Patty Wellborn

Email: patty-wellborn@news.ok.ubc.ca


 

The mural represents a CTQ Consultants engineering project that helped protect fish habitat at Harrison Hot Springs.

The mural represents a CTQ Consultants engineering project that helped protect fish habitat at Harrison Hot Springs.

Murals animate public spaces and add a sense of pride to communities

A UBC Okanagan visual arts instructor used a large concrete wall as a canvas, piles of scaffolding and gallons of paint to turn a summer art course into an urban beautification project.

David Doody, a UBCO Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) alumnus, has been active in the public art realm since completing his degree in 2006. As a visual arts instructor and a member of the Uptown Mural Project, he decided to take a summer art course to a whole new level.

The Kelowna Uptown Mural Project is supported by the Uptown Rutland Business Association. As its artistic director, Doody works to plan each of the urban art murals, connecting artists with the project and working on the project management.

“The uptown mural project grew out of a desire to bring more art to public spaces,” Doody says. “By creating exciting and energetic works of public art, we are transforming our communities into dynamic open-air galleries.”

Doody has been part of UBCO’s department of creative studies for the past two years, where he teaches painting, drawing and sculpture. This summer he taught a fourth-year painting class, leading the students through the many steps necessary to plan, pitch and deliver a public mural.

“UBC’s department of creative studies partnered with CTQ Consultants to create this exciting new art education experience for BFA students,” says Doody. “This course gave students an experience common to painting murals including the use of projectors, mechanical lifts, and a variety of paint applications and techniques.”

For this summer project the students worked to create a full-scale permanent public mural in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District. Over the course of the five-week class in July and August, the students met and worked collaboratively to paint a colourful two-storey mural adjacent to the CTQ Consultants building on St. Paul Street.

CTQ Consultants were enthusiastic about supporting the first UBCO mural course, says founding partner Matt Cameron, adding that they have had positive previous experiences building portions of the campus as well as creating the first-ever engineering scholarship which is now a bursary into perpetuity.

“Although we submitted many of our projects to help David create the CTQ mural, showcasing our 2020 theme of community, we asked that he select an appropriate reflection of what CTQ means to our community and what the community means to CTQ. What David chose was one of our highlights and challenges which turned into an amazing project at Harrison Hot Springs.”

Cameron explains a project where an old pump was inefficient in moving floodwaters, creating a fish mortality rate of 100 per cent. Cameron came up with an old concept—an Archimedes Screw pump which originally was created in 250 BC—and added power to it. The pump was painted a fish-friendly canary yellow and, once operational, reached the goals of both reduction of fish mortality to under 2 per cent and safe handling of any potential floodwaters.

“This collaboration with UBCO and CTQ, combined with the hard work of many individuals, has given the students an opportunity to create their masterpiece in our parking lot on the north-facing wall at CTQ’s Kelowna office. This is a great addition and our entire team is proud to have been a part of cheering up the downtown core,” adds Cameron.

Street art initiatives and murals have revitalized urban centres across the country, adds Doody. These open-air public galleries add a splash of colour onto aging architecture and breathe new life into their surrounding communities.

“These vibrant and bold contributions to the neighbourhood, are celebrated by locals and tourists all year round,” he says. “They are recognized as important sites for contemporary Canadian culture.”

Learn more about the uptown mural project at: www.uptownmurals.com

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

The mural represents a CTQ Consultants engineering project that helped protect fish habitat at Harrison Hot Springs.

The mural represents a CTQ Consultants engineering project that helped protect fish habitat at Harrison Hot Springs.

Murals animate public spaces and add a sense of pride to communities

A UBC Okanagan visual arts instructor used a large concrete wall as a canvas, piles of scaffolding and gallons of paint to turn a summer art course into an urban beautification project.

David Doody, a UBCO Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) alumnus, has been active in the public art realm since completing his degree in 2006. As a visual arts instructor and a member of the Uptown Mural Project, he decided to take a summer art course to a whole new level.

The Kelowna Uptown Mural Project is supported by the Uptown Rutland Business Association. As its artistic director, Doody works to plan each of the urban art murals, connecting artists with the project and working on the project management.

“The uptown mural project grew out of a desire to bring more art to public spaces,” Doody says. “By creating exciting and energetic works of public art, we are transforming our communities into dynamic open-air galleries.”

