LETTER: Summerland festival celebrates George Ryga’s legacy

Renowned author and playwright lived in Summerland from the 1960s to the 1980s

Dear Editor:

With Labour Day approaching, it is time again for the annual Ryga Festival in Summerland running from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2.

Those jam-packed days will feature concerts, a new opera, plays, readings by B.C. authors, exhibitions, a Hootenanny, and creative workshops to celebrate the rich legacy of George Ryga, the renowned author who lived here from the 1960s to the 1980s.

For a dozen years his home on Caldwell Street served as an arts centre and writers’ retreat, but the Ryga Centre Society was forced to sell the house and was dissolved in 2012.

Soon after, the idea for a living festival inspired by the spirit of George Ryga was born.

Now in its third year, the Ryga Festival has enjoyed strong and growing support from the whole Summerland community: from the District, from business owners, and individual volunteers. We are grateful for all the help and contributions to this communal enterprise.

This is your festival. Our artistic director, Heather Davies, has devised yet again a varied and original program, combining talent from across Canada with that of dozens of local artists, writers and performers.

Our partners include the Summerland Community Arts Council, the Art Gallery, the Library, the Museum, Singers and Players and others.

We invite all of Summerland to check out the events on our website at www.rygafest.ca where you can buy your tickets through Eventbrite, or support us through a tax-deductible donation.

Or you can drop by the Festival Office at the Arts Centre on Wharton Street. Several of the events are free, thanks to grants from all levels of government.

I hope to greet you, your family and friends at one of the many exciting events at the Ryga Festival.

Peter Hay, Board of Directors

Ryga Festival Society

Summerland

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