George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)

COLUMN: Ryga Arts Festival and the library present Extended Play

It’s not going to be the same as a live performance, but viewing from home can be magical

​An evening to look forward to with words and music to fill your heart.

The Summerland Library has partnered once again with the Ryga Arts Festival to host the virtual event Extended Play on Monday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m., with tickets on sale now for only $8 per viewing. Visit rygafest.ca to purchase a ticket for your household.

​Author Frances Greenslade, poet Sharon Thesen, and queer writer and performer Michael V. Smith will be the word portion of the evening.

Indie folk singer Marin Patenaude will be providing the musical interludes.

READ ALSO: Ryga Arts Festival to include short play competition

READ ALSO: Ryga Arts Festival to include virtual and in-person events

I know it’s not going to be quite the same as a live performance, but viewing from the comfort of your home can be just as magical.

​Make the evening special for yourself. Set out a cheese and cracker platter, pour a glass of local wine or sparkling cider and relax as you listen to and watch these talented people.

Take some time beforehand to read some of their books, available to borrow from the library.

​Frances Greenslade’s first novel, Shelter, is set in the interior of B.C in the early 1970s. A deeply compassionate and moving story about the love between two sisters and the bonds of family. From the first chapter on you will be captivated.

​Sharon Thesen’s book of poetry, Oyama Pink Shale, captures words and transforms them into vivid depictions of life. Such a treat to read.

​Michael V. Smith is an amazing talent. His introduction to the poetry collection, Bad Ideas, addresses his anxieties in order to better understand them. Poems are unique in that way, and Smith’s words convey a lot of feelings. His courageous biography, My Body Is Yours, breaks gender norms and is his story of growing up gay in a small town.

​Indie Folk singer Marin Patenaude will be blending jazz, folk and blues into a soothing medley of songs. Her latest album, Sight Unseen, showcases her gorgeous voice and lyrics. How lucky are we to be hosting such a talented musician.

​Extended Play will be an evening to remember, a positive and impactful joining of voices that would have made George Ryga proud.

Caroline McKay is the community librarian at the Summerland branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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