Arts and culture is happening all around but the main ingredient is us—the viewers.

Just read Pyper Geddes’ final piece for Capital News and her words about art and culture in the Okanagan are bang on the mark – see for yourself.

Pyper Geddes:

September is a time for new beginnings and I am going to be starting one myself. Perk up readers, because this is the last time you’ll get to (or have to) listen to me, as this is my last column for the Capital News.

I made my writing debut on Jan. 20 with a column promising to provide Kelowna with a non-biased, reliable resource for all that is arts and culture in our community. Wading through the numerous columns that have been published since, I think that I have succeeded in doing so and I hope that you, as readers, have found that there is actually more to Kelowna than wineries, the lake and the clubs.

Sometimes we might find that it is a struggle to see arts and culture thrive in Kelowna but as I look over past columns I realize that if the scene in Kelowna wasn’t thriving then I wouldn’t have had anything to write about.

We tend to think about what the city needs to really flourish: “We need more venues…” “We need more artists…” “We need more funding…” but sometimes this makes us look past what we have which, in reality, is really, really great when you think about it.

We are definitely sitting at a turning point in the cultural community right now. City of Kelowna Cultural Services has been hard (and when I say hard I mean, REALLY hard) at work creating a Cultural Plan for Kelowna which will soon be unveiled. Through numerous focus groups, panel discussions and arduous research, Cultural Services is ready to give us a blueprint of sorts that we can use to build up one of the best cultural communities in Canada.

First, we need to realize what we have before we can find out what we really need and Cultural Services has already done a good part of the ground work for us.

Cultural Plan aside, I have seen many great things come out of this community—whether it be a show at the Community Theatre, at Habitat or Rutland Centennial Hall, BreakOut West, Ecotone or an art show put on by students. This city has culture coming out of its ears and, as I mentioned in my very first column, you just have to know where to look.

Arts and culture is happening all around but the main ingredient is us—the viewers.

So next time you’re making eyes at your couch, getting ready for another big night at home, go out and experience something new instead—you’ll be surprised at what you find.

I hope that you all have enjoyed my ramblings as much as I have enjoyed rambling on and I’ll leave you now with a final quote:

“As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit.” —Seneca

Pyper Geddes has been a contributor to Awesome Okanagan.

By Pyper Geddes – Kelowna Capital News

Published: September 08, 2011 1:00 AM


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