Okanagan Arts Awards finalists named

Overwhelming response to the call for submissions this year results in nominations nearly tripling over the number received in 2015.

The Arts Council of the Central Okanagan has announced the 36 finalists for the ninth annual Okanagan Arts Awards.

The awards will be handed out Saturday, May 28 at the Habitat in downtown Kelowna.

According to the ACCO executive director Katie Brennen, response to the call for submissions this year was so strong—totalling 110 this year compared to 41 in 2015—that, for the first time, finalists in each category have been named in advance.

Another change this year is the 13 arts discipline categories from years past have been narrowed to seven and five new categories added to recognize other, integural parts of the arts community. They include arts and business, business supporter, community impact, innovation, and emerging artist.

The 2016 Okanagan Arts Awards finalists are:

Visual Arts:  Connor Charlesworth, Jane Everett and Laurie Koss

Dance: Kinshira Performance Troupe,  Loretta Lachner and Janessa McGrath

Music: Alexandra Babbel & Opera Kelowna,  Andrew Judah and Adam Meachem

Literature: Ronald Derrickson, Lesley-Anne Evans and Michael V. Smith

Theatre: Kinshira Performance Troupe, Robert Mason-Brown and Randall Robinson

Time Based Media Benjamin Musgrave, Todd Ramsey and Nick Schafer

Applied Arts Art Felt Collaborative, Missy Mackintosh and Bri Stein

Emerging Artist Kelsie Balehowsky, Connor Charlesworth and Jolene Mackie

Innovation Cool Arts Society, Opera Kelowna and Shimson Obadia

Community Impact Lake Country Art Gallery, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Cool Arts Society

Art & Business Brazen Edwards, Carrie Mayhew and Bramble Lee Pryde

Business Supporter The Heritage Retirement Residence, Investors Group and Raymond James Ltd

A special lifetime achievement award will be presented to Sharon McCoubrey for her many years of support for the arts in the Okanagan.

In addition to celebrating the achievements of the Central Okanagan’s top talent in the arts, the awards night will also include performances by Wildson, Kelly Derrickson, Leah West, Anna Jackysyn, Loni Moger and Stephen Buck, Aaron and Graham Ord, Lucy Hazelwood and The Trips.  Hosted by actor and talent agent Peter Breeze, the awards show will be followed by after-party with DJ Wolfhous.

Off stage, the awards show will also feature a pop-up exhibition of work by the nominees and finalists and local there will be food trucks on-site.

Tickets the awards show evening cost $20 each and are available at artsco.ca. Admission is limited to those 19 years of age and older.  However, the pop-exhibition and food truck rally will run throughout the evening, will be free and open to the public of all ages.