On display every evening from 5:30-10 p.m. outside the Rotary Centre for the Arts (421 Cawston Ave.), Celestial Bodies is a multicultural creation of animated media that depicts ancient astrological stories, exploring the belief systems that make up Canadian and Indigenous society’s diverse fabric. The multimedia projection shows animated images of star stories— alongside world-class cross-cultural music.
Celestial Bodies is the second projection series to be showcased in downtown Kelowna this year thanks to Light Up Kelowna — a new partnership between the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan (ARTSCO) and UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. In addition, there are a diverse range of artists involved in the production of Celestial Bodies, including UBC Okanagan faculty members Aleksandra Dulic and Miles Thorogood who directed and co-created the show. Discover more about the research team behind Celestial Bodies HERE.
For Celestial Bodies, the artists have re-interpreted the cosmological stories and oral histories from their own cultural heritages — the Indigenous Haudenosaunee, Greek, Chinese and African culture — exploring the meeting of cultures in their collaborative process with community members, where unique stars signifying individuals’ heritage were made. Each story is connected to a season, and characters from the heavenly world travel through time and space as the night unfolds, highlighting diverse cultural beliefs.
Those viewing Celestial Bodies will see the Big Dipper story from the Haudenosaunee Nation, the Chinese story of Weaver Woman, a Greek story highlighting the mythology of human desires and emotions through heroes and Gods and a suspenseful African story called ‘Why the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars live in the Sky?’
Kirsteen McCulloch, Executive Director at ARTSCO, can’t wait to see the show come to life:
“I’m confident that Celestial Bodies is going to be a massive hit! With rich storytelling, talented artists and a unique urban canvas in downtown Kelowna, this is the night sky as you’ve never seen it before. Ditch the couch and Netflix for an evening and join us safely and from a distance to enjoy Celestial Bodies while standing beneath celestial bodies. I’m grateful to all the skilled artists who have contributed to this project and I hope you’ll come to see the projections from Feb 5-28!”
Celestial Bodies is presented by ARTSCO in partnership with UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. It runs from February 5 to 28, 2021, from 5:30-10 p.m. every evening at downtown Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts (421 Cawston Ave.) The showing is free and open to the public. Projections are shown on the exterior of the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Please abide by COVID-19 safety protocols while participating in Celestial Bodies.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the following organizations in the creation of Celestial Bodies: The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), University of British Columbia Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and the Work-Study program , Canada Council for the Arts, and the Central Okanagan Foundation.