Arts, Culture & Heritage

Nelson Overture Concert Society is Strumming the Right Chords

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Nelson Overture Concert Society is Strumming the Right Chords

Last year I was wowed by the musicians the Nelson Overture Concert Society brought to the stage at the Capitol Theatre. And this year, they are strumming a familiar chord with an array of musicians performing vocal, piano and string compositions; actually many strings with Ensemble Vivant. The musical genres take us from the Renaissance to the contemporary, encompassing moments of pure musical genius to satiated pleasantries. The seasons’ four concerts begin Sunday, October 8, 2014, 8pm with Noemi Kiss (vocal) and Csinszka Redai (piano). If you haven’t heard Noemi yet you will be in awe. She is a European trained and internationally performing vocalist who has now settled in Argenta – yes, our beautiful Argenta on Kootenay Lake. Her vocal strength will leave you understanding why she performs on the international stage and also wanting to follow her as she graces the stages in the area sharing her talents with the Kootenay audience. The second performance is Sunday, November 23, 2014, 2pm with duo pianists, James Anagnoson and Leslie Kinton, Canada’s legendary piano duo. Rich in history and celebrated throughout North America, Europe, Russia and China, Anagnoson & Kinton have been appreciated for decades of extraordinary musical performances. Their synchronicity and artistry is unbelievable. A flavourful repertoire engages audiences of all musical appreciations. Friday, January 30, 2015, 8pm, Ensemble Vivant lights up the stage with their quintet of chamber music. I don’t know about you, but string quartets are my favourite style of string performance, always captivating to watch and listen to, (sssh don’t tell the other performers). And when you add in the fifth musician, the works are enhanced 1/5th more with additional layers of complexity and texture. The artists who make up Ensemble Vivant are among the finest anywhere with a rare artistry of exceptional depth, sensitivity and musicality. The final concert is none other than local favourite Natasha Hall (violinist) & visiting Susanne Ruberg-Gordon (piano). They perform Saturday, March 14, 2015, 8pm. Both have performed in Nelson before, with grand standing-ovations, in fact, Natasha’s performance last year, which I unfortunately missed, was ‘one of Nelson’s best performances, hands-down’. I won’t be missing Natasha and Susanne this year! And I hope you don’t too. Season Passes and individual tickets can be purchased through the Capitol Theatre Box Office. Season Tickets: Adult $75 Student $42 Single Tickets: Adult $24 Student $14 *Students from schools participating in the NOCS School Outreach Program are granted FREE admission. It’s going to be another enriching, and at times enlightening, Nelson Overture Concert Society season of music in Nelson. I’ve purchased a season pass, so I won’t miss any of the performances.

Columbia Basin Culture Tour 2014 - Arts & Crafts Vacation

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Columbia Basin Culture Tour 2014 - Arts & Crafts Vacation

The Sixth Annual Tour is August 9 - 10th

Get ready! If you've got some time this weekend, take a tour of the artisans and artists who live and work in our neck

I am glazing up all this work to be ready for my open studio sale this weekend. Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-5 as part of the Columbia Basin Culture Tour. Everyone is welcome! I am glazing up all this work to be ready for my open studio sale this weekend. Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-5 as part of the Columbia Basin Culture Tour. Everyone is welcome!

 

of the woods. The sixth annual Columbia Basin Culture Tour runs both Saturday and Sunday, August 9th and 10th, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. As one experienced tourist notes, "Take one day, at least!" The tour is a self-guided journey connecting the participating artists and artisans on one tour, which takes you along back country roads and through the Nelson Kootenay Lake area.

Bring Your Checkbook!

You don't have to spend any money, but you will be disappointed if you're not prepared to. The artists and artisans will have limited edition pieces for sale that you very well may not be able to buy at any other time. You'll be tempted, for sure! So be prepared, and bring along a bit of money or your checkbook, just to avoid disappointment. That said, there is no obligation to buy anything, and this tour is meant to highlight the beautiful art we have in this area, and help share this artistic spirit with a growing audience. The more people who can share and learn about the art being created in our area, the better! So no need to feel obligated to buy art, but, as a seasoned participant has noted, you very well may want to buy some of the pieces you see.

