Claire Lawrence (left), Terri-Lynn Davidson and Bill Henderson perform at the fourth annual Ryga Arts Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts festival showcasing creativity through music, theatre, spoken word, author readings and more, Aug. 24 to Sept. 1.

Claire Lawrence (left), Terri-Lynn Davidson and Bill Henderson perform at the fourth annual Ryga Arts Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts festival showcasing creativity through music, theatre, spoken word, author readings and more, Aug. 24 to Sept. 1.

Summerland festival celebrates a rich artistic legacy

Ryga Arts Festival brings music, theatre, spoken word and more, Aug. 24 to Sept. 1

Few people have had an impact on mid-20th century Canadian culture like George Ryga. Beyond producing his own work, the writer, playwright, advocate and longtime Summerland resident inspired and collaborated with many others during a career that continues to resonate.

Celebrating – and continuing – that legacy is the fourth annual Ryga Arts Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts festival showcasing creativity through music, theatre, spoken word, author readings and more, Aug. 24 to Sept. 1.

“The festival really represents the breadth of George’s creativity, and what’s happening here in Summerland. It’s inspiring.” explains festival artistic director Heather Davies. “He really was a primary voice for Canadian culture from 1967 to the late 1980s, working in variety of art forms- and internationally renowned.”

Recognizing both emerging and established artists, amateur and professional, the festival hosts performances, readings and workshops, opening with with Celebration, Aug. 24.

Celebrating the range of Ryga’s writing, performed by many of the professional festival artists, the audience will hear excerpts from The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, and other Ryga plays, enjoy songs from Ryga’s ground-breaking musical, see a screening of Just a Ploughboy, a new documentary film about Ryga’s early life, and more. Performers may include Ahmad Meree, (Adrenaline, Ryga Arts Festival 2017), singer-songwriter david sereda, actors Dick Clements, Roark Critchlow, Tanya Ryga, musicians Tavis Weir, Mia Harris and other special guests.

“The festival is really about the collective community coming together to celebrate the arts,” Davies explains, noting that a nine of the 19 events are accessible by donation, reflecting the inclusive nature of the festival.

Audiences will also enjoy an array of concerts at Centre Stage.

In Acoustic Blend, Aug. 30, Juno Award-winner Ed Henderson shares the acoustic experience through guitar music and story, along with david sereda and a pop-up choir.

And Aug. 31 brings Interweaving, a night of virtuoso artists and activists coming together with the spirit of improvisation that lives in both the Haida culture and jazz improvisation.

Enjoy songs from Grizzly Bear Town a collaboration between Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence; and music from Grass and Wild Strawberries, the album Bill Henderson and Ryga created 50 years ago, as well as talented vocalists Saffron Henderson and Camille Henderson and Juno-award winner Jodi-Proznick.

“So many of the visiting artists have this rich connection with George Ryga – a connection they still feel today and continue to share with others,” Davies says.

New & Notable

New this year is Extended Play Aug. 26, with the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Library, featuring three Okanagan authors – Sophia Jackson, Adam Lewis Schroeder and award-winning Alix Hawley – paired with jazz and wine.

For the full schedule of Ryga Arts Festival events, plus tickets and more information, visit rygafest.ca

 

david sereda is performing at the Ryga Arts Festival in Summerland.

david sereda is performing at the Ryga Arts Festival in Summerland.

Ed Henderson.

Ed Henderson.

Just Posted

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

(Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs reaches tentative agreement with dispatchers union

The tentative agreement could help end the dispute between the taxi company and the dispatchers

sdaf
Lake Country home destroyed in large blaze, 11 dogs rescued

Fire crews are responding to 10839 Hallam Drive

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Central Okanagan Public Schools is assisting with the distribution of a donation of $500 to every Grade 12 graduating student in the school district. (File photo)
Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads get $500 surprise

Anonymous donor gifts $500 to every Grade 12 student

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

This photo of the small wildfire burning above Naramata was taken at 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021 (Monique Tamminga Western News)
BC Wildfire on scene of small wildfire above Naramata

Smoke has been showing since earlier in the day

Students in the Grade 10 entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School have completed a cookbook with international recipes. (Contributed)
Summerland students create virtual international cookbook

Entrepreneurship program at Summerland Unisus School uses virtual cookbook as fundraiser

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Hundreds of people, young and old, joined the three-day Walking Our Spirits Home procession, honouring residential school survivors, those who never made it home and all those affected by the institutions. Here people walk the third portion on June 13. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Walking Our Spirits Home from Kamloops provides path to healing

First Nations in and beyond Secwépemc territory join in to honour residential school survivors

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read