Vernon Proms

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Over the past two years, despite pandemic and heavy forest fire ­activity, Natalia Polchenko and her Vernon Proms festival team have ­continued to present live music. “I hope that this year we will not encounter any disasters,” says Polchenko, who moved the ­festival to an earlier date this summer to avoid the fire season.

Stronger After The Storm

The festival is proud to commission new music; this year, they will ­première a work by Imant Raminsh, a  noted Canadian composer who happens to live in Vernon. “The piece, O Language Where Language Ends, is a song cycle about arts and music for string quartet, mezzo-­soprano and baritone. We will end our festival with that song-cycle.

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“We have seen first-hand that the pandemic and the fire season have been difficult situations and we never had such an emotional response to live music from our audience.” The tone of this year’s festival will be coloured by emotions related to the war in Ukraine, since Polchenko is Ukrainian.

Vernon Proms is unique in Western Canada, and stems from the ­desire to offer a reasonably priced classical-music tourist destination for people in the region. Our place here in the Okanagan is a fantastic touristic destination; we have ­beautiful nature, biking and hiking trails, wine, food and agritourism, and if we add a classical-music festival on top of it, I hope it will ­become a classical-music touristic destination. Our festival is a great budget quality alternative, one I hope people can afford to go to.”

The lineup for this year’s festival has more than 25 events spread over three weeks from June 23 to July 17. Events include: a concert of French baroque music with the period instruments ensemble ­Contrasto Armonico; the traditional favourite all-Bach concerts, which will include three cantatas under the direction of concertmaster Susan Schaffer and choral director Terry Pitt-Brooke; five public concerts at Polson Park; two jazz concerts; and many fantastic concerts of ­Okanagan and Shuswap favourites (musicians, ensembles and ­studios). The final gala concert “Art in Life” features the Sycamore String ­Quartet and vocal soloists. Beside the première of Raminsh’s song cycle, the program includes Fratres by Arvo Pärt and the Suite on Ukrainian Folk Themes, Op. 45, by Borys Lyatoshinsky.

June 23 to July 17, 2022; Vernon, B.C.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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