Why don’t people in Kelowna attend the festivals?

dolphin sculpture in kelowna

dolphin sculpture in kelowna

I have heard it is because of the snow, the rain, the wind, the heat, the wind. There is another event, game, movie, festival. The snow hills call, the beaches are attractive, there is a hockey match. The questions continue to come at the end of the Music and Arts festival which had killer musicians performing for people dispersed on the grass as randomly as bits of clover in the summer lawn. Colin James had an audience. But where were the people to hear the Arrogant Worms and Stephen Fearing. I have seen more people lined up to pay their taxes at city hall than I saw at the Music and Arts Festival.

My history in the Okanagan is both deep and long. I ran the Okanagan Film Festival Society, volunteer for Dramafest, was on the board of Theatre Kelowna, the City of Kelowna Arts Foundation and worked hard for the good of the Jazz and Blues Society. The questions were always the same: Where are the people? Where is the support? Are we throwing this party on the wrong night, during the wrong season? Are we unknowingly creating a conflict of choices?

James who was one of the five people to visit in study in ten hours at the Rotary Centre said that we need to poll the people in Kelowna to find out what it is they are doing. Then we need to pitch to that. Perhaps a mobile festival that drives up to their house and has a one hour presentation on their deck?

It is a question that is unresolved. What do you think?

What is Valuable? Kelowna fire!

When people flee their homes in the face of destructive fire, the wall of wind and flame attacking, what do they take? They take first that which is alive. The cat or dog that climbs into their laps and offers warmth, closeness and the trust of dependency. They gather their children, their loved ones and head for safety.

grand daughter's delight

grand daughter

And they take the past. As they open the door to the car, they take that which keeps the doorway to the past open. Currently, that can mean a computer with the scanned images of babies. For me, baby pictures of my mother, grandmother, my children and grandchildren. These are all a reminder that we share an experience of dependency, of realtive innocence. We all were once at the mercy of others.

It helps me to be forebearing of my forebearers. It helps me to remember my own callousness and love toward my babies. It helps to get perspective on the chain of hope and dysfunction which comprise our family history.

reaching us from the past

reaching us from the past

The scrapbook of drawings and report cards that I compiled of my children’s movement through childhood is valuable. These things are first.

Next, the question of living in a Kafkaesque world demands attention. Does anyone embrace the opportunity to deal with bureacracy? The passport, insurance policies, governmental forms are like garlic to keep the vampires of civil servants away. The sucking out of time, energy, money from our lives while we hold on the phone or stand in line is to be avoided at all cost.

There are those whose plunge into chaos elicits the desire to take as many objects as they can. Interestingly enough it is these very people, whose gift is accumulation, who will replace every item within months. Things are like a nest for some. We stuff them around us much like a child who has toys and a plethora of pillows on all sides as a wall of defense against the world.

As my husband points out, in ancient Sumeria people worried about giving enough grain to the king. There have always been worries and grief around valuables.

The most important thing to do during a crisis that means loss is to focus. Save those things which remind us why we are here. Save the symbols of love because they help us to remember. Remember to be compassionate and to love.

Kelowna Fire

The fire at Rose Valley and the Glenrosa area have both been contained and the mop up is all that is left. Some 17,000 people had to evacuate their homes. Anxiety hung in the air like the gray smoke clouds that wafted over the lake to cover our neighbourhood in the North End. For two days we had ash raining on us. Today many people were allowed to return home at 5 pm.

The news that the Terrace Mountain Fire has doubled in size and is headed Fintry way to Vernon is not good for those who live along the lake on the Westside. Our friends Dale and Donna Zeitch who are organic gardeners and owners of Little Creek brand we imagine to be out of their home tonight. The Cove or Lake Okanagan Resort Hotel had no electricity today and was on evacuation alert earlier today according to the radio news.

Following twitter has been a great way to keep up on events. Reports of fire trucks headed to Gallagher’s Canyon came through. We know now that the fire at Tolko was in a saw dust pile. It was extinquished. The Mission Creek fire was stamped out quickly. A house suffered $2,000 worth of burn damage in Rutland which is an area that has been experiencing fire bug activity for months now.

On the news tonight we saw the fire fighters attack lightening-ignited blazes around Summerland very quickly. I was filled with admiration and anxiety as I watched a plane dive in a parallel path to the surface of the earth down a valley side and drop the orange-red retardant. What these pilots do is astoundingly courageous.

