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Rainfall forces cancellation of Festivals Kelowna surprise event

Leila Neverland is just one of the many talented performers tearing up the streets of Kelowna as part of the buskers program this summer. - Contributed
Leila Neverland is just one of the many talented performers tearing up the streets of Kelowna as part of the buskers program this summer.
— image credit: Contributed

A surprise outdoor event planned for the newly revitalized stretch of Bernard Avenue downtown this evening between 7 and 8 p.m. has been postponed until Aug. 28 due to rain.

Initially, Festivals Kelowna had made the announcement last week on a Facebook Page set up by Parks Alive organizer Ryan Donn.

It is essentially a note indicating Festivals Kelowna will be staging something on the street; although, little else is known.

“What we do is we animate public spaces,” said Ryan Donn, Parks Alive coordinator when asked for an explanation.

He would say no more. So now the mystery will carry over for another two weeks.

The non-profit organization hosts the Canada Day celebration, books and stages the 49 Parks Alive engagements, which see musicians out to play free concerts in every neighbourhood throughout the summer, and vets and licenses the lively buskers who frequent city busking stations.

The latter generated buzz this spring as Festivals Kelowna executive director Renata Mills was before council suggesting it may be time to host a busker’s festival in the vein of the highly successful Victoria International Busker’s Festival.

Mills was away from the office Wednesday and could not be reached for comment. Speaking on her behalf, Donn indicated Festivals Kelowna has had a very successful year, licensing 65 buskers to date.

Castlegar’s Roy Has Fire, locals Tiger Moon and Robert Fine and drummer Zach Gauthier’s band Joyful Door have all been catching traction on the Parks Alive scene.

The buskers are experiencing blockbuster success. From opera singer Quinn Best to local jazz sensation Leila Neverland, Westbank First Nation dancer Stan Jack to UBCO’s Urban Dance Club, the buskers have been drawing crowds all over town.

While Donn would not get into specifics, he did let slip it might be worth bringing spare change to see what happens.

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