Kelowna MapleFest 2014

The Centre culturel francophone de l’Okanagan (CCFO) is a non-profit organization that promotes French language and culture appreciation in the Okanagan. It celebrated the 35th annual MapleFest in front of the Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna on Saturday March 29, 2014.

There were elaborate chalk drawings on the sidewalks.

While maple flavours dominated, poutine was ever-popular.

Walking trees and other characters fascinated spectators of all ages.

All kinds of costumed characters pranced the grounds.

The Trips played some toe-tapping bluegrass tunes.

Ziggy created the most elaborate and artistic balloon animals.

A drumming group formed with djembes and hand percussion instruments.

Three times world champion hoop dancer, Alex Wells (Lil’Wat Nation) performed with students.

Chloé Gravel and Danielle sang well known songs in both French and English.

There was exercise-dancing and a couple of Mounties that joined in on the fun!

In the evening, Jann Arden performs at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Sunday brunch at the Laurel Packing House completes the festival activities.

 

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Holistic Chamber of Commerce: Kelowna Grand Opening

Author Jo Dibblee speaks at the Holistic Chamber of Commerce Grand Opening

The Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC) – Kelowna branch celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday March 18, 2014 in downtown Kelowna. The 100% full-to-capacity venue, The Bohemian Café, was positively buzzing. President of the first branch in British Columbia, Andréa Dykstra, gave an introduction to the organization while holistic practitioners and business people mingled over a sumptuous spread of food and drinks.

Recognizing a need to unite ‘pockets’ of local holistic groups, Andréa brought the chapter to Kelowna to bring together people who can work towards a healthier community and planet. She believes that this organization can shift not just the lives of individuals and businesses, but also an entire community. Andréa’s vision is that through collaboration we can truly be the voice of change to lead to a more ‘whole-istic’ society.

The HCC is different from a traditional chamber of commerce because it considers being holistic first (members are reference-checked) and commercial second. With a meeting style more like a rotary or toastmasters group, the HCC supports members, extends its reach, and shares ways to make a living helping people.

I was drawn in by the keynote speaker, Jo Dibblee, internationally acclaimed author of Frock Off: Living Undisguised. Her wonderfully dynamic and inspiring talk began with a sharing of tragic detail in her tumultuous childhood. There was point and purpose to this. Jo says:

“No matter what happens to you, it does not define you.”

In her aim to survive the ordeals, she moved a lot and became adept at changing her look and her identity. What finally gave her the courage to step out and go public with her story?

“I learned you could be visible and invisible at the same time.”

Jo explained how we wear costumes, or ‘frocks’ to hide our fear. There are 4 frocks we all wear at one time or another: frocks of conformity, expectation, significance and connection. Engaging the audience, Jo asked us to share with someone next to us what frocks we had the greatest tendency to wear. Then Jo had us all stand in a proper pledge stance, left hand on heart, right hand held high, for the Frocklamation Declaration (three times, no less!):

“Frock off, ill-serving frock! Frock off!”

She ended the talk with the following.

“Let your life be your message
and your voice be strong.
Don frocks of compassion
so that others may not fall.
Don’t let others define you
toss those frocks away.
Instead,
take the life you’ve been given
and be in service today.”

After the talk, naturally gifted and self-taught musician/song-writer Eden DeBruin beautifully played guitar and sang a few tunes to entertain the crowd. And yes, there was even some dancing! With a desire to share his gift with the world in a bigger way, Eden is available for event bookings and can be contacted through Facebook.

Eden DeBruin

What I took away with me the most from the evening (all its participants and attendees were a great testament to this) was another of Jo Dibblee’s statements:

“Live your legacy today.”

You can apply for membership to the Holistic Chamber of Commerce by visiting the website (holisticchamberofcommerce.com).

Christian Lipani’s Resin Techniques at Opus

Today, artist Christian Lipani gave his third demonstration this month on resin techniques at Opus in Kelowna. Here, he worked on his painting, Archaeological Discoveries Number 3.

Bordering his painted wood box panel with tape, he mixes a 50/50 solution for a full minute and applies the resin with a foam brush. Ensuring the panel is flat with even coverage, he then hovers a torch over the surface to remove bubbles.

Christian reveals that he paints in series of 50 works. With a concept in mind, he develops each one further, sometimes experimenting with techniques. He also ‘exercises’ daily by sketching for about an hour each day. Often, these sketches develop into the basis for his larger works in acrylic.

While the resin is still malleable, Christian drags strategic lines in acrylic paint to further highlight aspects of the art.

Using his non-dominant (right) hand, Christian explains how he may ‘practice’ a swooping curve hovering above the artwork before actually touching the surface, in order to give the best chance for a perfect landing of what he has in mind. Here, he does just that, with a palette knife.

Moving in for a closer look, we see how Christian ‘engraves’ the resin around certain shapes as it is almost set.

Some of Christian’s other work was displayed in the room, such as Archaeological Discoveries Number 2 in this series, which does not have resin, but has a unique texture created with a palette knife.

In this painting, Christian used high flow acrylics with a needle-like tip.

This is a detail of a painting where Christian has engraved the resin extensively.

Nearer to the finish, Christian was still working on this number 3 in the series as we left the demonstration.

Christian Lipani immigrated to Canada from France in the 1960’s. He works in acrylic and resin on wood panels usually 3×4 feet and larger. He is also a sculptor. (One of his sculptures is pictured in the bottom left hand corner of the first photo at the top of this post.)

Christian has works in the New Moon Gallery and Hambleton Galleries in Kelowna. His work has been shown in Vancouver, Fort Nelson, Fort St John, and Theford Quebec. He has presented workshops in Kelowna, Victoria and Vancouver. Check the Opus website for his upcoming events.