Hodge: Getting ready for Night of the Arts

When I assured him the current night of music had only just begun he just grinned and sank deeper into his lawn chair.

“Do you pinch yourself every once in a while just to make sure you are not living in some sort of dream world,” he asked with a grin.

I figured I knew what Jim was referring too but either out of conversational etiquette or a need to have my ego boosted a tad more, I replied with the conversation extender.

“Why,” I responded.

“Well, I am sitting here like I am attending my own private backyard concert and I cannot believe how talented all these various musicians are. How lucky are you to have such gifted friends?”

“I’ve been telling you that for a long time. It’s about time you attended one of these.” I chuckled referring to my annual summer-ending barbecue.

Jim, a new friend I met at a “board” meeting at the Train Station Pub two years before had just finished listening to the dynamic vocals of Deb Stone and Kirsten Anheliger and was now getting ready to hear Barry and Donna Mathers play a few originals.

“How long has this being going on,” he said referring to the annual bash.

When I told him it had been happening on and off for about 30 years he nearly fell out of his chair. When I assured him the current night of music had only just begun he just grinned and sank deeper into his lawn chair. Indeed it proved to be another magical evening in our backyard.

The annual fun originally started as a spontaneous gathering of musicians that I managed, promoted, ran light shows for, or plunked along with years before.

It has slowly evolved into a much bigger bash over the years and while many marvel at the amount of musicians involved—in fairness it began as their party.

For the past six years Teresa has been the real wind behind the sails of the barbecue preparing food days ahead of the event and making sure the yard and house are as presentable as possible.

When the party is finally complete it takes both of us about a week to recover from exhaustion.

Actually, the barbecue was the pre-cursor to the annual Night of the Arts fundraiser which Curtis Tulman and I have organized for a decade now.

On Nov. 7 this year we will celebrate the 10th annual (and final) Night of the Arts event at the Kelowna Community Theatre—and a number of the stars on stage will be the same characters Jim listened to on the long weekend.

Indeed this year’s wrap up fund raiser for the homeless and those dealing with addictions promises to the best NOTA event yet.

Already confirmed to play in November are Deb Stone, Keith ‘Poppa’ Thom, and a reunion of the hugely successful and popular Cruzeros.

Two other main acts will be confirmed this week.

Make sure and pencil in date on your calendar of events.

•••

If you are interested in having a preview of one of the talented musicians involved then I strongly recommend you visit the Minstrel Cafe in the Mission on Wednesday, Sept.24. Folk singer and troubadour Poppa Thom will entertain that evening and his dynamic vocals, smooth guitar playing, and engaging nature is well worth the effort.

Poppa is not only a class act on stage but a gem of a human being. His recent song titled Invisible is destined to be a chart topper.

In addition to his wonderful show, attending the Minstrel is a true dining pleasure. There are few places I can think of that match for Minstrel for wonderful food and great ambiance.

•••

Looking for something fun and worthwhile to do with the kids this weekend? Make sure and take in the open house at Kelowna’s Main fire hall on Enterprise this Sunday, Sept. 7.

The Kelowna Fire Department hosts their annual pancake breakfast and family fun day in support of the Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society. The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon at 2255 Enterprise Way. The Salvation Army, YMCA, and Willow Park Church are also involved in the fun family affair.

Visitors will also get to watch auto extraction demonstrations with local media, high-angle rescue with former NHL player Wade Redden, fire extinguisher demonstrations, RCMP canine demonstrations, and a live burn demonstration. Other events include face painting, bouncy castle obstacle course, family games, and more.

All proceeds go to the Kelowna Professional Firefighters Charitable Society—supporting local charities and the BCPFFA Burn Fund.

Should be fun.

Kelowna Capital News

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