Writings from the Wall – The Dream Cafe – Heart Stories

Eleven and some years ago the Gypsy Heart Dream Cafe sat across the street from its present location at 67 Front St Penticton. It was Christmas time, the snow fell and my belly held eight months of baby as I looked for gifts. At that time, the cafe was a clearing house for imports. As I looked around I found a piece of printed paper that read Sinta (Indonesian) or Sita (India): A Goddess of the Hindu faith. She represents Agriculture; Ceremony: Earth & Nature; Goodness. I took the paper home and Sita became my child’s name.

The first show I ever saw at the Dream Cafe, upon hearing about the opening of its new location, was Tabla player Cassius Khan.   On a small carpeted stage I watched the fastest hands I have ever seen press and tap out some of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard. The crowd who sat attentive and alert erupted into a frenzy of clapping and cheering after each song. I have witnessed Dream Cafe audiences respond this way again and again over the years.

At times The Dream Cafe has been my winter getaway,where I am transported to another world through music, and environs that surround me with  colourful fabric and art, shelves of books and photos of past performances. I’ve also brought visiting family members and celebrated a few birthdays at The Dream. One birthday I invited eight or so girlfriends out to see pianist Michael Kaeshammer, backed up by an amazing drummer and bassist – Michael had shipped out his own piano for the show. On the break, a few of my girlfriends disappeared and came back with grins on their faces; in second song into the second set Michael sang, “Happy Birthday Sarah….”. Michael stole the hearts of most of the women that night but it was his drummer Mark McLean that I never took my eyes or ears off. As I write this piece, sitting in The Dream for a recent show, I realize that I have a lifetime of stories within these walls and I wonder about all the other stories these walls hold.

The Dream Cafe holds 110 multi-leveled theatre style dinner seats, and does over a 100 live music shows a year. People come from as far away as Vancouver and Calgary but the majority are from the Okanagan area. Musicians get a committed audience as patrons are asked to be quiet during performances and the doors are locked during each set. Half of the performances are new to The Dream and the other half are returning musicians. The act range from  local, Canadian ones to  International musicians. It’s one of the best venues I have ever been to because it presents high quality musicians in an intimate environment. Please check out The Dream Cafe website  for more info and future shows.



shanekoyczanShane Koyczan & the Short Story Long
March 16, Friday, SOLD OUT

ADDED Saturday, March 17th           tickets $ 30

We have managed to squeeze in an extra day of this incredible poet.

For those of you that have been told there are no tickets please try again. Saturday is presently wide open.

In a world where poets rarely intersect with stardom, the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics introduced us to Shane Koyczan. With a collective “wow” across Canada, we found the poet of our generation. And we weren’t even looking for one. Powerfully engaging and authentic in attitude, his explorations are relevant to our times in the way that Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Gordon Downie and Leonard Cohen are to theirs. But unlike the musicians that he’s often compared to, poets rarely infiltrate pop culture. Koyzcan emerges in a new wave of 21st century poetry that dares to belong to the people and speak directly to them in their own voice. Shane also breathes life into the new genre of talk rock with his band The Short Story Long. A trio whose musical range stretches from folk to funk, from ambient to rock, showcasing all of the beautiful in between, have along with Koyczan created a whole new style of song/verse.


Join Sarah Fahey here, twice a month for her feature “Writings from the Wall” as she explores the whys, the hows and the people behind art and culture organizations in Penticton, intertwining their paths with the larger socio-political conversation that is happening in the country today. If you are a part of an arts organization in Penticton and are interested in having a feature story written about your organization please send an email subject titled: oook.feature to Sarah at artfahey@hotmail.com
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