Creative Current – From Belly Dancing to country music to Elvis

Nadine Davenport's bi-monthly column of arts and theatre in the area.

Ashcroft singer/songwriter Subhadra Morris-Nelson opened this year’s Music in the Park.

Ashcroft singer/songwriter Subhadra Morris-Nelson opened this year’s Music in the Park.

3rd Annual Belly Dance Gala this weekend

Desert Moon Tribal Bellydance Troupe will be hosting a Gala performance on June 22 at the Ashcroft Community Hall at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. Admission is by donation.

In addition Ashcroft’s featured local troupe, they are pleased to present Desert Dawn, a youth troupe – from Ashcroft spearheaded by Teacher/Organizer Denise Tapia. Plus, special guests from Kamloops: Claire de la Lune and Turban Girls.

They will be presenting several different styles of Belly Dance including American Tribal Style, Tribal Fusion, and Burlesque Bellydancing. This is our third annual event. It will be a wonderful evening celebrating women’s dance.

Theatre In The Raw at The Packing House

Theatre In the Raw brings their original One-Act Plays to BC’s Interior this June and will make a stop at the Packing House on Sunday June 23. Dinner from 5:30 pm, with show starting at 7 pm. Call to reserve at (250) 458-2256.

The Musical Theatrical troupes ‘Blue Western Sky One-Act Tour’ will aim to present a variety of dramatic tones, performances, and styles and we have found that series of this nature have been a successful method of launching never before produced award winning works. This particular series will consist of three one-acts and a musical interlude. The plays selected are:

Talk Medicine by Sheryl Melnyk – The monologue centres on a man reminiscing after suffering a heart attack, and his need to talk to ease his stress. The play focuses on the development of his moral character and the various ethical ‘forks in the road’ that he has faced. This presentation is an adaptation of TITR’s twenty-third original radio play recently presented and broadcast on Vancouver Co-Op Radio’s Arts Rational program.

Maybe Miles by Joe Lauinger – The play focuses on an awkward encounter between a University professor and one of his former masters students at a strip club he is patronizing and where she happens to work.

The Suspect by Andrzej Jar – The Suspect is a piece focused on a man being harassed by a group of supposed government agents and radical anarchists. His lifestyle collapses around him as he becomes increasingly withdrawn and angry, realizing he has been made the mark for some political subterfuge and deception far beyond him.

Blues for the Road – Michelle Richard and accompanist opening each evening with Blues for the Road. Ms. Richard will also take on supporting roles in two of the One-Acts.

For more info visit their website at

Music In the Park goes ‘Country’ with Clinton’s Arlen Park

Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society presents Music In The Park Concert Series in Ashcroft. The popular evening Concerts at the Gazebo in Heritage Place Park on Railway Ave. are held throughout the Summer in June, July and August and are every 2nd and 4th Wednesday night from 6:30-9:30 pm.

This season promised to be extra special. Not only will we be treated to the music some of the greatest artists in Canada – from the soulful and hip sound of the Jackie Treehorn Band, Clinton’s own Arlen Park with some great original country music, to the jazzy blues of Andrea Smith and much more – but we will also be proudly showcasing our magnificent home-grown talent as well!

The next Music In The Park evening of music is Wednesday, June 26 and will feature Arlen Park with his own soulful styling of original country music songs and some awesome covers. Local songstress and multi instrumentalist (ukulele/fiddle and guitar) Llynn Kellman will open.

Arlen was born was raised Clinton, in the heart of the BC interior. For the most part, he was like every other Canadian small town boy growing up. Had a love for hockey and playing outdoors. The only really difference was that he had a talent for, and loved to sing. This particular interest had him going to local talent shows from the age of 5 years old, singing favourites such as “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” and apparently, used to put on quite a show in those days.

He got his first guitar when he was 13, and along with the strong “Country” influence of the area and his growing love of R&B and Rock, a songwriter began to emerge. His bright cowboy smile, smooth country vocals and soulful performance style is sure to be ingredients for a great show.

The WRAP society hopes everyone enjoys the music all summer long! Look for posters around town and take home one of the small handouts that will be available at local retailers.

Check out for info on all the upcoming artists and their music.  So bring a chair, a blanket, a picnic dinner or buy dinner from one of our food vendors. Pass-that-Hat donations encouraged. Come early – the park fills up fast.

Canada Day Celebrations just around the corner for Ashcroft and Cache Creek

In Ashcroft, Canada Day Celebrations will be brought to you by the fine folks of Winding Rivers Arts & Performances Society. They cordially invite the whole Community to come on out and enjoy the festivities planned for Monday, July 1. Festivities will start at 11 am at the Ashcroft Pool Park, with Ceremonies starting at noon. Other great activities planned are; a bike decorating contest, skits, speeches, kid’s games, music, hotdogs, cake and free swimming at pool from 1-4.

The Village of Cache Creek is thrilled to be back at the Park for this year’s Canada Day Celebrations!  They invite you to come on out and enjoy the festivities beginning at 10 am at the Cache Creek Recreational Park. Activities planned include Bike Decorating & Parade, Games such as Tug of War, Sack Races, Egg Races and much more. The Ceremonies start at 1 pm with speeches, live music and cake! Plus free swimming at pool from noon – 8 pm and Seniors Bingo from 2-4 pm.

Ashcroft Wellness Festival features Elvis!

The 1st Annual Ashcroft Wellness Festival, July 19-21, will feature a number of musical acts throughout the weekend. The outdoor festival will take place on the streets of downtown Ashcroft, from 2nd to 8th Avenue.

There will be two outdoor stages and an array of local and regional Buskers which include Jim Ryan, John Kidder, Nadine Davenport, Karla Cummins, Theresa Takacs, Jennifer Ferguson, Ken Leinweber and Llynn Kellman and many more. Other activities planned are workshops, demonstrations and booths.

The Festival starts at 5 pm on Friday and ends at 3 pm Sunday. Friday night will start off with a free concert featuring the lovely ladies of Flat Busted from Spences Bridge.

Saturday there will be two free performances by Elvis Tribute singer, Steve Elliott with his show, ‘Elvis Elite’, and a free Street Dance featuring the country rock band, 32nd Avenue.

Steve Elliott will also take the stage on the Sunday morning of the Wellness Festival for an Interdenominational Church Service at St Albans Hall. You can look forward to many gospel favourites and sacred songs made famous by Elvis Presley.

Steve has been a performer since 2000 and has won various Elvis contests throughout Canada,  including the Grand Canadian Championship of the Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival 2004 in Penticton.

He travels now full time with his “ Elvis Elite “ show and his act has taken him  throughout Canada and the USA. Expect a high energy to the century’s most celebrated and loved…. Elvis Presley! Steve has the Young Elvis down to a tee, along with the hip swivels and classic duck walk that made Elvis so recognizable in the 50’s! Crooning through the ballads and Rockabilly hits, Steve is ready to Shake!

Nadine Davenport