The Monashees Woodland Retreat is host to the first annual North Okanagan OM Festival, Aug. 25-27. (Photo submitted)

New music festival promotes healthy environment

There's more to music than just the art: it can be used to promote healthy, sustainable living

There’s more to music than just the art: it can be used to promote healthy, sustainable living and lifestyles.

That’s the goal of The North Okanagan OM Festival, debuting at The Monashees Woodland Retreat Aug. 25-27.

Led by local independent production company SMG Endeavors’s Steve Gosselin and Monashees Woodland Retreat advisers David Pilz and Ava Curtola, the vision of an organic music, modalities, food, and sustainability theme is underway.

“We want to engage people with nature and the natural healing practices of local Okanagan businesses,” Gosselin said. “It is family focused with a sustainable future for everyone and everything in mind.”

OM is an abbreviation for organic music, organic modalities, organic meals, organic methods, and organic merriment.

“OM represents all things,” Gosselin said. “It can be considered as the seed of all creation. This simple word contains all the power of the universe. It is the beginning, the middle, and the end — the past, present, and future.”

The festival features largely local multi-genre roots music with primarily acoustic instruments and minimal use of effects. Okanagan locals Lowell Friesen and Tiger Moon will grace the stage, alongside several travelling artists including Jack Garton and the Demon Squadron of coastal B.C. and Ghostly Hounds of Montreal.

“Healing modalities such as energy healing, cranial-sacral therapy, reiki, yoga and other holistic practices with on-stage presentations and on-site practices from local Okanagan businesses like Tidal Elements (are also featured,)” Gosselin said.

The North Okanagan OM Festival will have organic food options and artisinal, hand-picked and local food on offer.

“Presentations and workshops on green building, eco-care, and self-sustainability will be held so that we can all learn to live symbiotically with each other and our Mother Earth in a healthy, sustainable manner,” Gosselin said.

A kids zone will be on site adjacent to the kid’s stage where there will be family entertainment featuring The Oot n’ Oots and Kiki the Eco Elf.

“In a world filled with video-games, TV, and other technologies, it’s good to get back into nature,” Gosselin said. “It’s been the playground for kids and adults much longer than anything else.

“This is an amazing and exciting new endeavor on the rise for the North Okanagan. The festival theme fits the lifestyle and the culture that is growing fast around us and all over the world. It is the way of the present and future. We must adapt in order for our planet to thrive and survive. Come see what it’s all about and come learn more and enjoy some incredible music while you’re out there.”

Early bird tickets are available online at www.okomfest.com. Tickets are also available for purchase at Record City for $90 from June 1-30. Regular price is $120 for the weekend, including camping cost. Single day passes will be available at the gate for $60 Friday or Sunday, and $80 for Saturday.

Vernon Morning Star

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