Peachland Community Arts Council

Here’s what’s new in the Peachland arts community!

Really cool idea from the Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society – Local artists worked on their 10×10 canvasses, and now they’re being sold at the Visitor Centre for $150 each! The money goes towards funding for the plaza, plus the artists are supported too. You can check out the display from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Gardeners and local artists alike are sowing the seeds for an event in Peachland that’s coming back this year: The Peachland Art & Garden Tour is planned for Saturday June 12. Barb Opinko and Linda Norden are taking care of the garden part, while the Peachland Community Arts Council is busy organizing artists whose work will be displayed at the gardens chosen for the show.

“There will be great gardens, great artwork as well as great prizes,” Opinko says.

Tickets are $15 and available starting May 12 at the Peachland Visitor Centre, Peachland Ace Hardware, the Peachland Wellness Centre, and at Bylands garden centre in West Kelowna. And yes, the event will adhere to all COVID protocols (masks, social distancing, etc).

This year, Opinko says they want to give away a grand prize of a large hanging basket – just like the ones the District of Peachland hangs every year along Beach Ave.

Last summer, Barb and I took a quick tour downtown, and I also visited the garden of one of my subscribers, Susan Van Noortwyk. Beautiful!



It was all smiles at the Peachland Visitor Centre when local historian Richard Smith unveiled his work – different scenes of our town that are now on the new bottles from Hainle Vineyards Estate Winery.
“I did one scene every day for about two weeks,” says Richard. He and Hainle owner Bella Huang met awhile back, when Richard was giving a talk on the history of Peachland at the historic school house.
“At the end of the talk, she said she was very interested in Peachland’s history. I don’t know of any other winery anywhere, that puts their own town on labels.”
The April 24 and 25 event also served as a fundraiser for the Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society. Presales of the new vintages went towards the cause – up to $3,000!

The Peachland Historic School Accessible Plaza Society has been busy! You can follow their new Facebook page for updates and they just launched a fundraising page.Their plan is to build a wheelchair / scooter / stroller-friendly plaza in front of the visitor centre (here’s a pic of what it could look like).

You can buy local art and help raise money for the plaza while helping the arts community! A total of 23 Okanagan artists have created an original 10 x 10 piece of art. Each piece costs $150 and proceeds go towards the plaza fund and the artist. The display will be set up at the Peachland art gallery.



Visitor Centre manager Trina Shields and volunteer Vivian Parenteau with some canna lillies, dug from the District’s gardens. It was one of the fundraisers for the Accessible Plaza project.




Peachland’s new visitor centre manager says 2020 was actually pretty good, tourism wise. We even had more visitors than our neighbours, Trina Shields recently told councillors.

“We managed to surpass both West Kelowna and Summerland,” she said, noting although numbers are obviously down from 2019, the Peachland Visitor Centre still welcomed 4,449 visitors in 2020.

“And from Jan. 9 to Feb 23, our visitor statistics have increased 74.3%,” Shields says.

The Visitor Centre (which is operated through the Peachland Community Arts Council) has a few fun plans for 2021. They’ll be selling more local art, clothing and other gift shop items, there will be new information panels highlighting both BEEPS and Peachland’s history (and a podcast is in the works too), and depending on the rules in place, a walking history tour is planned, too.

Check out the Visitor Centre’s new website!


Peachland Community Arts Council President Deborah Livingstone also updated councillors during the same Feb. 23 meeting. With a dozen umbrella groups, 14 directors and about 500 members in all, the PCAC, founded back in 1990, has become a huge creative hive of pretty much any art form you can imagine.

“We have a writing group, a gardening group, a ukulele group, historians and a miniature enthusiasts group,” she said, noting everything is run mainly by volunteers. It takes more than 7,500 volunteer hours in fact, to run all five of the PCAC’s main programs.

When it comes to the art gallery, she says they received more than 20 proposals for exhibitions in 2021, and they’re currently booking into 2022. She says Janet Hornseth deserves a special mention for her work here:

“As always, kudos goes to our art gallery coordinator Janet Hornseth and talented hanging crew. Janet has dedicated herself to the success of our art gallery. She’s done an amazing job setting the stage for many, many years of successful exhibitions,” Livingstone said.

“We’re grateful we can open the doors and offer a creative, welcoming, bright spot in the community.”




Peachland’s HeARTS Festival turned ten years old this year and artists of all ages got involved, virtually. The Feb 8-13 event ended up showcasing 85 different images, proving how the COVID-related chaos in our world can summon creativity from anyone:

From left to right, starting at the top..

Meredith Miller (Let Your Heart Soar wall hanging)

Paula McLaughlin (macrame wall hanging)

Hannah Knox, age 16 (photography)

Darlene Romanko and her granddaughter Maelle, age 7 (fabric crochet)

Susan Gotfried contributed this Welcome quilt

Hannah Firth, age 8 (drawing)

Linda Schneider made this quilt for her granddaughter, Neve.

