The Springmans and Canadian country music powerhouse Jessie Farrell, whose music is featured on the CBC’s The Gumboot Kids.

This is family-friendly music that the whole family can enjoy.

While the event is free, attendees are encouraged to donate what they can with proceeds going to family cultural programming.

For ticket information for BreakOut West visit www.breakoutwest.ca

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