The mission of the Okanagan Institute
is to contribute to
the quality of creative engagement in the Okanagan through publications, events and collaborations.
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CREATING MEANING AND UNDERSTANDING
» Thursday 7 April 2011, 5 pm
» Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna
» $2 at the door. Refreshments are available.
» Seating is limited, please reserve yours HERE
Artists Celebrate the Creative Spirit Through the Gift of Storytelling
Sharing together through the arts continually opens participants to new surprises and authentic enriching exchanges. Quickly it is discovered each of us has stories to tell. Connections are made and a story begins. Stories are the gift of a life. Looking both backward and forward can produce ample material for fruitful storytelling: memories on the one hand, creativity and imagination on the other. Joseph Campbell asserted that this is an age-old truth, and wisdom tales from every culture point to the importance of storytelling as a way of making meaning and sense out of our lives. "We are all made of stories. They are as fundamental to our soul and intellect as flesh, bone and blood are to our bodies" and offer us a way to connect with others. In Michael Novak's Ascent of the Mountains, Flight of the Dove, he stated, "The completed lives of each trace out a story, whose implications reveal what they took the world in which they lived to be, who they thought they were, what in their actions they actually cared about".
On Thursday, April 7th at 5 pm the ongoing Okanagan Institute Express series at the Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna presents The Healing Art of Story.Join us as storytellers Cathyrn Wellner, Jean Montieth and Karen Close discuss the power of the story to connect us to our essential natures, and share our journeys of understanding and healing.
This event was conceived in a story that began about 5 years ago at the Life and Arts Festival where Karen Close purchased a painting from Jean Montieth. The painting was of the very popular Mexican art community of San Miguel de Allende. Both had visited there many times and thus the exchange of memories began. Ultimately they discovered another shared experience. Each of their lives has been enricheded by writing the story of a significant friendship. Cathryn Wellner continues the thread by sharing her love of storytelling.
Cathryn Wellner began her professional career as a French teacher and school librarian in Idaho, Washington, and New York. Next came a decade of travel as a storyteller, performing and offering workshops in the US, Europe, the UK and Canada. When she followed her heart to Canada, she found herself donning gumboots on an organic farm and then a more remote ranch. After serving as the first Project Coordinator for HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living in Northern British Columbia), she moved to Oakland, California to be storytelling director for Stagebridge (America's oldest senior theatre troupe). She returned to BC to take on the post of food and health manager for Interior Health. She now lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley where she continues to feed her passion by sharing stories on three blogs, writing articles, and enthusiastically participating in social media.
Soon to be 86 Jean Montieth's life still vibrates with her enthusiasm for creative expression. She was born and educated in Peterborough Ontario, acquired Ontario teaching certificates and taught primary classes in Peterborough and Secondary Art and adult art classes in Ottawa after studying Art History and creative writing at Carleton University. Pursuit of creative expression has directed her life's path. While in Peterborough she was an active member of the Peterborough Drama Club where she was directed by Robertson Davies. Success on the stage brought her an audition with CBC. She was a Fellow in the Ottawa Watercolour Society, a long time exhibitor with the Ottawa Art Lending Association, and the founding member of the Bells Corners Art Association in Nepean and the Almonte and Area Art Association. Both are still active and strong and Jean continues to show her paintings with solo shows in galleries in Quebec and Ontario, and most recently, in 2003, at the Philip Wood Gallery in Almonte. In 1998 Jean moved to Westbank to be near family. Shortly after, her son moved but Jean stayed. She became a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and has shown in several exhibits in the Okanagan while also keeping active with her other areas of creative expression. She started an Adult Play-reading Group with Seniors living in Sun Village. They have presented one-act plays, and several monologues. With exhilaration she exclaims, "I do hope I stay alive long enough to finish my current passion. I am writing a creative fiction based on a true story."
Another retired teacher who chose to move to the Okanagan, Karen Close is the founder of the Okanagan Institute's ArtsCare program. Her dream is to start a Creative Aging Centre in Kelowna. This dream was seeded in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where she saw the extraordinary vibrancy of a community where people came from all over the world to share in creative expression during their retirement years. In San Miguel, Karen's life was forever impacted by sitting with 86 year old Reva Brooks, listening to her story and that of her husband War Artist Leonard Brooks. The Brooks had moved from Canada to San Miguel in 1947. Their efforts and reputations were significant in developing the art community in San Miguel. Karen recorded this experience in her book Unfinished Women: Seeds from My Friendship With Reva Brooks. These are the seeds that continue to motivate her to advocate for arts and the importance of Sage-ing With Creative Spirit. She is a strong believer that the wealth of retirees is rich with stories that can contribute to the cultural growth of the Okanagan. The arts allow us to share with each other at the deepest levels.
TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT CLICK HERE
The Healing Art of Story takes place at the Bohemian Café, 524 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna. This marks the 195rd event the Okanagan Institute has held since the Express series got underway in 2007. Express is presented in association with the Okanagan Regional Library and Okanagan College.
Express is directed, convened and hosted by Robert MacDonald, Karen Close, Edward McLean and Neil McKay. It has played host to many Okanagan luminaries, including former deputy secretary general of Amnesty International Derek Evans, artists Lee Claremont and Gary Pearson, BC Book Award nominee Don Gayton, CBC Literary prize winner poet Harold Rhenisch, distinguished editor and author Jim Taylor, poet laureate and professor John Lent, creative entrepreneur Nikos Theodosakis, animator and filmmaker Jim Cliffe, community activist Don Elzer, dancer David LaHay, architect Jim Meiklejohn, culinary artist and writer Heidi Noble, broadcaster Marion Barschel and many others from a wide range of creative fields.
Our mission is to ignite cultural transformation, catalyze collaborative action, build networks and foster sustainable creative enterprises. We invite the participation by all members of the creative community.