De­cem­ber’s al­ways a great month

The Daily Courier - - LIFE ARTS - ANNA JACYSZYN

De­cem­ber is only two more sleeps away and for me that means that I get to sing car­ols and sea­sonal songs without be­ing given a look like I’m jump­ing the gun.

It’s time to start putting twinkly lights up and plan­ning the month ahead in more de­tail be­cause it is go­ing to be a busy one.

Thank you Christmas spirit for the magic that will be­gin to un­fold. I think I have al­ways loved this time of year; some­thing su­per­nat­u­ral hap­pens when peo­ple look be­yond the re­al­ity of the cold, slushy, ex­pen­sive com­mer­cial bits, and in­stead, in­vite them­selves to feel its ac­tual spirit.

Yes, I be­lieve in the Spirit of Christmas. De­cem­ber is full of the beauty of light and love we can bring into our life. You can choose to be stressed or you can choose to let the small stuff go and be peace­ful this hol­i­day sea­son. If you don’t find it in your heart, you will never find it un­der a tree.

Tonight is the open­ing of Irv­ing Ber­lin’s White Christmas at the Kelowna Ac­tors Stu­dio. The whole run is prac­ti­cally sold out in ad­vance, which is a clear in­di­ca­tion to me that I’m not the only one in this town who feels ex­cited about this sea­son.

My role in this three-week run is Betty Haynes, the older but less boy-savvy sis­ter to Judy, who is a flirty ball of en­ergy and am­bi­tious to the core.

I usu­ally would be re­view­ing this the­atre pro­duc­tion, but in­stead I will write about it next week on how it feels to be in a show with such high au­di­ence ex­pec­ta­tions.

I will al­ready tell you that our cast is very gen­er­ous and lov­ing with hard-work­ing tal­ent. I am count­ing my bless­ings.

————— Also tonight, Bum­ber­shoot The­atre is host­ing The Many Faces Of Words — Open Mic, with creative writ­ing stu­dents from UBC Okana­gan. Guest po­ets in­clude Fion­ncara MacEoin, Erin Hiebert and Melissa Weiss. The MC is Erin Scott.

This is a free event to at­tend and if you would like to par­tic­i­pate, you are asked to sign up upon ar­rival — or test the wa­ters first and get another chance at in­ter­mis­sion.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event be­gins at 6.30 p.m. The the­atre is lo­cated at 1295 Can­nery Lane.

Fri­day night is a con­cert that I don’t want to miss — it’s the Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio with An­drew Smith, per­form­ing at the Royal Anne Ho­tel on Bernard Av­enue. This mu­si­cal trio de­scribes them­selves as a hy­brid of jazz, blues and folk. Those who are fans of the style of Django Rein­hardt will hear this dis­tinc­tive tech­nique and unique sound that has the French flair of gypsy jazz, aka Manouche.

Neil Fraser, John Lent and Shelby Wall are sea­soned pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians and it’s a trea­sure to have them per­form in a con­cert sit­u­a­tion where the au­di­ence qui­etly sits to hear and un­der­stand what years of ex­pe­ri­ence and know­ing your in­stru­ment in­ti­mately ac­tu­ally sounds like.

Pair that with An­drew Smith on vo­cals, who is a true trou­ba­dour and has played and per­formed all over the world. A singer song­writer with a cap­ti­vat­ing tap-style gui­tar sound, he has re­ceived many ac­co­lades for his mu­si­cian­ship and as an award-win­ning mu­sic pro­ducer.

In­di­vid­u­ally their mu­si­cal pedi­gree is rich in ex­pe­ri­ence and I hope that my few words writ­ten give them a well-de­served full house. Tick­ets are $25 cash at the door and the show be­gins at 7:30 p.m.

————— On Satur­day night, marvel at a choir of over 40 voices when the Okana­gan Fes­ti­val Singers per­form the well-loved Christmas Or­a­to­rio by J.S. Bach.

Con­ducted by Leroy Wiens, the choir will be ac­com­pa­nied by the rich sounds of the Okana­gan Fes­ti­val cam­er­ata orches­tra un­der Nancy DiNovo.

This was one of three or­a­to­rios com­posed for the ma­jor fes­ti­vals of the church year and was writ­ten for per­for­mance in Leipzig on the six feast days of Christmas 1734.

The beau­ti­ful text is based on the Na­tiv­ity ac­cord­ing to St. Luke and St. Matthew, and Bach cre­ated this mov­ing work us­ing ex­ist­ing sec­u­lar mu­sic he had writ­ten ear­lier.

This mu­sic em­braces the cus­tom­ary mix­ture of so­prano, alto, tenor and bass with rous­ing cho­ruses,

florid arias and declam­a­tory recita­tives, rounded out by a mag­nif­i­cent vir­tu­oso trum­pet.

Soloists in­clude Sinead White, Jar­dena Gertler-Jaffe, Kaden Fors­berg and Nathan McDon­ald. This con­cert is tak­ing place at the Kelowna’s Wil­low­stone Acad­emy, 4091 Lakeshore Rd. Tick­ets are $30 or $15 for stu­dents and avail­able at kelow­nat­ick­, call the box­of­fice at 250-862-2867 or visit them at their Or­chard Park shop.

Doors open 6:30 p.m. per­for­mance at 7:30 p.m.


Mission Dance Com­pany once again presents its an­nual favourite — The Nutcracker. This bal­let has dancers of all ages and abil­i­ties from MDC and is cre­atively chore­ographed by pro­ducer and artis­tic di­rec­tor Tanya Bakala.

The main evening pro­duc­tion is on Satur­day at 7:30 p.m. at Evan­gel Church, 3261 Gor­don Dr. Tick­ets are $25/$10.

Go to mis­sion­dance­cen­ to find on­line links to Eventbrite or get tick­ets at the door. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 250-764-2222. There is also a mati­nee at 2 p.m.

Sun­day and Mon­day at the Ro­tary cen­tre for the Arts, I dare you to not have a fab­u­lous time with James & Jamesy’s: O Christmas Tea. This com­edy duo has won and re­ceived shed-loads of ac­co­lades and prizes for their phys­i­cal com­edy shows and this one is no ex­cep­tion as it cel­e­brates our child­like ex­cite­ment for mer­ri­ment. Tick­ets: $34/$30/$19 through the Ro­tary Cen­tre for the Arts box of­fice. Show­time is 7:30 p.m.

Anna Jacyszyn is an award­win­ning jazz singer. Email her at

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