Doody has been part of UBCO’s department of creative studies for the past two years, where he teaches painting, drawing and sculpture. This summer he taught a fourth-year painting class, leading the students through the many steps necessary to plan, pitch and deliver a public mural.

“UBC’s department of creative studies partnered with CTQ Consultants to create this exciting new art education experience for BFA students,” says Doody. “This course gave students an experience common to painting murals including the use of projectors, mechanical lifts, and a variety of paint applications and techniques.”

For this summer project the students worked to create a full-scale permanent public mural in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District. Over the course of the five-week class in July and August, the students met and worked collaboratively to paint a colourful two-storey mural adjacent to the CTQ Consultants building on St. Paul Street.

CTQ Consultants were enthusiastic about supporting the first UBCO mural course, says founding partner Matt Cameron, adding that they have had positive previous experiences building portions of the campus as well as creating the first-ever engineering scholarship which is now a bursary into perpetuity.

“Although we submitted many of our projects to help David create the CTQ mural, showcasing our 2020 theme of community, we asked that he select an appropriate reflection of what CTQ means to our community and what the community means to CTQ. What David chose was one of our highlights and challenges which turned into an amazing project at Harrison Hot Springs.”

Cameron explains a project where an old pump was inefficient in moving floodwaters, creating a fish mortality rate of 100 per cent. Cameron came up with an old concept—an Archimedes Screw pump which originally was created in 250 BC—and added power to it. The pump was painted a fish-friendly canary yellow and, once operational, reached the goals of both reduction of fish mortality to under 2 per cent and safe handling of any potential floodwaters.

“This collaboration with UBCO and CTQ, combined with the hard work of many individuals, has given the students an opportunity to create their masterpiece in our parking lot on the north-facing wall at CTQ’s Kelowna office. This is a great addition and our entire team is proud to have been a part of cheering up the downtown core,” adds Cameron.

Street art initiatives and murals have revitalized urban centres across the country, adds Doody. These open-air public galleries add a splash of colour onto aging architecture and breathe new life into their surrounding communities.

“These vibrant and bold contributions to the neighbourhood, are celebrated by locals and tourists all year round,” he says. “They are recognized as important sites for contemporary Canadian culture.”

Learn more about the uptown mural project at: www.uptownmurals.com

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Rick Mercer will deliver the 2020 keynote address. Mercer was a 2010 UBC honorary degree recipient.

Rick Mercer will deliver the 2020 keynote address. Mercer was a 2010 UBC honorary degree recipient.

Virtual ceremony takes place Wednesday as more than 1,900 students graduate

UBC Okanagan’s Convocation of 2020 will go down in history as a unique event. Instead of students, parents and faculty joining together on campus, the celebrations will be held virtually.

“The context of 2020 has made necessary a very different approach to our graduation ceremony this year,” says Deborah Buszard, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “While the ceremony will be virtual, the remarkable achievements of our students are very real and worthy of recognition. I invite everyone to join me in celebrating the Class of 2020.”

This year, 1,925 students have qualified for convocation from UBC Okanagan—that includes 1,600 undergraduates, more than 270 students who have earned a master’s degree and 45 newly-conferred doctorate degrees.

While convocation is a time of celebration, it’s also a time of long-kept traditions. The program will begin with Chancellor Lindsay Gordon presiding over the virtual ceremony. UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono and Buszard will both address the Class of 2020 live, dressed in full academic regalia. And graduates will have an opportunity to take a virtual selfie with President Ono.

UBC has arranged for Canadian icon and comedian Rick Mercer to deliver the 2020 keynote address. Mercer was a 2010 UBC honorary degree recipient.

Students have had the opportunity to purchase graduation regalia, special graduation gifts, create a personalized commemorative graduation video clip, download congratulatory signs and sign a guest book with congratulatory messages.

The virtual ceremony will last 45 minutes and it will be livestreamed on June 17, with a pre-show beginning at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and a 20-minute virtual alumni reception takes place at 3:55 p.m. The ceremony can also be watched on YouTube, Facebook or Panopto, a platform that is accessible from many countries. To find out more, visit: virtualgraduation.ok.ubc.ca

“These are, indeed, unusual times, and UBC students have shown once again their resilience and ability to cope and thrive in the face of change,” says Buszard. “With everything they have accomplished over these past months and over the course of their studies, I couldn’t be more proud of the extraordinary UBC Okanagan Class of 2020. Congratulations.”

