The Red Couch

Red Couch and Liz RanneyRED COUCH is a pop-up visual arts gallery celebrating the art of Metro Community artists and friends. Red Couch doesn’t take a commission, instead they support, honour and share Metro Community artists works in hopes they will find a way into the lives and hearts of others.

Lesley-Anne led the ideation and creation of Red Couch, and is excited to be opening the bright little street front space to the public. 

Lesley-Anne Evans, Librettist on opening night

For me, Metro Community is a convergence point of spirit and art, made up of people who are hungry to belong, to be heard, and loved, and at the same time are risk takers open to creative expression and the rawness of sharing that process with others. I’ve seen transformation take place, for example, within our writing circles, where the hard truths of personal experience are spoken of and held with such grace and tenderness. The marginalized and vulnerable are capable of deep love and trust, which is a beautiful mystery.
So I believe Red Couch is going to be a surprising place where image dei and the creative spirit of Metro Community is celebrated, and I expect those who come to see the art might just sense something otherworldly is taking place here.
Lesley-Anne Evans, Metro’s Art Curator, and poet/community artist

Red Couch window

If you pass by Red Couch on St. Paul Street in Kelowna, you will see a number of brilliant, vibrant portraits newly installed in the space. They were created by the talented artist Liz Ranney, and will be on display through August 15th. Liz designed the Red Couch logo, and along with her husband, artist Dylan Ranney, consulted with Lesley-Anne during gallery planning and implementation. Liz and Dylan are Metro Community family.

You might like to know why a red couch?

The retro, up-cycled couch in the Red Couch was found in the corner of a thrift shop. Like the overlooked, burnt out, vulnerable, and disenfranchised people often welcomed into Metro Community, the red couch is slightly tattered, and is an imperfectly beautiful centrepiece. The red couch has become a symbol of home and radical welcome, the heart of Metro Community and the art gallery.

“Paint The Town Red” is a mini-launch for the gallery which will take place at Red Couch on Thursday, July 6, 2017 from 5-7 pm. Wear something red for a photo op with the red couch. Red Couch is at 1262 St Paul Street, Kelowna.

Follow Red Couch on Facebook www.facebook.com/artbymetro/

Enquire about showing your work at Red Couch: lesleyanne@metrocommunity.ca

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Metro Community Artist-in-Residence

DSC_0038_2In September 2014, Lesley-Anne Evans was asked to facilitate a small group of poets and writers at Metro Community’s Metro Central, a Kelowna street level gathering place for the marginalized. The “Poetry Circle” at Metro has become a weekly open table where regulars and newcomers are welcomed and heard. Participants are invited to share words in any form, life stories, and encouraged to live out the creative thumbprint of God on their lives that heals and transforms along the way.

“Art is a wound turned into light.”

At Poetry Circle, Lesley-Anne facilitates a way to belong and be known that grows through sharing creative works of writing, mainly poetry. Word activities include introductions to published poets and their work (contemporary and masters), free writing, found poetry, letter writing, and discussions around creative process.

The Poetry Circle has initiated projects such as the Metro Little Free Library, and stewards and stocks it with gently used books from generous donors such as SHARE and Bibles For Missions. A recent fundraiser became an opportunity for the first exhibition of one community member’s visual art and poetry. Lesley-Anne continues to look for ways of engagement that grow out of the common ground of creative arts and community.

Being known and knowing one another is where it all begins. A rich history of artistic expression within Metro Community, and deep ongoing potential, requires presence to build trust and invite engagement. Which is why Lesley-Anne has committed to being Metro Community’s Artist-In-Residence at Metro Central. 

What is an Artist-In-Residence? Artist-in-residence programs and other residency opportunities exist to invite artists, academicians, curators, and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. They provide a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production. They also allow an individual to explore his/her practice within another community; meeting new people, using new materials, experiencing life in a new location. Art residencies emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange and immersion into another culture. (Wikepedia)

Lesley-Anne will be present at Metro Central on Tuesdays and Thursdays during open hours. Feel free to drop by and visit, and if you are a poet/writer, the Poetry Circle is open from 9:30-10:30 am on Tuesdays.

