Celebrating the Work of Artists and Activists


Artists and Activists met together at Bottega Farm Inn on Fri Mar 2 as part 1 of the Lille Gard Discussion Series.  The idea was simply to bring together people from the Okanagan who want to change the world; who want to share ideas and experiences, and discover creative ways to advance justice causes.  The people that gathered were from all different backgrounds, faiths, social standings – but it’s safe to say that those who attended have this in common:  A determination – for the sake of our kids and our kids’ kids – to leave this valley and this planet in better shape than we found it.

Artists and Activists crowd at BottegaThe Artist and Activist event was under the umbrella of Global Citizens Week, but had a decidedly local focus.  We wanted this focus because we believe that facilitating ongoing, long-term relationships among artists and activists yields greater results than simply doing one-off ‘benefit events’.

Our panellists for the event included a politician, a farmer and a film-maker – each with different perspectives and involved in different causes.  They were:  former Kelowna city counsellor Angela Reid-Nagy, activist Gabe Cipes from Summerhill Organic Winery, and ‘accidental activist’ film-maker Jan Vozenilek.  They shared their artistic and activist experiences, and then responded to questions from the audience and faciliated a spirited discussion.  Afterward, there was time to meet and greet, and carry on the discussion over drinks and snacks.

Although some specifics were discussed – such as organic farming practices, or the political process, or debunking the idea of plastic recycling – I think the main inspirational message to emerge was ‘Let’s Get Outside Ourselves, Let’s Get Creative, And Let’s Make A Difference!’.

Artists often have an emotional connection with a ‘justice cause’ (whether it be environmental issues, poverty, equal rights etc).  Artists also have a creative way to ‘amplify’ a message.    Activists on the other hand really understand the issue; they have done the research, they realise there are multiple stakeholders, and they are informed when they speak of it.   History shows that when artists and activists collaborate – great progress can be made to advance the cause of justice.

Was great progress made at the Artists and Activists event?  I don’t know.  Only time will tell.  And we, as the TribeHouse Artist Collective, will continue to celebrate the important work of artists and of activists – here in the Okanagan Valley and around the world.


Thanks to David Ward for taking the photos

Artists and Activists at Bottega
Artists and Activists crowd at Bottega
Andrew Smith


Angela Reid-Nagy at Bottega
Artists and activists convo
Artists and activists screen


Artists and Activists speakers


Gabe Cipes


Jan Vozenilek Activist
Zachari Smith Musician
Zachari Smith


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