Enjoy the great indoors this March and get a dose of culture in Kamloops. While there are tons of fun outdoor activities to keep you entertained this spring, downtown Kamloops and the North Shore are full of artsy exhibits, stores, and shows to inspire your creative side.
With two world premieres coming to Kamloops this month, the cultural scene downtown is heating up for the spring with the Kamloops Film Festival drawing in movie-lovers from across the country and new plays and exhibitions opening for the season.
Fall in love with live theatre
Ready for a romantic comedy for an unpredictable world? Western Canada Theatre has a world premiere guaranteed to make you think, laugh, and believe in love when it hits the Pavilion Theatre March 16 to 25. The First Métis Man of Odesa is based on the true love story of the play’s creators– award-winning Canadian playwright Matthew MacKenzie and his wife, award-winning Ukrainian actor Mariya Khomutova.
Telling the tale of Canadian playwright Matt and Ukrainian artist Masha, the First Métis Man of Odesa follows their love story from meeting on a theatre research trip in Kyiv to the beaches of the Black Sea and the riverbanks of the North Saskatchewan River. Even through the onset of a global pandemic and the eruption of a brutal war, the play celebrates moments of joy including marriage and the birth of their son.
Get a new perspective at Kamloops Art Gallery
Explore awesome art at downtown’s Kamloops Art Gallery where you’ll find three thought-provoking collections of artworks this month. Glacial Resonance shares Canadian artist Paul Walde’s enduring concern about environmental crises, channelled through sound and video. Best known for his interdisciplinary performances staged in the natural environment, Walde’s work often involves music and choreography to bring his ideas alive.
Lucas Morneau’s Queer Newfoundland Hockey League (QNHL) playfully and provocatively challenges the prevalence of homophobia and hyper-masculinity in the culture of team sports, by proposing 14 fictional teams that reclaim, empower, and amplify LGBTQIA2S+ voices.
In Hebrew Spelled Backwards, Lindsey Tyne Johnson examines the complexities of identifying as Jewish and the fear and uncertainty that often come with it. Through a combination of modern, spiritual, and Jewish themes, Johnson explores discovering one's ancestry later in life and its connection to familiar experiences and art.
You can also take part in art programs for all ages, from free events like The Fierce Unicorn Shadow Masterminds Collective Art Series with Chris Bose (ages 16-26) and Creator Space (14-21) to art talks for adults like Art & Conversation: Queer Newfoundland Hockey League (QNHL) on March 7. Little ones are not left out with weekly clubs like Young Interpreters (ages 5+), After-School Special (9-12), and Spring Break Art Camp (5-12) to keep the kids entertained this month.
Discover the North Shore’s art scene
Get creative on the North Shore and stop by Heather’s Fabric Shelf to pick up material for a crafty project or try your hand at being an artist at Kamloops Art Party. At the studio you can choose from drop-in sessions or book a party to learn how to create a huge range of art from glassware, acrylic, pottery and resin, to ceramics, paint pouring, sculpting, or watercolours.
Some art is best left to the professionals, and when it comes to body art you can find incredible artists at Psychocity Tattoo & Apparel and also Bigfoot Tattoos, where one of the tattooists is Kelly Wright, a local mixed media artist who creates colourful paintings, murals and of course tattoos.
Sit back and soak up performances by local and visiting performers at Kamloops’ newest event venue, The Effie Arts Collective, which is brimming with creative shows from comedy to open mic, improv, bands and burlesque.
Watch a world premiere film
Film buffs rejoice! The 27th annual Kamloops Film Festival comes to the city this month and opens with the world premiere of Outrunners.
Filmed in and around Kamloops, the action-comedy movie is the directorial debut feature for Kamloops-born-and-raised filmmaker Ken Hegan. Written in Brocklehurst during the pandemic, Outrunners was filmed on location in September 2020 and tells the story of bickering reality stars Emily and Todd who have just three hours to deliver life-saving medicine to Emily’s mom in the middle of a pandemic.
Featuring more than 20 films and events, Kamloops Film Festival is presented by Kamloops Film Society and runs March 2 to 11 at the Paramount Theatre! Highlights include flicks for all the family, DarkFest frightening films, movies that focus on sustainability, and the popular Kamloops Independent Short Shorts (KISS) Film Fest, too.
Say cheers to local artists
Art is all around us and at Red Collar Brewing & Gin Lane Distilling Co you’ll find artistic touches on all the labels, so you can enjoy a bevvy while you browse. Look out for their special labels for the annual collaboration with Western Canada Theatre to celebrate the opening of the classic musical Grease in May – the beer will be a refreshing Raspberry Lemon Blonde Ale called The Pink Lady.
Local designer and photographer Frank Luca has been the main creative voice behind the Red Collar bottle and can labels, and all social media photography, since he joined their Front of House team in 2014. He is also responsible for the Gin Lane brand creation and designs, and continues to work actively behind the scenes (having retired from front of house duties). Now pursuing his graphic design career full-time, you can find examples of Frank's design and photography work throughout the community, as well as for purchase online and at Far & Wide.
If you’re looking for another Instagrammable tipple, head to Moxies and order a gin Lavender Lemonade – this colour-changing drink comes with Beefeater Gin, lemon juice, lavender syrup, and an Empress Gin float!
Support local sports culture
Sports is an integral part of Kamloops’s culture and the Kamloops Blazers are a fun team to support, with plenty of themed nights coming up this month. On March 3, Sports Entertainer Cameron Hughes will be pumping up the crowd and March 11 it’s Logan Stankoven Bobblehead night, with a team autograph session after the game. Look out for First Responder’s night on March 17, special jerseys for Pride Night on March 22 and a Fan Appreciation Night on March 24 with player awards before puck drop.
Whether you want to make art, or just appreciate it, there are plenty of places in Kamloops to unleash your creativity and discover an artsy side to the city. And after a day of immersing yourself in the arts, you can treat yourself to some of the city's fantastic culinary offerings, from farm-to-table cuisine to delicious ethnic fare. Plus, with a variety of travel deals available, you can experience all the city has to offer without breaking the bank. So, come explore Kamloops and let its art scene and food scene leave you feeling inspired and satisfied.