Opera Kelowna taking opera everywhere

Opera Kelowna taking opera everywhere

Plans to expand community programs in 2022

Despite the challenges and limitations of the past two years, Opera Kelowna knows the incredible power of music can bring people together in spirit, even when they must remain physically apart.

Collaborative Pianist Laura Loewen communes with the family dog at a house concert in Naramata.

Opera Kelowna is proud to celebrate January as its Community Engagement month. Throughout the month, the opera will be sharing stories from residents about the impact of their concerts, workshops and impromptu performances.

Despite disruptions to performance schedules for the past two seasons, Opera Kelowna has partnered with communities from Vernon to Naramata to expand musical experiences throughout the valley during this time.

Kelly Coubrough performs for the residents of Summerwood Retirement Resort in June 2021.

In 2021, the opera’s Sidewalk Serenades program reached over 400 seniors living in communal and long-term care. Free concerts such as Opera Under the Stars were offered live and livestreamed, and the Singing the 97 concert series in Vernon, Kelowna and Naramata offered a new range of neighbours the chance to hear live professional opera performances by leading Canadian artists Colin Ainsworth and Laura Loewen.

This year’s production of The Book of My Shames gave Opera an opportunity to connect the story of the work, and the artists who created it, with local youth who might benefit from hearing about the possibility of art to open doors and the importance of singing one’s own story. With support from Valley First Credit Union, 20 members of the Etcetera 2SLGBTQIA+ youth group had a private viewing of the dress rehearsal and a chance to talk with the show’s creators. Etcetera later shared this feedback:

“(It) really opened up a new world of possibilities for these young people and we want to let you know how much this matters to them, and to all of us. From the bottom of our hearts – THANK YOU so much!!!!

Opera Kelowna is proud of its role in the community: with support from this month’s funding campaign, Opera Kelowna hopes to continue and expand this programming in 2022 to bring the beauty and delight of opera to many corners of our region.

Colin Ainsworth, Laura Loewen, and Ashley Krocher perform at St Michael’s Cathedral as part of the “Singing the 97” recital series in October 2021.

Opera Kelowna’s Community Engagement month is a part of its broader Monthly Matching campaign. Running from now until the end of March, monthly public donations will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $5000 by community leaders that have committed to the company’s future.

In recognition of those who commit their support early, Opera Kelowna will invite the first 50 people who make a 3-month commitment of $50 per month or more to a special event in the spring.

Gifts can be made security via Canada Helps at: www.operakelowna.com/donate.

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