Be Ready for an Adventure

The streets are often country roads, and you'll want to bring along your copy of "Back Roads of British Columbia" if you have one. Put on your sturdy walking shoes and plan for a long, meandering day in the country. You may find yourself wandering through back roads, along cul-de-sacs, and through gardens to get to the artists' studios. But remember, all who wander are not lost! Prepare to take your time, slow down, and enjoy the creativity around you.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry  :)

This is a day (or two) for you to enjoy friends and family (so bring 'em with you!). Find a new restaurant or

cafe to try out, and spend some quality time outdoors celebrating the creative spirit and the artists and artisans of this area. Take the time to explore the area, find some new places to eat and drink, and spend some time with those you love. The Columbia Basin Culture Tour is a great chance to learn more about the incredible creative talent we have in the Columbia Basin, and find out more about the people who make their lives here, doing what they love and sharing that love with others.

The Columbia Basin Culture Tour is Ready for You!

So take a few hours this weekend to get to know your local artists and artisans a bit better. Check out their website for more information on the Columbia Basin Culture Tour, or find them on Facebook. And if you are in Nelson, Oxygen Arts Centre will open their exhibit to coincide with the Columbia Basin Culture Tour. This exhibit opens Friday, August 8th from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, with an artist's talk on Saturday at 1:00 pm. The exhibit hours continue Wednesday through Saturday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Hope to see you there!

Kootenay Lake Ferry: Worth the Trip

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Kootenay Lake Ferry: Worth the Trip

The Longest Free Ferry Ride in the World

Tourists drive from Nelson to Balfour just for the scenery. It's that gorgeous. The road hugs Kootenay Lake and as you drive, you often see eagles and ospreys  flying over the lake. Traffic is never really an issue as you head out of Nelson over the Big Orange Bridge and onto the winding road or come in from Creston along highway 3A. But when you arrive at the Balfour Ferry Landing, you're in for a treat: The Kootenay Lake Ferry is the longest free ferry ride in the world, and traverses Kootenay Lake between Balfour and Kootenay Bay for a 35 minute, 8 kilometre  ride that you really shouldn't miss. The Landing itself is happening, with great shops and restaurants, many of which have been on the Landing for years, and have an established local base of visitors, which makes them fun to visit as a tourist. The Gill and Gift recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary, and are renowned for their expertise in local fishing. They make a point of wanting to meet new visitors to the area, and especially any fishers who might want to stop by and exchange fish stories. As they point out, the area is home to some of the most frustrating fish to catch - they've got the tackle and inside information you need to make your fishing trip a success. And with Kootenay Lake being world-famous for its fishing, this is a stop you are going to want to make. The history of the Kootenay Lake Ferry goes all the way back to June 1947, and that is now the Dock 'n Duck opened as the Tillicum Inn. In 2007, the Dock 'n Duck underwent a multi-million dollar, custom timber frame transformation that saw over 5000 square feet added to the building including a second floor residence and lodging suites. It is a truly gorgeous structure, overlooking the lake, right on a sandy beach, which makes the experience of eating there like something "straight out of National Geographic." And I'm not sure what it is about ferry landings and great food, but another spot you don't want to miss for great food on the Balfour Ferry Landing is the Olde World Bakery. Before opening their second shop on Baker street (no irony there....) many locals would make the trip to the Balfour Ferry Landing just for the Olde World Bakery bread. It is that good. It's worth a stop simply to grab a sandwich for the trip.

Kootenay Lake Ferry Details

Two ferry vessels are used, the MV Osprey 2000 and the MV Balfour. One ferry operates all year-round, with 10 crossings in the low season, and an additional 5 more crossings in the summer months. For full details on the schedule, visit the government website.

Kootenay Lake ferry - Balfour to Kootenay Bay. Kootenay Lake ferry - Balfour to Kootenay Bay.

 

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This blog is a repost from our sister blog, 108 Healthy Things to Do

The Top 8 Reasons Nelson Kootenay Lake Is A ‘Beyond Ordinary' Destination

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The Top 8 Reasons Nelson Kootenay Lake Is A ‘Beyond Ordinary' Destination

Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism – a ‘beyond ordinary' destination.

  1. Nelson has been rated "the best arts town in Canada"; John Villani He wrote The 100 Best Small Art Towns In America (includes Canada's best) in 1996.
  2. Nelson Kootenay Lake was credited with having one of Canada's top 10 lakes.
  3. Nelson was named as one of BC's most business-friendly communities.
  4. Nelsonite, mountain bike rider Kurt Sorge wins Red Bull Rampage 2012.
  5. One of the Top Ten places for leaf peeping in Canada.
  6. One of the 12 Best places to travel in Canada.
  7. One of BC’s recognized best motorcycle rides.
  8. Nelson and Rossland voted ‘Best Ski Towns in North America’ by Powder magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown facebook competition.