If you are an artist, poet, musician, dancer, photographer, with a heart for social engagement through the creative arts, please connect with Lesley-Anne in person or at mygracenotes@gmail.com.

Metro Central is at 1470 Water Street, Kelowna, across from B.C. Tree Fruits.

Lake of Tears ~ An Opera

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Photograph by Claire C. Evans

LAKE OF TEARS

Imant Raminsh | Composer • Lesley-Anne Evans | Librettist

In October, 2014, Lesley-Anne Evans was approached by Opera Kelowna Artistic Director, Alexandra Babbel, to write a libretto for a multi-arts collaborative between Opera Kelowna and the Kelowna Art Gallery.

In the vein of Tracy Chevalier‘s novel “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and the subsequent screen adaptation of the novel which brings an oil painting by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer to life, KAG commissioned renowned B.C. artist Jane Everett to create an installation of visual art that will come alive in an Opera Kelowna production based on the theme of water. Everett’s oversize vellum screens and sculptural pieces will engage the audience in a fully sensual experience, accompanied by filmography by Daniel Cameron.

Lesley-Anne Evans‘ compelling story Lake of Tears, Canadian in content and Okanagan in setting, follows young heroine Masika on an extraordinary journey of self discovery. The narrative of treachery, love, and destiny does not disappoint. Lake of Tears has been now been set to music, and performance dates confirmed.

Imant Raminsh, respected Canadian composer of Latvian descent, best known for his choral compositions, has created a luminous musical score for Lake of Tears. Raminsh is one of the top leading Canadian composers of our day, his repertoire performed world wide.

Opera Kelowna’s star cast includes Calgary’s soprano Ainsley Soutiere, Penticton’s mezzo-soprano Mia Harris, Vancouver’s tenor Frederik Robert, and Toronto’s baritone Tyler Fitzgerald, along with a female chorus of “voices of many waters.”

A sneak preview of the work will be held in February, 2016. Lake of Tears World Premier Gala Performance will be held in July, 2016, in the atrium space of the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Additional performances will be offered to the public, as well as educational opportunities available to local schools.

Ticket Sales TBA, through the Opera Kelowna website.

News Bits

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1. Cascadia Review is publishing four of Lesley-Anne’s poems in their Fall 2015 Issue. Stay tuned.

2. We have just learned that Lesley-Anne’s blog, Buddy Breathing, specifically her post “Of Bugs and Bones” will be featured in the May 4, 2015, SOUL TELEGRAM – a newsletter of the best spirituality writing on the web.  For more information on SOUL TELEGRAM, check out www.soultelegram.com.

3. Geosi Gyasi interviewed Lesley-Anne about her writing and poetry for an upcoming article on his blog, Geosi Reads.

4. April 2015, another National Poetry Month well celebrated, included Lesley-Anne’s recent Pop-Up-Poetry forays in Kelowna, and a collaborative Flash Poem, called Re-Vitalize.

5. Rumours of Opera Kelowna’s collaboration with Kelowna Art Gallery in the creation of a dramatic visual arts installation and premier performance of a new opera work in Kelowna this October, are true. Lesley-Anne reports she has just completed the libretto/script, as work continues on the musical composition. More news to follow.

6. Interest continues to grow for Lesley-Anne’s innovative photographic arts products, available through Nuvango. Lesley-Anne’s recent additions include the patina of “Camo” on t-shirts, gel skins and canvases.

Creative collaborative

Fab Four Poets

Poets, from left to right; Emmy Chahal, Nygel Metcalfe, Lolu Oyedele, and Lesley-Anne Evans.

Make Love Poems ~ Live Poetry Show

Wednesday evening, four local Kelowna poets served up a live poetry show called “Make Love Poems” at heART School on Pandosy. Each poetic collaborator, collaborated collaboratively in a love poem collaborative. They wrote #hastag poems on social media leading up to their event, then pinned up #allwedoismakelovepoems Pop-Up-Poetry around Kelowna as an invitation and a gift to whomever found them. Their event included individual work and, your guessed it, collaborative works. The audience was invited to collaborate in an interactive poem, posted HERE. It was an extraordinarily creative and heart warming meeting of intellects, minds and souls. True collaboration.