This year’s medal recipients

  • Governor General's Gold Medal: Mike Tymko
  • Lieutenant Governor's Medal Program for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation: Dominica Patterson
  • UBC Medal in Fine Arts: Aiden de Vin
  • UBC Medal in Arts: Ellie Jane Fedec
  • UBC Medal in Science: Nicholas Kayban
  • UBC Medal in Education: Alyssa Pembleton
  • UBC Medal in Nursing: Christopher Popel
  • UBC Medal in Management: Amanda Campbell
  • UBC Medal in Human Kinetics: Madison Pows
  • UBC Medal in Engineering: Tyler Ho

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates share their final work on an online platform

What: UBCO Visual Arts Graduation Virtual Exhibition Launch: Any Moment
Who: Graduating artists in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program
When: Friday, May 15
Where: Virtual Exhibition, anymomentexhibition.ca

Each spring graduating visual arts students at UBC’s Okanagan campus prepare a final art exhibition as they complete their program.

This year’s exhibition, titled Any Moment, was scheduled to open to the public in an on-campus reception in mid-April. However, as Visual Arts Professor Myron Campbell explains, the art will now be shared as a virtual exhibition.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation and the cancellation of the event, the students had to come up with new ways to complete their work and share it with the arts community, explains Campbell.

“Each student set up space at home to complete the work, and they have been working together with a writer and web designer to create a virtual exhibition,” he says. “This vibrant cohort of students continued to produce artwork in makeshift studio spaces in bedrooms, on balconies, in kitchens, the outdoors and even a camper trailer.”

Any Moment includes a wide variety of work such as sculpture, video installation, painting, drawing and animation. Though the work is diverse, a shared element between each artist is an interest in themes addressing memory and place.

“Their collective resiliency is as impressive as it is inspiring having accomplished UBC Okanagan’s first BFA graduation virtual exhibition,” says Campbell.

The exhibition showcases a range of the best works created by 10 emerging artists.

“This year’s graduating students have been busy creating diverse artworks full of personal storytelling and connection to place,” says Lecturer Katherine Pickering. “We’re really looking forward to having this work available for the public to experience this heartfelt exhibition of work.”

Visual arts student Sara Spencer notes it is disappointing the students will not get to show their work in the usual exhibition space, however creating an online exhibition has been a great experience.

“While we can’t have everyone together at a live exhibition, it will still be good to have a virtual exhibition and be able to reach so many more people,” she says. “It will create more opportunities and help to brighten up the world around us.”

This is a great opportunity to see what the next generation of local artists in the Okanagan are producing, adds Campbell.

The exhibition opens Friday, May 15. For more information, visit: anymomentexhibition.ca

UBCO fine arts graduate Sara Fletcher works on a video while creating her art installment for the graduate student virtual exhibition.

UBCO fine arts graduate Sara Fletcher works on a video while creating her art instalment for the graduate student virtual exhibition.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Nancy Holmes, poet and associate professor in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

Nancy Holmes, poet and associate professor in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

UBCO's Nancy Holmes explains why we turn to poetry in the face of adversity

In this unprecedented time of fear, bewilderment and isolation, poetry is a beacon. It speaks to the complex emotions that are unleashed at times like this, says Nancy Holmes, poet and associate professor in UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

“It is hard to express our deepest anxieties and longings, so we turn to poetry especially in times of intense disruption,” she explains. “Poetry’s job is to try to say what cannot be said.”

This is why, she notes, we want poetry for special occasion cards, why we recite poems at funerals and why we listen to songs when we are in love. In World War I, she says, The Oxford Book of English Verse was one of the most well-read books in the trenches. Poetry is our go-to art in times of upheaval and catastrophe.

Right now, people are reeling with massive cultural and personal shifts as COVID-19 affects everything that was once normal. These changes are disturbing and incomprehensible at some level. Finding poetry that speaks to individuals might help get them through the next few weeks, Holmes says.

“These days, certain lines of poetry are coming unbidden into my head, like Irish poet WB Yeats’ ‘Things fall apart/ The centre cannot hold’ and the American poet Carmen Tafolla’s update on this phrase: ‘Things falls apart/ sometimes people too.’ These two phrases show that poetry addresses the big picture as well as the most intimate personal experiences.”

Most of us, she adds, are in the midst of both social and personal confusion this month.

As we move through the many uncertainties and alarms of this pandemic, she says poetry gives us a way to live with our inner turmoil.