Rach Rocked! Jane Coop at the Capitol Theatre

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Rach Rocked! Jane Coop at the Capitol Theatre

Rach Rocked! Pianist Jane Coop graced the stage at the Capitol Theatre on February 2, 2014 and wowed the audience with her effortless performances of Scarlatti, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninoff. The audience of piano enthusiasts of all ages sat back and watched and listened as her fingers flew over the keys producing melodic and chordal sounds from years past. Each piece was a celebration of the piano displaying the evolution of the piano and classical music. Coop's passion for the music was evident from the first note of Scarlatti's Sonata in C major, K. 46, to the last runs and heavy noted Etudes Tableaux, Op. 39 No. 8 in D minor and Op. 39 No. 1 in C minor by Rachmaninoff. I've got to say that Rach rocked! Coop is a true Canadian born in Saint John, New Brunswick, raised in Calgary, studied in Toronto, toured across Canada and now teaches at the University of British Columbia's School of Music in Vancouver.

After a standing ovation the evening closed with a short melodic piece putting the audience in a calm, peaceful place. Thank you Jane Coop and the Nelson Overture Concert Society for an inspiring evening for all piano students and admirers from the Nelson and Kootenay Lake area.

An Audience in Silent Awe: The Borealis String Quartet

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An Audience in Silent Awe: The Borealis String Quartet

The Borealis String Quartet performance on November 17th at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, BC was first class from beginning to end starting with Hayden's String Quartet in G Major. Haydn, being the father of the string quartet, writing over 80 works, established the conversational style of music between the four instruments. The Borealis String Quartet chatted intimately together sharing chords and rests with precision. The piece came to life with melodic violin lines dancing ever so smoothly above the other violin, viola and cello. The pause between  movements held a silence filled with awe. This silence spoke of the power of the music.
Dimitri Shostakovich and his hopeless, frustrated, morose, dramatic way of being penetrated his String Quartet No. 8. The piece told the story of battle with march-like rhythms shifting effortlessly into transcending lines of musical genius and hope. If you weren't already a fan of Shostakovich this piece would have certainly won you over. Bravo!
 
The monumental quartet of Beethoven's, the String Quartet in A Minor, depicted Beethoven's state at that time of his life (1825). His health was diminishing but at the same time he saw light and hope conveyed in uplifting rich sections that spoke of God and the heavens above.
 
Every piece was musical perfection. The Borealis String quarter was exceptional and for a small theatre, that was full to the brim, the audience gave a roaring applause and standing ovation. The evening ended with a lively tango and of course more applause. Thank you Nelson Overture Concert Society for a memorable evening. We look forward to your next concert with Jane Coop on Feb. 2, and all the other arts & cultural events in the area.

Q&A w/ Shambhala's In-House Visionary Artist, Meghan Hildebrand

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Q&A w/ Shambhala's In-House Visionary Artist, Meghan Hildebrand

