Centre Point: Avoid the snow by checking out a show

I’ve always gotten along really well with Old Man Winter. I don’t usually have any complaints about these cold months as I rather enjoy clearing my driveway and driving in the snow. I think back to tobogganing as a child and smile – it’s been a long kinship.

Like any friendship worth having, winter and I have our occasional rough patches. Last weekend I experienced one of those defining moments: With my lower back already angry from sledgehammering ice dams, it was the fourth time slipping and falling on an otherwise lovely winter walk that cemented my disdain. For the first time in years, I’m officially pining for spring.

The reality of January is that winter isn’t going anywhere fast. Thankfully, there is solace in the incredible indoor events happening around the valley. Here’s hoping that the performing arts and events at the soft-seated, climate-controlled venues we enjoy them in can get us through the rest of this winter.

Tonight the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra is back at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre to celebrate the golden era of Vienna.

Romance In Vienna is a programme of Viennese operetta, waltzes and polkas and joining the symphony on stage are four alumni from UBC’s Opera Ensemble. There is a pre-concert talk at 6 p.m. for those interested and the music starts at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium. Tickets can still be purchased online at www.ticketseller.ca or at the door within one hour of the performance.

Coming up this Friday, Alberta’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop (The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan, and Famous Puppet Death Scenes) returns to the Performing Arts Centre stage with their latest production: Ignorance.

This is a puppet show for grown-ups that dances on the outer edges of the puppet medium as this tale shifts back and forth between prehistoric times and modern day.

Ignorance serves up a balance of comic invention and serious thought, tackling society’s nagging sense of dissatisfaction – in the artistically stunning method this company is renowned for. See a preview and more information about this unique performance online at www.ticketseller.ca and you can call the box office at 549-SHOW (7469) to purchase your tickets.

Jan. 25 is your chance to take in some bagpipes and haggis at the annual Robbie Burns Dinner hosted by the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band and the Arran Campbell Memorial Youth Pipe Band. It’s a toe-tapping high-stepping dinner party with something for everyone where you’ll enjoy neeps, tatties and roast beef set to the sights and sounds of bagpipes and Scottish country dancing.

The dinner starts at 6:15 p.m. and you can call the Ticket Seller at 549-SHOW (7469) to book your seats.

And on Jan. 26, bring the whole family down to the Performing Arts Centre at 2 p.m. for Tears of Joy Theatre’s retelling of the Jules Verne classic, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Imaginations are inspired as Captain Nemo and Professor Arronax take you along on their underwater adventures in this humorous, yet scientific puppet theatre production. Tickets are just $12 each and can be purchased through the Ticket Seller box office at 250-549-SHOW (7469) or online at www.ticketseller.ca.

Enjoy the shows!

Brian van Wensem is the audience development coordinator at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

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