“Most of us are experiencing a shock to our daily lives, but there are also people who are sick or who have lost people they love,” Holmes says. “For millennia, poetry has been an art that people turn to in order to cope with these traumatic experiences.”

She argues that art is an essential way human beings learn about, explore and express their understanding of the world, with its final form only limited by the extent of human creativity.

“From paintings, sculptures and mosaics to literature, theatrical performances and architecture, art has helped humanity learn about ourselves and our relationship to other people and the universe,” says Holmes. “Poetry, along with music, seems to be the art we are drawn to in times of intense personal and social transformations.”

Holmes says that there is a poem for nearly every feeling and situation human beings have encountered, and new poems are being written to explore what it is like to be alive now. She says that reading poetry offers benefits of consolation, release and enlightenment. But she also encourages people to write their own poetry.

“Writing a few poems is a nourishing way to spend a few hours,” she says. “I really encourage everyone to sit down and express feelings, terrors or love for people and the planet. It can be genuinely therapeutic.”

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Poet, editor and fiction writer will select Okanagan Short Story Contest winner

John Lent, a Vernon-based professional author, editor, singer and songwriter is this spring’s writer-in-residence at UBC Okanagan. He will be on campus from March 9 to 26 working with students, faculty and the community in various writing and literary projects.

The writer-in-residence program promotes Canadian writing and literature to Okanagan residents and provides emerging writers an opportunity to get feedback on their creative work, explains Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Professor Nancy Holmes.

Vernon-based author, editor, singer and songwriter John Lent is this spring’s writer-in-residence at UBC Okanagan.

Vernon-based author, editor, singer and songwriter John Lent is this spring’s writer-in-residence at UBC Okanagan.

“Our definition of a great writer-in-residence is someone who has writing expertise and who loves to talk to emerging writers about their work,” says Holmes, a creative writing instructor at UBCO. “John more than fits the bill.”

Lent, who taught Creative Writing and Literature courses at Okanagan College for more than 30 years, has published 11 books and edited 35 volumes of poetry, fiction and non-fiction for publication.

While in residence, he will announce this year’s winners of the Okanagan Short Story Contest. Lent will also read and offer feedback on manuscripts from local writers. Writers of fiction or poetry are invited to submit manuscripts for review and feedback. Deadline for manuscripts is February 21. For details, visit: fccs.ok.ubc.ca/about/events-workshops/authors

“John is a terrific writer, a master teacher of fiction and poetry, an in-demand editor and someone who pretty single-handedly created the contemporary literary culture in the Okanagan,” says Holmes. “We are so looking forward to having John on campus again. People lucky enough to be involved will have a great experience.”

Lent will hold the inaugural Sharon Thesen Lecture on Writing. The lecture—Aspects of Poetics in Contemporary Fiction and Poetry: a practical logic of legacies, a working arc of continuance—takes place on Thursday, March 19 at 7 p.m., in the University Theatre (ADM 026). This lecture is free and open to the public.

Thesen, a renowned Canadian poet and editor, was the first full professor in the department of creative studies and is now a UBC professor emerita.

“The UBC creative writing program wants to honour all that she contributes to Canadian literature and all that she did to establish the creative writing program at UBC Okanagan,” adds Holmes.

We decided an annual lecture that tackles key issues of contemporary writing, poetics and Canadian literature was the very thing that would recognize her significant contributions to British Columbia, to Canada and to UBC,” she says. “We’ll be recording each lecture which will be given by UBC faculty or visiting authors. The lectures will be a wonderful resource of contemporary thinking by writers.”

As judge of this year’s Okanagan Short Story Contest Lent will also announce the final winners. The four winning authors will host readings of their submissions on Thursday, March 25 at 7 p.m. at the Okanagan Regional Library, 1380 Ellis St., Kelowna.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning founded in 2005 in partnership with local Indigenous peoples, the Syilx Okanagan Nation, in whose territory the campus resides. As part of UBC—ranked among the world’s top 20 public universities—the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world in British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Tickets on sale for annual Art on the Line fundraising event

What: Art on the Line gala and fundraiser
Who: Various artists with host UBCO Professor Michael V. Smith
When: Saturday, February 1, doors open at 6 p.m.
Where: Fipke Centre, 3247 University Way, UBC’s Okanagan Campus, Kelowna
Cost: $190 (one ticket admits two people and guarantees one piece of artwork) or $10 event entry at the door

As a special fundraising event, UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) organizes a gala evening where good luck plays a part in who takes home which piece of art.

