Ben Klick performed as part of the District of Lake Country’s LIVE! In Lake Country Sidewalk Series after the summer event was cancelled due to COVID-19. (District of Lake Country)

WATCH: Sidewalk series a hit in Lake Country

‘We’re building close community moments,’ says cultural development coordinator

COVID-19 cancelled many beloved annual events, but LIVE! In Lake Country quickly adapted its plans and reformatted its popular summer lineup to comply with restrictions to keep everyone safe.

In March, British Columbia’s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry put into effect a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people which consequently kiboshed all concerts and LIVE! In Lake Country’s regular summer programming.

In response, the District of Lake Country brought its LIVE! series to the people with its sidewalk series featuring artists such as Ben Klick, Poppa Dawg, Opera Kelowna, Cod Gone Wild and Sista B among others.

The last two sidewalk concerts were held Thursday night (Sept. 3).

Since the program kicked off in June, the District of Lake Country hosted 44 intimate performances in cul-de-sacs, driveways and yards for neighbours to enjoy.

Cultural Development coordinator Ryan Donn said this was the most loved project he’s worked on in a while.

“It was a huge success,” he said. “People were craving connection and culture and it came through in spades,” Donn said.

The artists, he said, we’re also very excited about the opportunity.

“For many artists, it’s the first paycheque in months,” he said, noting these performances allowed artists to connect with their audiences and try out new material in a time where performances are hard to come by.

The district began accepting request applications May 7 and Donn said it gave the people something to look forward to amid quarantine.

Donn said the hardest part was keeping the event a secret to ensure audiences didn’t exceed the 50-person limit.

“The response was phenomenal,” Donn said. “People followed the rules, no one wants to be outside the norm.”

“After being so isolated since mid-March it was such a boost to our spirits and morale to be so wonderfully entertained in our very own neighbourhood with social distancing safely practised,” a host wrote to Lake Country council following a performance in June.

“It was the best highlight we have experienced since this pandemic descended upon us.”

As an unexpected byproduct of the hyper-local shows, Donn said, was it brought neighbours together.

“It was neighbours connecting with neighbours — it’s not some random people in the park, it’s the person that lives next door or down the street,” he said.

“We’re building close community moments. There was some really good social cohesion that was being built that we didn’t expect.”

Now, Donn said he’s fielding inquiries about the future of the sidewalk series.

“Residents are asking if we can do it again next year,” he said. “But will there be a pandemic next year?”

READ MORE: WATCH: Lake Country brings the show to you with Sidewalk Concert series

READ MORE: Central Okanagan unemployment rate drops despite decrease in workforce


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Sista B performed as part of the District of Lake Country’s LIVE! In Lake Country Sidewalk Series after the summer event was cancelled due to COVID-19. (District of Lake Country)

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Protest planned after Vernon man’s probation conditions lifted

Richard Slobodian had his probation order cancelled in B.C. Provincial Court Sept. 14

Stranger in truck grabs boy walking home from school in Kelowna

The 11-year-old boy escaped the incident, RCMP are investigating

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read