OPINION Randy Leslie, Artistic Director, Kelowna Actors Studio
Throughout self-isolation, art has been doing what it does best, keeping our minds and hearts growing and exploring. Performers have been tapping into their creativity to relay health guidelines and share messages of hope; neighbours have been singing to each other on balconies, and concerts have been brought to you online. Creativity abounds.
Now, more then ever, it is the time to celebrate and support the arts across the Okanagan.
Cancellations and closures due to COVID-19 have had a catastrophic impact on the Canadian arts sector. Sadly, Cirque du Soleil has filed for bankruptcy protection. Dance companies have been forced to cancel their full seasons along with so many others.
If you watched Hamilton releasd in July on Disney+, or if you loved the Chicago movie, or if Sound of Music is a holiday tradition for you, remember: they all started on the stage.
MainStage shows at the Kelowna Actors Studio will come back in seven months from now (February 2021)in addition to the four months we’ve already been out of work.
An entire industry will be out of work for a minimum of a year.
We, like many, have been forced to make some heartbreaking decisions in order to survive.
We have downsized, we will not disappear! We have been part of Kelowna’s cultural scene for 18 years and we want to be around for the next 18. We will continue to bring you the entertainment you have always loved.
Six MainStage shows and dinner theatre are planned for our 2021 season: Amadeus, Legally Blonde, Ghost–the Musical, Sound of Music, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and A Chistmas Carol.
We will be here, but we need you to support us and all local arts organizations: come see shows, take classes, donate if you can.