Art on the Line is an annual event that brings the community to campus for fun method of buying an original piece of art. The artwork has been donated by community artisans—and each ticket entitles the holder to one piece of art from dozens that are on display. However, they can’t choose that art until their number is drawn. The earlier their number comes up, the better chance of getting the piece of art they have been eyeing all evening.

The event is organized in part by the Visual Arts Course Union and proceeds support visual arts student exhibitions including UBCO’s fourth-year graduating show, the visiting artist program and opportunities for travel grants and art exhibitions. The evening is hosted by FCCS Professor Michael V. Smith.

Tickets are $190 a couple, which includes appetizers and a drink and one piece of artwork. Tickets are available at artontheline.net or artontheline.eventbrite.ca. There are also $10 tickets available at the door for people who want to attend the event, but not purchase a piece of artwork. This year’s Art on the Line is sponsored by alumni UBC.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca

Photography Instructor Andreas Rutkauskas leading a discussion about student photography projects.

Photography Instructor Andreas Rutkauskas leading a discussion about student photography projects.

UBCO professors offer free classes and tips to create a professional portfolio

Artists interested in UBC Okanagan’s visual arts program are invited to attend a special class with a professor to learn about the program and find out how to put a portfolio together. What: Portfolio Day at UBC Okanagan When: Saturday, January 11, 10 to 11 a.m. Where: Creative and Critical Studies building, UBC Okanagan campus, Kelowna Portfolio Day is an opportunity for anyone interested in applying to UBCO’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program to receive advice on assembling their entrance portfolio or obtain pre-approval for the portfolio requirement as part of their application to the program. UBC Okanagan's Portfolio Day is also a chance to talk to faculty and staff about program choices, meet and talk with current students, explore the campus and facilities, learn more about the application process, portfolio requirements and have questions answered. Starting in January, the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies will also host a series of free workshops for prospective applicants. Led by professors from the program, these sessions provide the chance to learn more about a variety of subjects and media such as animation, drawing, creative writing and printmaking. Creative Day workshops are a chance to find out more about our BFA program and facilities through fun, hands-on projects explains Visual Arts Professor Briar Craig. "Creative Days provide students with a sense of what it’s like to take a class at university,” says Craig.  “We hope participants will leave with something that they want to share with others.” There are limited seats available for some of the workshops and pre-registration is encouraged. To register, contact Visual Arts Coordinator Katherine Pickering at katherine.pickering@ubc.ca. To find out more about the Bachelor of Fine Arts at UBC Okanagan, visit: fccs.ok.ubc.ca/degrees-programs/undergraduate-programs/fine-arts Portfolio requirements are here: fccs.ok.ubc.ca/degrees-programs/undergraduate-programs/fine-arts/portfolio

Creative Day workshops

  • January 11 at 10 a.m. to noon: Sculpture with David Doody
  • January 18 from noon to 2 p.m.: Indigenous Centered Landscapes through Cyanotype with Tania Willard
  • February 8 at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Screen printing with Briar Craig
  • March 7 from noon to 2 p.m.: Drawing with Patrick Lundeen
  • March 21 from 10 a.m. to noon: Creative Writing with Nancy Holmes
  • April 18 at 10 a.m. to noon: Tour of the BFA Student Exhibition with Andreas Rutkauskas
  • May 30 at 10 a.m. to noon: Frame-by-frame Animation with Myron Campbell
  • May 30 starting at noon to 2 p.m.: Performance Improvisation with Denise Kenney
  • June 13 from noon to 2 p.m.: Life Drawing with Katherine Pickering

Budding writers are urged to submit their entries for the annual Okanagan Short Story Contest.

Now running for 22 years, the short story contest has a long tradition of introducing new and emerging writers to the Okanagan community. Past winners have gone on to publish with Penguin Random House, Arsenal Pulp Press, and NeWest Press, as well as numerous magazines and journals nationally and internationally, explains John Lent, one of this year’s judges.

“I always sound like I’m exaggerating when I talk about this, but there is a concentration of writing talent in the Okanagan Valley and Southern Interior right now that is unique, making this area one of the most talented community of writers and teachers of writing anywhere in this country,” says Lent, a Vernon-based poet, editor and fiction writer. “There is no better example of all this talent intermingling than the quiet, but sure success of The Okanagan Short Story Contest winners. Just look at the list of past winners and the judges who found them and another big classy story is told.”

