Okanagan Arts Awards – AND THE WINNERS ARE:

For those of you who missed the Okanagan Arts Awards Saturday night in Kelowna, you missed a fabulous evening. This was the first time I had attended the gala awards evening and I was thoroughly impressed! I practically didn’t even need to tune into the Oscars (I still did anyway), the production was that good. The evening was hosted by the poised pairing of Q103.1‘s Troy Scott and Cheryl Gillespie – who were both decked out to the nine’s, as you can see here. Their hosting was upbeat, fun, funny and entertaining – their comfort in co-hosting together was evident in the ease of their on-stage banter.



The first award of the evening went to Rosemary Thompson for the Music Award. Rosemary’s work with the Okanagan Symphony as its Director over the past 4 years has been explempary. Her standards of excellence are evident in all aspects of her work; from the repertoire of music ranging from traditional classics to contemporary twists to the Symphony’s outreach into the community, including the Youth Symphony Orchestra.



The literary award went to Vernon-based author Patricia Donahue who has recently finished her second novel and is eager to move onto the third.  Here’s a sample of the first chapter of MIGHTY ORION – FATE.


The award in visual arts went to artist and UBCO prof Briar Craig, whose practice not only includes a fine body of prints that he has shown nationally and internationally, but also his involvement in arts culture like instigating the Okanagan Print Triennial. Launched in 2009 at the Vernon Public Art Gallery, the Okanagan Print Triennial will be happening again in the spring of 2012, this time at the Kelowna Art Gallery. The brainchild of Kelowna-based printmaker Briar Craig, and supported by both galleries, this exhibition is an open, juried show dedicated to showcasing the creative forays made with printmaking in Canada and beyond.


The dance award went to Wendy Williams, who is her acceptance speech spoke about some of the misconceptions that belly dancing still faces. Her dance troop / students Get Bent Bellydancers also performed an energetic and vibrant number that showcased all the beauty, poise and strength a dancer must possess to be a great bellydancer in a Bollywood Belleydance style that Williams has developed.


The award for theatre was awarded to two people: Nathan Flavel of Kelowna Actors Theatre and Catherine Stubbington of Runaway Moon Theatre. Nathan and Kelowna Actor’s Theatre provides Kelowna and area with a busy dinner theatre venue that showcases local talented actors in all of their productions. Catherine Stubbington’s Runaway Moon Theatre, which she runs out of Enerby, produces beautiful, mystical worlds where stories are brought to life through a mixture of live actors and puppetry.

The Media Arts Award went to Media Artist, Newcaster and Story teller Tracey Bonneau, who over the years she has effortlessly woven activism, native story telling into stirring video narratives.

The Castanet 2012 Supporter of the Arts Award went to Yvonne Topf for her work with many of the valley’s great arts organizations, including the Okanagan Symphony, Kelowna Philharmonic Society where she directed the Annual Mozart Festival, the Kelowna Festivals Committee and the Kelowna Community Concerts Association.


The Arts Educator Award went to Lake Country Museum and Archives Curator and Friends of Fintry Society Curator / Director Dan Bruce. Decked out in a cowboy hat and belt buckle, Bruce seemed genuinely surprised at his win. With a background in museum training in England’s British Musuem, Bruce brings a levels of expertise to his exhibtions that is respected by his colleagues worldwide.

The Arts Association Award went to the Kelowna Community Concerts Association who continues to present a rich schedule of performers of international caliber without any public funding, for a cost of only $14 per concert to subscribers.


oook congrats all the winner and the nominees for this year’s Okanagan Arts Awards. Thanks to the Central Okanagan Arts Council, in particular Elke Lange and Sharon McCoubrey for their hard word to showcase all the marvelous Okanagan talents out there!


One Response to “Okanagan Arts Awards – AND THE WINNERS ARE:”
  1. Jiri Bakala says:

    …nice write up – thank you. And just a quick add on; the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to film director Ken Jubenvill, who has helmed numerous TV series, such as Beachcombers, Wind at my Back, North of 60, Lonesome Dove and many others, as well as documentaries such as The Last Wild Salmon, Stolen Lives, and Tears for April.

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