This week Jennifer Rebbetoy, assistant to the executive producer at Shambhala Music Festival, caught up with Meghan Hildebrand, the woman behind so much of the festival's aesthetic.  Each year Hildebrand creates artwork that sets the tone for the festival's new look reflected on the ticket, logo, website, posters, stickers, banners and merchandise. It’s like buying a new wardrobe and Hildebrand is the BFF (I know you better than you know yourself) kind of stylist. Here they discuss art with rainbows vs. no rainbows, her band The Abbie Hoffman Society and of course some favourite memories of Shambhala. Enjoy! Hildebrand's artwork will be featured in an exhibition called "Restless Fables" at Touchstones Museum from November 29th, 2013 - February 16th, 2014. Jennifer Rebbetoy: Where are you from? Where do you reside now? Meghan Hildebrand: I was born and raised in Whitehorse Yukon.  I went to Nelson to attend Kootenay School of the Arts in 1997.  I met Tony there, and after we got married we decided to make a fresh start on the coast, in Powell River. JR: How do you describe your art? MH: My paintings, since art school, have always been preoccupied with the landscape and our effect on it.  Although I like to work through different styles, the landscape always seems to emerge.  I work intuitively, rarely starting with a plan, I start with a colour or two and it unfolds from there, in that way my works could be described as colour studies.   I have called my recent works “story-maps of the imagination” – to me they resemble either/both islands or a human mind in action.  I enjoy art that makes my imagination work, that asks questions, and that’s what I try to do in my paintings. JR: How many years have you been commissioned by SMF? MH: We’re working on our 13th year! JR: How did you first start working for SMF? MH: I was simply approached the family to do the flyer for Shambhala 2001. JR: Were you a regular attendee before you became the in house visionary artist? MH: I was on the party scene, although more interested in live bands than the electronic scene at the time. JR: How did the family recognize your art? Do you recall a specific moment? (336 x 280) large rectangleMH: I was a high profile art student, throwing parties and exhibiting all over the place. The only specific thing I remember about that first conversation was that it was up to me what it looked like, as long as there were NO RAINBOWS.  There have still been NO RAINBOWS.  I think the previous year’s artwork had a rainbow on it and it rained. JR: How do you find inspiration to create something fresh for the festival each year? Is it about looking back and drawing on memories or is it more about looking forward, towards the beautiful possibilities of next year? MH: The biggest challenge of this job is to think of a fresh approach each year, it’s a great(120 x 600) skyscraper exercise that I can really appreciate.  It is mostly about drawing on my memories and watching the people at the party.  There is such a broad cross-section of humanity that attends the festival, I like to keep the look more about the place and the feeling rather than styles from year to year or individual stories.  This year, for instance, my working concept are the two worlds of Shambhala – the daytime Shambhala of sunshine, beaches and trees, and the nighttime Shambhala of shadows, beats and light. JR: I understand each year’s logo starts with a painting. Can you describe the process, for you, to get the image from the painting, to stickers, merchandise and all of its other manifestations? MH: This year I realized the day/night idea while trying to work out concepts for the ticket.  I knew I wanted the 3-D effect of looking into the forest.  The ticket is always the first thing, often before we even have a logo.  It’s a double challenge to think of a new look and think of it in terms of a holographic image.   I took that ticket design to the painting studio and had a blast with it – returning to something I used to love doing – a painting that is reversible, upside-down or right-side-up.  It is either daytime reflecting night in the river, or the other way. MH: Now that I have the painting and the logo finished, I have the foundation for everything else.  Smooth sailing from here. JR: Do you consider your art connected to a type of music? Do you listen to music when you paint/create art? MH: Yes, I always listen to music in the studio.  My interest range is very broad but mostly I like punk rock or anything vaguely danceable. Having music playing helps me move all my thinking aside so the painting can come out.  In the last few years I have started making music myself, in an all-lady punk band, The Abbie Hoffman Society.  I see some parallels between painting/playing.  The value of spontaneity and originality, and like in art, I like a bit of mystery - what are they talking about??

Listen to The Abbie Hoffman Society Here

JR: Can you describe some of your favourite moments or aspects of the festival? (125 x 125) square button 1MH: I am a day tripper.  I love to get up early, with the fog, and watch the dancers return to their camps.  I love dancing in the heat of the day with my friends.  I love the camping aspect, getting ready together to go ‘out’.  I’ve had some bizarre and wonderful dreams to the night soundscape. I love the time spent with all the staff and volunteers leading up to the event, I’ve had some of the best laughs of my life backstage at the Rock Pit. Er, AMPhitheatre.  It’s a great place to make friends. JR: Your work has also found its way onto buildings at the festival as murals. Whose idea was that? MH: I can’t remember whose idea that was.  But it is so much fun to have a creative outlet while partying with my friends, in fact it’s the best thing I can think of. JR: Will you be at the festival painting or celebrating this year? MH: YES to both. JR: Your art has a strong association with the festival, for me. Outside the context of SMF, where else can folks view your work? MH: SMF is one of the few graphic design jobs that I’ve agreed to.  I have dedicated my time to creating original paintings.  My paintings can be seen in Winnipeg and Toronto at Mayberry Fine Art, in Calgary at Masters Gallery, in Edmonton at Bugera Matheson Gallery, and in Victoria at Madrona Gallery.  My work is also in Nelson at Bellaflora, and it’s available for lease-to-own (take it home right away and pay monthly for up to 36 months).  Or here in Powell River, at my studio or Dancing Tree Gallery. From November 29 to February 16, I have an exhibition called "Restless Fables" at Touchstones Nelson

Tickets for the 17th Annual Shambhala Music Festival, Aug 8-11 2014 are on sale now.