Past winners include Erin Scott, Brittni MacKenzie-Dale, Karen Hofmann, Joe Dermo and Ashley Little.

Lent says while there is still plenty of time before the contest closes, he urges budding writers to perhaps use some spare time over the holidays to get their stories drafted. The contest is open to fiction writers in the Southern Interior of British Columbia: east of Hope, west of the Alberta border, north of the US border and south of Williams Lake.

All original entries must be between 1,000 and 4,000 words and writers are welcome to submit as many entries as they choose. There is a $15 entry fee for each story, but no charge for high school students. All proceeds go towards UBCO’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) Creative Writing scholarships.

FCCS is offering cash prizes to the top three stories—$1,000, $400 and $200; the first prize winner also wins a one-week retreat at The Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in Kelowna. For the third year in a row, the top short story by a high-school student in the region receives $200 prize.

Contest deadline is 11:15 p.m. Friday, January 31, 2020.

Entries will be judged by Lent and faculty from the Creative Writing program. Winners will be announced in March at a public event where short-listed authors will be invited to read from their work.

Co-sponsors are FCCS, Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation and the Central Okanagan Foundation. For a full list of contest details, rules and past winners, visit fccs.ok.ubc.ca/short-story

Art on the Line

Popular fundraiser Art on the Line brings artists and community together

What: Art on the Line gala and fundraiser Who: Various artists with host UBCO Professor Michael V. Smith When: Saturday, February 1, doors open at 6 p.m. Where: Fipke Centre, 3247 University Way, UBC’s Okanagan Campus, Kelowna Cost: $190 (one ticket admits two people and guarantees one piece of artwork) or $10 event entry at door Each year UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, in association with the Visual Arts Course Union, hosts a fundraiser and gala event that celebrates the work of local artists. This popular evening brings together the local arts community in a fun evening where participants are guaranteed to leave with an original piece of artwork. Proceeds from the event support visual arts student exhibitions including UBCO’s fourth-year graduating show, the visiting artist program and opportunities for travel grants and exhibitions, explains Art on the Line Co-coordinator Aiden de Vin. “In years past we’ve seen how Art on the Line is an event where community can come together to celebrate the arts and we are honoured to be a part of that,” says de Vin. “For us, it’s a great opportunity to be more involved in the visual arts community on campus and in Kelowna. We get to work with students from all years of the Visual Arts Program, and faculty and community members who love the arts.” Additional funds raised at this event will be donated to The Bridge Youth and Family Services. The Bridge is a local non-profit that has provided innovative and quality programming to the children, youth and families of the Central Okanagan since 1969. Art on the Line Co-coordinator Sara Spencer says they have worked with the Bridge in the past, creating a promotional video for the organization. “Since this relationship has been made, we feel it is important to give back to a local charity that is working to serve Kelowna and the community in the biggest way,” says Spencer. “The Bridge has a special place in our hearts.” During the evening 120 juried works of art are on display—art that has been donated from students, faculty, alumni and community artists. The artwork is then raffled off to guests, creating a lottery that makes for a fun and suspenseful evening, explains UBCO Bachelor of Fine Arts alumni Kristy Matilda. "Art on the Line is a vibrant and exciting event where you get the thrill of seeing people bid for your artwork,” says Matilda. “The anticipation and excitement of the crowd generates quite the buzz for emerging artists. Everyone works together and it's engaging and fun to get involved with your colleagues." Organizers are still collecting two- and three-dimensional artworks to be donated for the event. Interested artists can visit fccs.ok.ubc.ca/about/events-workshops/artontheline to download a submission form or email artontheline.aotl@gmail.com with any questions about how and where to submit. $10 tickets are available at the door for those guests who want to attend the event, but not purchase a piece of artwork. Tickets are available at artontheline.net or artontheline.eventbrite.ca This year’s event is sponsored by alumni UBC.

About UBC's Okanagan campus

UBC’s Okanagan campus is an innovative hub for research and learning in the heart of British Columbia’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world, UBC is home to bold thinking and discoveries that make a difference. Established in 2005, the Okanagan campus combines a globally recognized UBC education with a tight-knit and entrepreneurial community that welcomes students and faculty from around the world. To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca