Living Things Festival returns to Kelowna in the new year

There will be more than 18 boundary-pushing shows between Jan. 15 and Feb. 2.

The fourth annual Living Things Festival will return to Kelowna this winter with boundary-pushing contemporary theatre, dance, music and art.

From Jan. 15 to Feb. 2, the international arts festival will host more than 18 shows and events curated to provide inspiration and encourage residents to engage with art and one another.

“We team up with presenters from across North America to bring the most exciting, internationally-celebrated performances to Kelowna,” said Neil Cadger, festival founder and UBC Okanagan professor. “This year, Living Things will welcome artists from Vancouver, Montreal, and South Korea via Amsterdam.”

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According to organizers, the performances are as varied as the artists’ themselves. There’s an over-the-top drag bingo show, talking rice cookers, a hilarious one-woman show that explores four generations of indigenous women, and two armies of French baguettes battling for Poland’s fate amongst a backdrop of exploding tomato bombs.

It can be difficult to explain the shows at Living Things, but Cadger said that is part of what makes the festival magical.

With the recent success of Kelowna’s new annual Fringe Festival, Cadger said that Living Things is the next evolution, with curated shows that represent the best of the international fringe circuit.

“The work we present is powerful, sometimes deliriously funny, sometimes challenging but always, somehow, a question of life and death.”

For the first time, Living Things is partnering with the Kelowna Art Gallery to bring internationally-acclaimed interactive visual art to their downtown space during the festival. The art festival will also include live public installations in the FINA Gallery in the Creative and Critical Studies building on the UBCO campus and exhibitions of both student and faculty artwork at the Alternator Gallery.

Tickets range from $10 to $35 per show with admission for select events available for free or by donation. The Festival Pass offers more than 50 per cent savings and gives access to one performance per show, allowing festival-goers to take in every show for just $130 or $95 for students.

For the full festival lineup and to purchase tickets, visit livingthingsfestival.com or the Rotary Centre for the Arts box office.

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