Debbie Elliott (pottery)

Susan Haglund (Propagation piece)

PCAC president Deb Livingstone tells me (via email) that Peachland Elementary students also decorated their own paper hearts, which volunteers will hung from ribbons in the Visitor Centre’s boardroom. She says they’ll miss the grand showcase of local art that usually fills the community centre (won’t we all!)

“Hopefully by next year we’ll be back in the swing of things,” she says.




Volunteer Phyllis Papineau sent me an email recently. They’re kicking off this year’s edition by taking a peek at Peachland’s past. Do you know what year the Little Schoolhouse was built? Or what present-day restaurant was once a gas station? If you don’t, that’s OK – you can go find out! Download and print the quiz here (or pick one up at the Visitor Centre) and go for a walk along the waterfront. You’ll find your answers on different plaques and markers along the lakefront. Entries are due Feb 7! Phyllis says this is something they’re hoping to organize on a regular basis. It’s fun, and, as she points out, even our town’s entrance signs are about our tie to times of old!

“The signs at the north and south entrances say ‘welcome to historic Peachland’, so why not let 2021 be the year to learn about our fabulous past?”


There’s a new installation at the Peachland Art Gallery. Captured Images is a collection of photographic works from 36 different Okanagan-based photographers. The exhibition runs until March 28. The art gallery (in the Peachland Visitor Centre) is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.





Image courtesy the PCAC..

There’s landscapes, animals and much more on the walls of the Peachland Art Gallery – they’re the visions of five different (and obviously talented) artists whose work is currently featured on the walls of the Peachland Art Gallery.

The Five Visions art show began Saturday Jan. 9. More than 60 different paintings from BC Artist Guild talents Cherie Sibley W., Dianne Postman, Cecile Derkatch, Suzanne Dansereau and Arlene Currie Plumpton will be featured. You’re welcome to come see their work, but of course keep in mind COVID-related rules are in effect (only ten people at a time are allowed in the gallery area). The art gallery (in the Peachland Visitor Centre) is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Five Visions art show wraps up on Feb. 7.






Some local artists’ work featured during Artists of the Okanagan: Susan Haglund (top), Jean Allen (left), Jean Brandel, and Susan Driussi (right).

There was a sculptor, a photographer and a couple painters – and they all represented Peachland during Artists of the Okanagan, a showcase of 85 works of art from all over the valley that wrapped up Dec. 23, 2020.

I ran into artist Wayne Power (yes, at a distance), on opening day back in November:

“I really like the variety this show has,” said Wayne, whose work was selected for the exhibit. Other featured Peachland artists were: Berkeley Stuart, Michael Healey, Susan Driussi, Susan Haglund, Jean Allen and Jean Brandel.

Power, by the way, is offering a series of four workshops coming up in February. Each week, he’ll cover a different medium – pencil, acrylics, watercolours and pastels (again with COVID protocol in effect). It’s planned for February and because attendance numbers are very limited, once registration opens you should act fast! I’ll update that info here. All supplies are provided, from watercolours to graphite pencils, chalk pastels and acrylics. By the end of the series, you’ll have your own monochrome piece of art created by…you!




Here’s a message about the Peachland Community Arts Council, from president Deborah Livingstone

We have a very vibrant arts scene in Peachland!  We have painters, sculptors, fibre artists, singers, actors, photographers, carvers and more.  Add in an active group of volunteers and thousands of hours spent sharing all kinds of art, and you have a very active and exciting Arts Council. We represent 13 umbrella organizations in Peachland, welcoming many members from West Kelowna as well. We proudly represent both communities. We got our start in 1997 as an initiative of the Peachland Economic Development Committee. Today we have over 400 members.

The historic yellow schoolhouse is home to the Peachland Art Gallery, and other PCAC programs.

Housed in the 1908 Historic Yellow Schoolhouse on Beach Ave, the PCAC now operates the provincially-designated Visitor Centre, in the historic yellow schoolhouse is home to the Peachland Art Gallery, and other PCAC programs, in addition to an exceptional Art Gallery.

Every year we contribute $5000 towards a community project. We designed and installed the Remembrance Day Banners for Beach Ave honouring our fallen soldiers in WWI and WWII. We built the information kiosk at the Historic School featuring the story of our resident bats in the attic. We also donated the outdoor children’s musical instruments across from Bliss Bakery.

The mandate of the Peachland Community Arts Council is to stimulate, develop and encourage all the arts as a major contributor to the overall quality of life and economic well-being of Peachland and the Okanagan Valley.



See April 2 story: Making the best of a strange situation: Introducing Peachland’s 2020 visitor centre manager

Written by Kristen Friesen

May 4, 2020

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