Born in Belfast, thriving in British Columbia, Canada, where the wild things are. Writer, spoken word poet, poet busker, always looking for ways to share word.
Visit me at laevans.ca and popuppoetry.ca or my blog Buddy Breathing.
Published May 24th 2013
Don't stay late in bed or head to the mall on a sunny day in Kelowna, British Columbia. There's so much to do outside. Summers are hot and sunny, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 35 °C (95.0 °F) and an average of 300.5 hours of sunshine in July.
The gemstone of the Okanagan Valley, located four hours inland from Vancouver, British Columbia, and 7 hours from Calgary, Alberta, the City of Kelowna is home to over 120,000 residents. Kelowna offers a small city feel with sophisticated big city choices. Sidewalk cafes and coffee shops, walking paths and trails, waterfront parks, clean beaches, quaint old neighbourhoods with vintage homes and gardens, upscale shopping and restaurants are all available in pedestrian friendly environments.
It's Spring here in Kelowna, and the warm sunshine is drawing out apple, peach and cherry blossoms, avid gardeners, and people who are happy to be outside participating in our lively community. It's always a good time to travel to the Okanagan, but Spring and Fall offer wine festivities in addition to all the other offerings of the area.
As you are out and about in Kelowna, you might just see one of the many buskers promoted by Festivals Kelowna in one of many 'buskstop' locations around town. Buskers are becoming the norm here, and this year is pointing to being one of the most exciting ones yet with offerings of music, dance, acrobatics and spoken word poetry.
Local poet Lesley-Anne Evans is the very first licensed poet busker in Kelowna. Her Pop-Up-Poetry has been installed in trees, on benches, under windshield wipers, and read to passersby for almost a year. But the opportunity to participate in the buskers program sent Evans in to audition for a spot, and she is now backed by Festivals Kelowna, who also organize the Parks Alive, Art's Alive, and Experience Canada Day celebrations as well.
Busk stops are at fifteen different locations, and can be accessed by buskers 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a max. of 2 hours at a time. Buskers are encouraged to be respectful of neighbouring businesses, and amplified sound must be kept low volume. No bagpipes are permitted! Tips are optional, but as all artists are usually starving, they are encouraged as well.
Kelowna has developed from a sleepy orchard town in the 1950's to a destination tourist city with internationally respected University of British Columbia - Okanagan, a thriving arts community, Okanagan College, a regional cancer centre and teaching hospital, world class wineries such as Mission Hills and Quail's Gate, and many fine restaurants, lodgings, and an abundance of cultural and outdoor activities. And, the orchards and farms are still here, just a short scenic drive away.