Because the Terrace Mountain Fire is in such rough terrain and in such a tight valley, the fight could not be on the ground. It is rumored to be a level 6 fire at this time.

What does it mean when the news release says that a fire is 20% contained? Twenty percent of what? These numbers mean very little to the public.

I have been experiencing difficulty with my breathing because the air has been so heavy with smoke and floating particulates. Today I felt as if my head were as heavy as a bowling ball and my chest was reluctant to take a big breath in. I had to use my “puffer” several times. The cloud from the Terrace Mountain Fire looked like a castle last night as the sun set.

July 22 picture of Terrace Mountain Fire

July 22 picture of Terrace Mountain Fire

After the Smoke Clears in Kelowna Fire

Today the air is much more clear. There is no ash on the surfaces out side of our house.

tulip pic in another direction

tulip pic in another direction

The only residuals that we are experiencing is that Cameron and I both are clogged up. He with sinus difficulties.

photo of china lily worked to image

photo of china lily worked to image

I know exactly how my lungs are filtering crap out because I now have a coating of whatever the tarry flakes left. I coughed repeated last night and am feeling my occasional asthma today.

new works based on photo of tulips

new works based on photo of tulips

The sun is shining. The fires are slowly being contained. Cameron and I will go pick up the new van today. Life is good.

Kelowna On Fire

The last three days have been harrowing. We first heard that the fire on the other side of the bridge had begun as we sat in the car dealership purchasing two vehicles. To roll the story back, Cameron had car failure as he sat in the parking lot of Home Depot. He had loaded up supplies into the car to take to the job site. But the blue van that he bought from RPM for just under three thousand simply would not start. He was so disconcerted that he held his mouth just right, tried strange and unusual combinations of revving and not fully breaking and managed to get home.

Meanwhile, I had three lights come up on my dash in the auction van with boarder decals all over it. Both of us have tried to live frugally, to work hard and focus on paying down debts. The trip to Europe cut into our store of cash to the point where it was no longer a store. Store closed due to Europe, reads the sign.

So disgusted by the inability to build our businesses and get around without constant trouble, we went to the car auction again. There were 4 X 4 trucks and cars from the 1990’s. Taking a break we went to Elite auto where we found a 2002 Nissan Sentra and a full sized van. We decided to put those on our line of credit at low interest. It was a gamble. It caused us both to swollow hard and pushed us out of our comfort zone for debt. But when I went out to the Nissan yesterday to get groceries, it started and there were no lights on the dash. The breaks are great, it is actually comfortable. Cameron’s van will arrive today.

But to go back, as we were sitting in the dealership, the insurance woman told us that the Glenrosa area was experiencing a fire. Although Cameron had a gig in Peachland in just two hours, we wouldn’t be able to get there because the highway was closed. She showed us Castanet images.

When we got home, we scanned the sky and saw the smoke. As we made dinner and cleaned the house, we noticed that the air was getting thicker with beige plumes. That evening I opened the windows on Facebook, twitter, Castanet and on a local radio station and bounced back and forth. I felt useful to be able to move information from one bulletin board to another. It was watching Twitter that became the important focus. As people stood at their windows or on their decks, they gave first hand witness to what the behavior of the fire was at any time. What impressed me was that people were not feeding the ego of panic. They were not going for drama but the general tone was to keep everything calm and accurate. If someone made a statement which was overblown, corrections would flow in.

It felt good to be in a community. It felt good to be useful and to let the people on facebook know what was happening.

Buddah, Hot summer and Moving Art

Cameron played tonight with Yoko, from Nelson, who is also a Buddhist. After the gig, he came home and started doing some research on Buddhist chants. His screen saver is an amazing image from Viet Nam of a giant, white statue against a piercingly blue sky. Stunning.

Today I worked out.

buddha, flowers, photographer

buddha, flowers, photographer

Seventy-five crunches and the other exercises that my trainer laid out for me. After that, I stopped by Chez Sally Ann and got a great pair of red, calf length pants with tiny white polka dots in a size 8 down from size 11 this winter. Going to recycling allowed the back of the car to open up room in preparation for the great load in from the show home on the West Side.

from my garden

from my garden

I was pumped when the builder phoned to say he wanted my art in the home. I worked to create new pieces and hung them in the beautiful, contemporary setting. Sadly, his partner hired a designer who didn’t want to keep any of the works up.

