As we turn the page into 2020, Lake Country residents have a lot to be excited about when it comes to upcoming entertainment.
While the district may be small in size, Lake Country has been known to attract big-name acts over the years.
Starting in January, the Okanagan community will host an array of musical talent from country artists to hard-rock bands for young and old to enjoy at the Creekside Theatre.
Ryan Donn, the District of Lake Country’s cultural development coordinator, said local residents will be pleased to see that many of their wishes have been answered this year in terms of the types of acts they want to see at the Creekside Theatre.
Donn credits the meeting of those expectations in large part due to funding by the Lake Country Arts Council.
“I think the most exciting thing is we’ve got a lot more (locally produced shows),” said Donn referring to what will be featured at the Creekside Theatre in 2020.
“Looking back just a few years ago, I was a municipal staff person picking most of the shows for Lake Country. Now, with our Lake Country Arts Council, we’ve got a whole ton of grants going up there.
“The community groups are starting to do a lot more events. So, more grassroots local events are starting to happen and just seeing the local producers starting to step up and produce their own shows and be successful is great.”
Lake Country’s annual Winter Blues Festival will be the first event to kick off the 2020 concert calendar on Jan. 25.
The event has sold out each of the past five years and features a winning mix of blues, ribs, and beer, as well as three stages and an optional supper as part of the event.
Headlining this year’s festival will be the Maple Blues Award-winning Harpdog Brown from Vancouver. Other acts will include Kath and the Tom Kats, Brandon Schmor, Rick “Poppa Dawg” Halisheff and the James Hay Trio.
Then on Feb. 1, The Alan Jackson Experience will perform at the Creekside Theatre.
In March, the theatre will welcome back the popular Arrogant Worms, a Canadian musical comedy trio that parodies many musical genres.
They are well known for their humorous on-stage banter in addition to their music and have sold more than 160,000 copies of their 13 albums.
“There’s a lot of excitement to have the Arrogant Worms back,” said Donn.
“When I first took this job, everybody said I had to get the Arrogant Worms. They haven’t been here for at least five years. So, I think a lot of people that know them are looking forward to having them.
“They were almost a staple playing every year and a lot of people are excited to see them again.”
The Arrogant Worms show is already half-sold out, one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year, according to Donn.
Following The Alan Jackson Experience on Feb. 2, the theatre will host the UBCO Beats, Kelowna’s premier acappella group.
The UBCO Beats will perform their internationally-acclaimed ICCA sets as well as takes on some of the biggest hits from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.
Rounding out the first quarter of 2020 will be four shows in April.
The Heels, a high-energy country trio will headline with the support of Okanagan country music singer Ben Klick April 3.
The following night a Vancouver-based Beatles tribute band will revive the 1960s musical sound of the Fab Four on stage.
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A week later, on April 9, Elvis tribute artist Eli Williams will star in the Elvis On Tour Live show, a complete recreation of the music, the moves and the excitement of Elvis Presley performing in concert.
Finally, on April 28, the Buzz Brass will offer an impressive range of musical styles, from the Renaissance to the present day.
“(Creekside) is very intimate theatre,” said Donn.
“We have 260 seats. A performer could actually be on stage and perform without a sound system and be heard. We specialize in a small town, but big shows and an intimate feel. It’s a great venue to see a show.”