Full Definition of COLLABORATE (edits mine)

1. to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor
2. to cooperate with or willingly assist an enemy of one’s country and especially an occupying force
3. to cooperate with an agency or instrumentality with which one is [was] not immediately connected [before.]
col·lab·o·ra·tor \-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tər\ noun
col·lab·o·ra·tive·ly \-lē\ adverb
col·lab·o·ra·tive \-ˈla-bə-ˌrā-tiv, -b(ə-)rə-\ adjective or noun
col·lab·o·ra·tion \-ˌla-bə-ˈrā-shən\ noun

Want more?

For those who are interested in more of the poets, following are vital stats that will allow you to connect (for future collaborations perhaps!)

And, if you are interested in adding your name to the growing list of those interested in an #allwedoismakelovepoems book, please do so by commenting on our event Facebook Page HERE.

The Poets ~ Vital Statistics

LESLEY-ANNE EVANS
Belfast, NI/Toronto, Ont.
Leo
Water mystic
Becoming
Want more Lesley-Anne?
https://laevans.ca/
http://popuppoetry.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lesley-Anne-Evans-Poet/126110616311?ref=br_tf
mygracenotes@gmail.com

EMMY CHAHAL
Burnaby, B.C.
Airies
Earth mama
Song-story
Want more Emmy?
emmy.chahal@gmail.com

LOLU OYEDELE
Johnnesburg, S.A.
Leo
Water bender
passion-filled
Want more Lolu?
Check out Theatre 26, UBCO

NYGEL METCALFE
Kelowna, B.C.
Leo
Air bender
Slamtastic
Want more Nygel?
nygelmetcalfepoetry.com
birdsofcray.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/nygelmetcalfepoetry…

“Make Love Poems” Live Poetry Show

DSC_0435< All we do is make love poems. >

An evening of unconventional celebration. Four local poets take the stage to share snapshots from their journeys, moments captured in the evolution of their insides.

Spend an evening immersing yourself in the vivid stories and poems of Emmy Chahal, Nygel Metcalfe, Lesley-Anne Evans, and Lolu John Oyedele, celebrating the month of love and loss at heART School. True stories, from every peak and canyon they have found themselves. Only one rule – they have to be LOVE poems.

Special wine and beer menu will be available, as well as a selection of lovely treats.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 @ 8:00 PM

heART School, 1546 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, B.C.

Tickets $15 each, couple price 2 for $20, or date night* price $80

*The Date Night price includes two tickets and a romantic care package carefully crafted by a local caterer, including specialty chocolates, gourmet nibbles, and wine pairings from local vineyards. Limited Availability, only through Eventbrite.

Tickets available now at Eventbrite, or at the door

“Every poet who is writing has love poems. No question – its our Achilles heel. We have them in spades. Truly, though, and more accurately, every person EVER has love poems – even if they haven’t written them down, there are bound to be love poems and little scrawled notes of hopes and dreams, stacked up inside of them, like old newspapers lining the hallways of a hoarders apartment, waiting to be read by someone who knows the incantation – the one who learns how to speak the language of their inner world.”

Feature Poet at OUR Coffeehouse

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Lesley-Anne Evans will perform her poetry and spoken word at OUR Coffeehouse as their Feature Poet on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.
OUR Coffeehouse is a Kelowna Open Mic presented by Artists For Creative Alliance (ACA), and takes place the middle and last Wednesday of each month in Reid’s Hall at the historic Benvoulin Church. “Organic, Unplugged, and Rootsy,” OUR Coffeehouse is, “a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for our community to relax and enjoy some of our wonderful local talent in a listening environment.” LIKE OUR on Facebook, and mark your calendar for this upcoming event.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Doors open at 6:45
Open Mic starts at 7:00
Feature Performer(s) on stage at 8:45
Display/exhibit by Feature Artist/Artisan
Reid Hall – Benvoulin Church
2279 Benvoulin Road in Kelowna
$5.00 at the door