February is mainly known for being the month we celebrate (or choose to not celebrate) Valentine’s Day, another dreary winter month, as well as it being the shortest calendar month.
In the Okanagan there is now another attribute we can tag on to February —the Central Okanagan Spirit Festival.
This is a brand new event for the region brought to us by the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan and it will take place throughout the entire month of February.
Festival events and performances will provide attendees with an exciting opportunity for exploration, participation and enjoyment for all ages and all levels of art and cultural knowledge and experiences.
The Central Okanagan Spirit Festival is a collaborative undertaking between the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan (ARTSCO) and Central Okanagan arts, cultural and heritage organizations.
The festival includes a large variety of arts and culture mediums including visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, and culinary arts. Events are multi-faceted and incorporate prologue, performance, educational workshops, tours, and displays throughout the Central Okanagan.
These valley-wide events will be held across Lake Country, Kelowna, and Peachland.
Contributing arts organizations participating in the Central Okanagan Spirit Festival will include Westside Plein Aire Group, Lake Country Museum/Heritage & Culture Society, Okanagan Symphony, Okanagan Institute, Chamber Music Kelowna, Lake Country Art Gallery, Okanagan Arts Awards, Rotary Centre for the Arts, Youth Orchestra, Conduit Festival, Alternator Gallery, Ballet Kelowna, Global Music Fest, and Central Okanagan Regional Library.
The aim of the Central Okanagan Spirit Festival is to serve as a platform to showcase B.C.’s creative sector and open new doors connecting Okanagan communities to their local artists and arts organizations and to become a long-term, community engaged cultural celebration, fostering community pride through cultural diversity: providing access to learning, sharing, and participating in our artistic and cultural development.
For some extra incentive, the festival will also include a passport system where you pick up your passport at any of the participating event venues then get it stamped at each event you attend.
Those who do will have a chance to win prizes at the end of the festival.
The month of events will culminate in the fourth annual Okanagan Arts Awards Celebration, which recognizes individuals and groups for their contributions to the local arts scene.
So if you find yourself complaining, “Why can’t it be summer yet?!” then shovel yourself out of that wintry hole of despair and find one of the many Central Okanagan Spirit Festival events to attend—a healthy dose of arts and culture can cure your winter woes much faster than your daily dose of evening television programming.
Tickets to Central Okanagan Spirit Festival events range from free admission to around $35.
For the full event schedule and more information visit www.artsco.ca.
Pyper Geddes is the general manager at Habitat in downtown Kelowna.