My Kelowna: Filmmaker captures underground arts and culture scene

Aaron DeSilva launches a five-part web series highlighting Kelowna

A Kelowna-based filmmaker is taking viewers on a unique tour of his city.

Aaron DeSilva and his team has won a $20,000 grant from Telus Storyhive, a competition that offers funding, training and distribution to emerging filmmakers.

The grant was designed to help the team film and produce the pilot episode of their web series.

In “My Kelowna,” DeSilva hopes to show viewers the different aspects of the city from the perspective of different people.

Each episode will feature a different industry in the city and will include interviews from industry leaders with each episode hosted by a new person each time.

The pilot episode will focus on arts and culture in the city and will be hosted by DeSilva.

“I called it My Kelowna because I wanted each episode to represent what Kelowna means to each host and how certain industries have impacted them,” DeSilva said.

“The series isn’t about ‘oh this is the best art scene’ or ‘this is the thing that represents Kelowna best,’ just that we’re showing people how much something means to me.”

He added his goal is to highlight different aspects of the community and how those facets have changed lives.

DeSilva said when COVID-19 hit, the team stopped filming for about two months.

After speaking with Telus, he said they were able to start filming in a safe way, but it has put a different spin on things.

“Filming during COVID has been quite different. Instead of being able to film an interview where I’m also in the shot, we’ve had to adjust so only the interviewee is in the shot to allow for social distancing,” he said.

DeSilva said he’s excited for the project to launch.

Not only will it highlight indie and underground stories, but he hopes the series will also help Kelowna’s local economy as it starts to recover from the pandemic.

The series launched on Sunday, Sept. 26, and since the first episode aired the feedback has been supportive and positive.

A resident commented on social media that just watching the pilot episode made her fall in love with the city all over again. Others noted how well-made the episode is, and several exclaiming they’re looking forward to seeing more of the series.

For more information on the series, visit the My Kelowna page.

READ: Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

READ: Kelowna Liberal MLAs respond to ‘opportunistic’ snap election call


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