Anna Jacyszyn

July is so many things to so many people. For some of you, birthdays will fall. For some, it’s all about the grandest hootenanny of the summer — one province over at the Calgary Stampede, which is on until Friday.

Travel even further east to Quebec for its Summer Festival to catch international performers like Iggy Azalea, Keith Urban and Boston, along with the endless list of activities and pop-up performances that line the streets until July 19.

The West Coast will have its Celebration of Light at the end of the month. This to me is a must-see festival of fireworks when dozens of countries compete in a spectacular displays of explosive pyrotechnics full of colour, light and creative grandeur.

An event hosted in Vancouver for almost 30 years, there are ticketed enclosures that boast VIP spots for the best views, and you can purchase your tickets for those locations at hondacelebrationoflight.com, but I usually grab a blanket, a thermos of tea and watch from a beachside location somewhere with friends or my husband.

If you haven’t been yet, I urge you to take the effort because I fear this kind of awe and splendour won’t last another 30 years.

As B.C. gets greener, our prettiest pollutant will cease to be, because fireworks are toxic, leaving metal particles, harmful chemicals and smoke in the air for hours and days. It never occurred to me before, because I just marvelled at the lightshow, but now I read a blog at a terrapass.com that explains some toxins from a firework display “never fully decompose or disintegrate, but rather hang around in the environment, poisoning all they come into contact with.” Oh dear, everything fun is becoming a health hazard.

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With such a large amount of summer festivals scattered all over B.C. this summer, all stacked with food trucks and food stalls, it’s weird but apt that July is being heralded as “plastic free.”

I’ve already hopped on that bandwagon and started using metal straws at home for my Moscow Mules and Spicy Caesars, and I do choose to re-use single-use plastics opting to wash my plates and cheap metal forks instead of throwing out the cheap plastic ones.

Food tastes better when its not served in Styrofoam anyway.

We all own several hot/cold tumblers. Now we need to make the effort to take our own containers, straws, cutlery to the vendors when purchasing street food, home takeaways or at festival kiosks. Read online: myplasticfreelife.com for help on how to do it.

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As we save the planet with one conscious decision after another, let’s also make sure we are having fun. Beginning tomorrow and happening every Thursday until the end of August, it’s Morning Tea at the Lakehouse.

This happens at the historical Mackie Lake House in Vernon. Guests are invited on the veranda overlooking Kalamalka Lake while being served a selection of teas, finger sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream and preserves, with other desserts and delectable. Ticket price for this is $30 or add $5 more for a tour.

Call 250-549-7469 for details. Or purchase tickets from Ticket Seller.

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New Vintage Theatre has another interesting attraction tonight through Saturday at the Black Box Theatre.

52 Pick Up is an interactive play created by Ritz Bozi and TJ Dawe and stars Josh Richardson and Aly Rothery and Directed by Bonnie Gratz. Scene titles are written on playing cards to form a deck, then thrown into the air for the performers to pick up, read and use the title to act out a vignette.

No two performances will be the same.

Tickets are $20 plus fees and can be purchased in advance at selectyourtickets.com or newvintage.ca. Tickets at the door cost $30. The event is for ages 16 and over. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and show time is at 7 p.m.

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This afternoon, I will attend the opening reception of Cool Arts: RE:RECORD, which is an exhibition of reimagined album covers created by a group of artists who were given the task to take an old vinyl record, listen to it fully then reinterpret the cover of the album based on their interpretations of the music. What a great idea.

There are some iconic covers that you don’t mess with, like Nirvana with the diving baby, Velvet Underground and Nico with the yellow banana, the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, Pink Floyd with the triangle and prism colours that rainbow across a black background, or the Patrick Nagal lithograph for Duran Duran’s Rio. (That last one could be just me as I was in love with the band and Simon LeBon should have been my husband).

Cool Arts Society took up this unique challenge with the help of Milkcrate Records, guided by art educator Shimshon Obadia. The result of this will be displayed at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St. Free to attend with the opening reception beginning today at 3:30 p.m.

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Friday night, the Viking Bar on Bernard Avenue that is Muninn’s Post, will transform its vibes to jazz with another instalment of the Classic Album Series created by Craig Thomson.

This month, it’s the Music of Wayne Shorter: Speak No Evil, which was the sixth album he released back in June 1966 by Blue Note Records.

The album combines elements of hard bop and modal jazz, and to keep the aforementioned theme of album images, the cover of Speak No Evil shows Wayne Shorter’s first wife, Teruko (Irene) Nakagami, whom he met in 1961. Tickets for this performance are $15 cash at the door and showtime is 8 p.m.

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Loni Moger and I will be performing poolside at the Coast Capri Hotel on Friday from 7:30 to 10 p.m. We have a lot of concerts coming up, so I will be most likely performing some of the songs I need to give more “live time” to. Come and hang out there is no cover charge.

On Saturday, Sean Bray will fill the spot of accompanying guitarist with me on the microphone. Same time, same place, different guitarist.

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Sunday in Peachland it’s Live Music in The Park with the Roland Allen Rock Trio pumping out covers from Led Zeppelin to R.E.M.as well as his own creations. Part of the Rotary Club Peachland’s free concert series. It’s a chance to bring your sippy cup and reusable containers as there will be food service and beverages served prior to show.

This outdoor event is at the Peachland Heritage Park, Rotary Pavilion and begins at

6 p.m.

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On Sunday evening back at the Black Box Theatre, lovers of Flamenco will get a chance to see Fin de Fiesta Flamenco: ‘SEMPITERNO.’ This passionate dance always excites and creates a vibe that is like no other dance art form.

TIckets are $25 plus fees through kelownatickets.com. The Black Box Theatre is at 1375 Water St. behind the community theatre and the show begins at 8 p.m.

Anna Jacyszyn is an award-winning jazz singer. For interviews, arts news and Valley events list to Listen to Around the Valley with Anna each Saturday at 10.45 a.m. on OkanaganValleyRadio.com Email: artafactevent@gmail.com.

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