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Sculpture Walk Celebrates a Successful Year

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Sculpture Walk Celebrates a Successful Year

Sculpturewalk Gala and Shane Koyczan  - WOW what a night! If you have walked the streets of Castlegar the past few years you would have seen sculptures from acclaimed sculptors from across Canada and the USA. Their works are stunning. They capture ones attention and intrique, opening your mind to new ideas – playful or serious. Nelson, as of this past year, joined in the sculptor celebration and added six sculptures to their streets. The Castlegar Sculpturewalk Gala was this past weekend, Nov. 2, 2013 and it was a well organized, professional, celebratory evening for all in attendance – sculptors, board members, sponsors and art-enthusiasts. To make the evening even more of a success, The Element, where the event took place, brought in Canada’s favorite Spoken Word Poet, Shane Koyczan. Do you remember the 2010 Olympics Opening Ceremonies? Shane was the poet that brought silence, roaring applause and reflection to all that were in attendance; live and on TV.  We Are More - a sincere tribute to all Canadians. Shane has written many many poems. He seems to breathe poetry. Another poem that has touched the hearts and minds of all ages, races and cultures is “To This Day”. Give yourself a couple of minutes and absorb yourself in his personal perspective of bullying. Thank you to all the brilliant sculptors and organizers of Sculpturewalk and for bringing it to Nelson, and in the near future Kaslo and Trail. We look forward to seeing what graces the streets next year and in the years to come. Culture comes in many forms in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area. Enjoy. Photo: Joy Barret, Douglas Walker (winner of the 2013 Community Favorite Sculptor – Honkfest) and Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff.

An Autumn Treat: The Gryphon Trio

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An Autumn Treat: The Gryphon Trio

It was quite a treat (and I don’t mean a Halloween treat) having the Nelson Overture Concert Society (NOCS) bring the Gryphon Trio to the Capitol Theatre on October 24, 2013. Canada’s pre-eminent chamber ensemble showed the full-house why they are so admired and the deserving winners of the 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts. Cellist Roman Borys, violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, and pianist Jamie Parker played with precision and expression, an array of classical and contemporary works. Parker was the spokesman for the trio, and introduced the pieces with ease and clear communication delivering the composers history and intent behind the piece and the Trio’s interpretations. The first work, Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, showed off the composers creativity in three movements: unified, spooky, and happy. The Trio conveyed these intentions with perfection leaving the audience wanting more. The second piece was a contemporary work by Michael Oesterle called Centennials, written in 2012, capturing recognized individuals born in 1912: Julie Child, Conlon Nancarrow and Alan Turing. A piece was edgy yet some how soothing and entrancing. The Trio captured the essence of each person through the creative composition. Oesterle is definitely a composer to listen for. The third piece, the Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor by Felix Mendelssohn was refined and captivating with each note. The four movements went by too quickly leaving the audience standing on their feet calling for more. The Trio came back for an encore playing a vibrant Tango that had people tapping toes and bobbing heads in their seats. An absolute pleasure from the first words spoken by Parker to the closing notes by the three very talented musicians. We are so very fortunate to have had them grace our stage and we hope to hear them again in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area. Thank you NOCS for a memorable evening and Gryphon Trio for your commitment to music! The next concert hosted by NOCS is the Borealis String Quartet on November 17, 2013: another exceptional group coming to the Capitol Theatre.

Every Antique Has a Story to Tell

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Every Antique Has a Story to Tell

Have you ever watched an antique appraisal show on TV? They have caught my interest for many years, and this past weekend, in Nelson BC, Touchstones Museum and Gallery hosted two days of antique appraising by well-known appraiser Peter S. Blundell, A.A. This event was the perfect opportunity to see a professional appraiser in action, and get an old inheritance piece of porcelain appraised. I appraised it as a tea pot, from a country taken over by the Russians in the late 1800’s, and maybe worth a thousand dollars. Well, I attended the event, and found out the real story, which was very informative and gratifying.

Blundell appraised the piece as a porcelain Cocoa Pot dating back to about 1900, made in the country of Prussia, which existed pre World War I. The pot was an authentic piece by Rudolph Schlegelmilch, made evident by the stamp on the bottom that was printed under the glaze. These Prussian pieces were very popular in the 1960’s and 70’s, selling in markets for $800-$900. Today they are hard to come by, especially ones in mint condition, like the one I brought to Blundell.  Today, this Cocoa Pot would be valued at about $400. I have no plans to sell it, but I do plan to have my first cup of cocoa out of it very soon. My mother, who gave this on to me when she passed away 27 years ago, and asked me to keep it in the family, would be happy to know it has been taken care of, is still in the family, and also that it is highly valued, perhaps not on the market, but by me.

Thanks Touchstones for this opportunity!  If you’d like to display my piece, let me know, or perhaps we can just have a pot of cocoa one day together. Dianna Ducs  

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