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Living Things

A festival of puppets, masks and performing objects.

Stay tuned for information on the 2018 festival...

2017 Living Things Festival 

January 27 – February 5, 2017 

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Living Things celebrates the ancient arts of storytelling with renowned performances from national and international performers, as well as roaming performances created by students in Creative Studies; shadow puppetry, object theatre and an unusual look at flip books combine with visual art experiments and pop-up electronic music and laser dance parties in the downtown streets to light up the city in the darkest days of the year.  The first edition of Living Things - an annual winter festival of live performance - will be held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in downtown Kelowna between January 27 & February 5, 2017.  Artwork by Byron Johnston and others will be installed throughout the RCA from the beginning of January; animated film nights start January 11.

The closing night party for the festival will be held on Feb. 4th, following the Caws and Effect performance, and is $10 at the door or FREE with a Living Things performance ticket. 

Objects in Motion:

Objects imageTo launch the festival, we will be screening films from the National Film Board, the Underground Puppet Film Festival and other films. 

$7 (tickets available at the door)
January 11, 18 and February 1 – 7pm | Mary Irwin Theatre, RCA

(photo credit: Madame Tutli Putli, Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski, 2011)


Following the film night Wednesday February 1 in the Mary Irwin Theatre:

Artist Talk by renowned Canadian artist Geoffrey Farmer

Geoffrey Farmer creates installation based artworks using combinations of a broad range of elements, including: drawing, photography, video, sculpture, performance, and found materials. His work has been shown in prestigious galleries around the world. Farmer will be representing Canada at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Films begin at 7pm and the artist talk will follow at approximately 8:15.  

Tickets for the Living Things Festival are available through the RCA. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets for each performance listed below. 

  • Festival passes that include 1 ticket to each performance are available: Adults $65 | Students $45 (select 3 tickets online, and the discount will be applied at the checkout)

Schedule for Living Things 2017

Performances by students in Creative Studies at UBCO will begin in the RCA lobby half an hour before and continue for half an hour after the mainstage performances.  Arrive early or stay for a while afterwards and enjoy interactive, roaming theatre, object theatre and other experiments in storytelling.

Portraits in Motion by Volker Gerling (Germany)

January 27, 28 - 8pm; January 29 - 3pm | Mary Irwin Theatre, RCA

Portraits in Motion

Portraits in Motion is a piece of photographic flip–book cinema created by Berlin–based artist Volker Gerling. Wandering extensively on foot, Gerling creates photographic portraits of the people he meets. An old man who wanted to improve the world and almost starved in the process, a homeless woman who wished for nothing more than to see her children once again and a young woman who decided to change her life while on holiday. Gerling describes these encounters and brings his protagonists to life as he flips through their photographs underneath a video camera lens and projects the images onto a screen. These magical studies inspire gentle but profound reflection upon the transitory nature of the moment and the significance of interpersonal encounters.

Goods by Samuel Roy-Bois & Neil Cadger

January 30 & 31 – 8:00-9:00pm , Live installation | Salloum Room, RCA


Goods is a performance/installation featuring everyday objects as protagonists. The public will be invited to contemplate selected objects and listen to performed reflections concerning our relationships with material. These reflections suggest that the featured objects may possess an inner life; that a “meeting" between people and things is possible. With inanimate objects at the heart of the project, Goods oscillates freely between a performative proposal and sculptural practice. Duration: 60min. Admission by donation

Cadger and Roy-Bois teach in the Department of Creative Studies at UBCO


Caws and Effect by Mind of a Snail (Victoria, B.C.)

February 2, 3, 4 - 8pm and February 5 - 3pm | Mary Irwin Theatre, RCA

Caws and Effect

Crows are re-dreaming the world. Is the future all it's cracked up to be?
Caws & Effect is a modern fable that explores the unexpected consequences that arise after a crow plants a magical seed. The story is told using handmade layered projections, puppetry, masks, and an original musical score. All aspects of the show are created and performed by two artists: Mind of a Snail’s Chloe Ziner & Jessica Gabriel. Their large-scale shadow theatre is quirky and beautiful, like an early National Film Board animation performed live before your eyes.
Since 2003, Ziner and Gabriel have been developing a multi-layered style of visual storytelling using overhead projectors as their main light source. Their performances combine originally crafted puppets, music, masks, and eclectic experiments in lighting and timing. Their “Compost-Modern” approach explores the interconnectedness between what is natural, what is artificial, and where everything blurs in between. Caws & Effect won Patron’s Pick at the Winnipeg, Toronto, and Vancouver Fringes, Producers Pick in London, and Best of Fest at the Edmonton Fringe. 
The critics are RAVEN! ★★★★★ "a gorgeous and wondrous work of art" -CBC video trailer


The Message is a Mess by Moth Orbit Object Theatre (Vancouver, B.C.)

February 2, 3, 4 – 7pm and February 5 – 2pm | Salloum Room, RCA

Message is a Mess

A brain on a dinner plate tries desperately to declare his interest in a brain on another table. A message is born from the brain and sent to bridge the gap... but is the message in danger of being scrambled along the way?

The Message is a Mess is a table­top puppet/object theatre piece about the uncertain path that communications travel. It bewilders and estranges a process that is taken for granted­­ that when we speak, we will be understood­­ that ideas pass whole and untroubled from one mind to another.

Wryly Andherson is a Vancouver-based performance artist specializing in puppetry and object theatre. In nearly 15 years of performance experience, he has written, designed, built, performed and stage-managed in more than thirty different puppet-theatre productions.  He explores the dramatic uses of performing objects: how anything and everything can be brought to life, from everyday found objects to the most deliberately designed puppets, masks, costumes and sets.  Moth Orbit Object Theater is a moth-eaten monument built of found objects and rejected materials. Re-imagined and re-animated, trash becomes treasure and static materials become spirited. Each act of puppetry holds a mirror to the existential condition and suggests a solution: it is possible to remain enchanted despite an awareness of the mechanisms at play.

Coherence and Blaster by Miles Thorogood - laser and electronic music performance

Coherence will happen at various times during the festival.

Coherence is a series of pop-up happenings involving lasers and electronic sound in downtown Kelowna. Each event is run from a rig on a bicycle, with a battery-powered computer-controlled RGB laser and speaker/amplifier system for creating an audiovisual disruption.

Blaster is an interactive experience involving a laser beam and objects floating in space.  It will be ready for interaction at the Living Things closing night party on Saturday, February 4.

Thorogood teaches in the Department of Creative Studies

Living Things is generously supported by The Central Okanagan Foundation, Inner Fish, The Government of British Columbia, Business for the Arts and the City of Kelowna.


Living Things image


Last reviewed shim5/24/2017 3:50:49 PM