So after recycling, I made the numerous trips up and down the three stories to creatively stuff them into “the refrigerator” (a car purchased at auction that has no heat. I drove it all winter hence the name.) But surprise. In summer, it overheats. So one has to turn on the heater to divert heat from the engine. Quite a treat on a 32 degree summer day.

Now with the car stuffed, my body worked out and sweating from the carrying and packing, I ran home to get long screws. My husband obliged from his storehouse. He was at home because his vehicle had packed it in in the parking lot of Home Depot. (The exciting life of artists!)

I removed the existing art from my studio, rehung pieces, placing the new works from the show home where I thought they would garner more attention. All of the older pieces under glass, I moved out to put in storage. About 20 pieces are in a stack to one side of the studio for “sale”.

this rose bush refused to be dug up

this rose bush refused to be dug up

Because we are still working on the hallway, the washing machine has been on the back deck for a week. The interesting mountainous cast off clothing now could be dealt with. Cameron went off to his gig after doing three loads. I mowed the front and back lawn with our little push mower. In between swipes, I would run into the house to stuff another load in. Clothing, sheets, towels filled the wash line from one side of the yard to another. As the smaller items dried, I leapt up and grabbed the line and exchanged the dry for a wet replacement. Soon the lawn was looking much more civilized, the laundry was dry and folded and not creating a reekish obstruction in our bedroom. Hopping in the car as the sky took on darkness, I headed out to get groceries.

on both sides of our path to the door, beauty

on both sides of our path to the door, beauty

All the while, in my head I could hear the sniveling little voice saying,” It’s summer. I want to go swimming. I want to sit next to these flowers and read a book”. So I answered myself by saying,”Enjoy the movement of mowing. Enjoy the warm air. Enjoy the rich, blowsy, nodding of flowers as you brush against them. This is what needs to be done. Enjoy it.”

I wonder if I did!

Tomorrow off to the studio to do some painting and set up my courses for the Music and Arts Festival next week.

Oh, and we have to find a car that actually works, finish the hallway and Cameron has a gig with Calculated Risk at 7 pm. I am going. I am going to sit on the grass and listen to music. Because. It is summer.

summer on Okanagan Lake

summer on Okanagan Lake

What was I doing when I lost my focus?

Summer heat, body resists.

I sit on the step and watch the bees

busy in lavender

losing their way. Quick flight

returning to purple blossoms

visited only a moment before,

circling.

I wonder:

Are they getting essence from a repeated flower

but the setting down, fly away

so quick

impossible to tell.

Are they like me,

losing track? Activity itself

becomes the goal

among depleted blooms.

When is art or a project “finished?”

filtered picture of chestnut

filtered picture of chestnut

As I push on through the deadlines and find the last six weeks of furious activity becoming a memory, I can only step back and watch myself. My mind has come to relish the adrenalized existence. Even as I was worn down physically and exhausted from lack of sleep there was that sense of purpose, the wonderful sensation of living full out that resulted in a sense of heightened living. For a workaholic to have a task that has to come in on deadline which is defined by others as impossible is a dream come true. The excuse for kicking up the adrenale glands and diving into the “rush” that comes from moving quickly, of lifting heavy things, of reaching, crawling, squatting, driving onesself is so compelling that the calm afterward is deadly. I find that my mind keeps reaching for something else to put me back on the Merry Go Round.

On the other hand, my body is tired and I awoke with a migraine and the accompanying nausea. How one can feel both becalmed and overwhelmed at the same time is fascinating. I have begun sitting meditation again to quiet the anxiety demon that works in my brain and also to make my day more orderly. So often I am like a cat chasing string. Whatever is pulled across my path causes me to shift focus and off I go patting my paw out trying to capture the thread. If I could ever focus my prodigious energy and surprising stamina, I believe that amazing results would occur.

design using digital filters

design using digital filters

Last night we watched MONGOL a movie which is a historical fiction about Gengius Khan. The acting was superb, the story engrossing and the special effects….gross. It was a two hour journey in Kazastan and the bleakness of the landscape was stunning.

Today I attend a meeting of tenants in  the Rotary Centre, help my husband finish the hallway area, mow the lawn, prepare some works for clients who are buying art for their new house and make some handmade books for examples of what students can create in my class on the 25th. As soon as I get them done, I will put them up on this site for all to see. I really enjoy making elaborate cards and hand made books.

How can you get creative in the Okanagan Sun?

Creative in Summer: Poetry and Photography
Teaching:

1. The Outdoor Poet: July 18 9 am – 2 pm

self portrait with triangles

self portrait with triangles

Cherie Hanson holds an M.A. in English with a concentration in Contemporary Poetry from UBC, Vancouver. She was one of six poets selected from across Canada for the Sage Hill Experience workshop. Her poetry received recognition from the Surrey Writer’s Conference. Study with this imaginative writer with over twenty years experience as a teacher in a beautiful outdoor setting.

He was a fool, poem on fabric

He was a fool, poem on fabric

2. Digital Photographic Art: July 25 9 am – 2 pm
Cherie has been a guest judge for the Central Okanagan Photographers club, the Light Room and the Okanagan Film Festival Society. Her work has been exhibited throughout the Okanagan, in Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton and Prince George. More recently, she has been selected for shows in Florence, Italy: Ferrar, Italy: Vienna, Austria: Los Angeles: Sacramento. Learn how to select, crop and treat photographs with soft ware to take them from so so to stunning.

UBC Okanagan Continuing Studies

www.ubc.ca/okanagan/continuingstudies

Email: ccs.ubco@ubc.ca
Tel: (250) 807-9981

Hansonward Newsletter: What’s up in the arts in Kelowna?

Cherie and Cameron have returned from the Disparate Voices show in Vienna, Austria in May. In three weeks they re-landscaped the backyard, painted the kitchen, totally gutted (including removing the floor boards and subfloor) the bathroom and rebuilt it including new plumbing.

three weeks ago

three weeks ago

Cameron is now a bonded contractor with his certified safety seal. He received 98% on the exam which is one of the toughest in the world.
He still wants to know what he
missed.

three balls of light, fun fixture

three balls of light, fun fixture

Cameron’s Summer gigs:
Thursday, July 9th Parks Alive at KLO Campus of Okanagan College. 7 pm until 8. Free

Calculated Risk: musicians nominated for Okanagan music award: jazz

Calculated Risk: musicians nominated for Okanagan music award: jazz

Friday, Saturday, July 10th and July 11th, Gray Monk Winery, Lake Country. 6-9 pm. Open to the public.

Cameron Ward, Danny Sameshima, Rob Dewar

Cameron Ward, Danny Sameshima, Rob Dewar

Saturday, July 18th, Peachland Barefoot Music Festival, 30 minute set between 4-7pm. Free
Saturday, July 25th, Sunshine Cabaret, Penticton, 7-9 pm
Friday, Saturday, August 21, 22, Gray Monk Winery, Lake Country, 6-9. Open to the public.
Saturday, August 29, Dirty Laundry Winery, Summerland, 1-4 pm. Open to the public.

most expensive item: $300 Italian faucet

most expensive item: $300 Italian faucet

Cherie’s gigs:
Art Donations to Penticton Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, Gallery Vertigo for auction.
Gallery Vertigo Auction is August 22nd, 8 pm.
Canadian Beige mixed media sold at the Rotary’s annual Lobster dinner.
Raw Whispers, Okanagan Erotic Art Show, Woodside Gallery
Bean Scene North, Elemental, August 1 to 30th, large mixed media geometrics
Art Walk, September 12th and 13th, Lake Country

Teaching:

1. The Outdoor Poet:           July 18       9 am – 2 pm

2.Digital Photographic Art:     July 25       9 am – 2 pm

UBC Okanagan Continuing Studies

www.ubc.ca/okanagan/continuingstudies

Email: ccs.ubco@ubc.ca

Tel: (250) 807-9981

3. August 16th, 1-3, Handmade books and cards, Gallery Vertigo information,
please call Judith @ (250)503-2297

judithjurica@shaw.ca or info@galleryvertigo.com

To contact Cameron for contracting, repair, construction or for guitar or bass: phone 250-718-0369
To contact Cherie for a viewing of her latest works, classes or private commissions: phone 250-763-4269