The fifth annual Living Things Festival is set to launch in Kelowna on Sunday, January 10, 2021. The festival which has a growing cult following in Kelowna’s art and culture scene is renowned for bringing boundary-pushing contemporary theatre, dance, music, animation, art, and more to the darkest days of winter.
The festival, which is dubbed Kelowna’s international arts festival, is organized by Neil Cadger—a professor at UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies—and Inner Fish Performance Company. This year’s festival will run through to January 30, 2021.
2021’s festival is set to deliver a small but extraordinary lineup of shows, performances and experiences that inspire, entertain and provoke thought and conversation.
“I believe art is to mental health as sport is to physical health. In this COVID-19 era of isolation and digital connection, the need for safe gatherings and in-person interaction is crucial. I hope Living Things 2021 can brighten this challenging winter at least a little”, explains Cadger.
Living Things 2021 will feature The Collective Body—a unique outdoor projection showcasing dancers, body parts and musicians from across North America at downtown Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts (421 Cawston Ave.) The Collective Body will run from 5-9 p.m. every evening during the festival. It is free to attend.
In addition, the ever-popular Objects in Motion—a selection of animated films that push narrative boundaries returns on January 19 and January 26. Tickets start at $15 and films will be shown on Kelowna’s Unicorns.LIVE streaming platform.
And last but not least, the festival intends to wrap with The Book of My Shames presented with Opera Kelowna—an original solo chamber opera that’s thoughtful, raw and honest, with achingly funny turns. Due to public health advisories, the final details around The Book of My Shames are still being worked out. Those interested in this event are encouraged to keep an eye on the Living Things website/Facebook and Instagram channels and to sign up for the festival’s newsletter to stay in the loop. All Living Things 2021 events will follow appropriate public health guidance.
Despite the challenges presented by organizing a festival during the COVID-19 pandemic, Neil Cadger is thrilled to see Living Things return:
“For 4 years we have been bringing live, groundbreaking, exhilarating theatre, art, and music to Kelowna in the darkest days of winter. Of course, running this year’s festival has presented many new challenges, but we were determined to keep Living Things going. We’ve worked hard to create some unusually unusual experiences in a way that is COVID-safe and respects public health orders. We hope you’ll join us either in-person or online for the strangest Living Things yet!”
Living Things is financially supported by the City of Kelowna, the BC Arts Council, UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, ARTSCO, Public Humanities Hub Impact Award, Heritage Canada and local businesses and individuals. You can learn more about the festival by visiting the Living Things website.