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Christmas market, European style

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The third annual Bottega Christmas market, arts show and concert will be held at Bottega Farm Inn in East Kelowna.
The first two years it was held, the Bottega Christmas market, art show and concert has grown - and this year's edition should see even more visitors.
Held Dec. 14-15 at the farm inn property on Sallows Road in pastoral East Kelowna, the yuletide celebration of arts, crafts, music, baking and more will likely see in excess of 2,000 people come through over the course of two full days.
"This was sparked out of the idea of the European Christmas markets," said Michael Donley, one of the organizers and who also manages the Streaming Cafe in downtown Kelowna. "It's really grown."
He pointed out there were about 1,200 or so visitors the first year, but they're preparing for quite a few more this time around.
Set on the 13-acre Bottega property, with the spectacular farm inn itself tucked inside a pine grove, the market will again feature more than 50 local artists, crafters, sculptors and artisans, along with a smorgasbord of musical entertainment, kids activities, treats, food, drink and more.
"It's really about celebrating community, Christmas and supporting charity," said Graham Ord, himself a musician who has been involved with the Christmas market from the first year it was held. "The last two years it was the Kelowna Community Food Bank and this year it's Kari's Support Society."
As in the European tradition, where markets are held in many cities and villages in the weeks leading up to Christmas, visitors to Bottega can shop for original gifts and treats in a relaxing atmosphere, far removed from the usual retail chaos at this time of year.
"It's not like the hustle and bustle of going to the mall," said Ord. "And there's such a wide range of stuff."
"It's all original pieces you won't find at (a box store)," Donley added.
Bottega Farm Inn donates the spacious facility and staff and will also host the Christmas concert on the Sunday evening, featuring the Vancouver-based jazz quartet, B3 Kings.
Named for the Hammond B3 organ played by group member Chris Gestrin, the ensemble also features jazz luminaries Denzal Sinclaire on drums and vocals, Bill Coon on guitar and Cory Weeds on saxophone.
The B3 Kings have been around since 2002 and are no strangers to Christmas tunes done with a jazz twist. In 2004, they released A Cellar Live Christmas, which featured swinging versions of We Three Kings and Jingle Bells, among other favourites of the season.
While the B3 Kings will bring the festivities to a fitting conclusion, the weekend will also feature, along with all the fantastic, one-of-a-kind crafts and others goodies, plenty of local music in the spirit of Christmas.
"We're going to have the Kelowna Community Choir and harpists from Kelowna Com-
munity Music School," said Ord.
"And Jonathan Heaven will be playing the Hang (an esoteric percussion instrument played with the hands).
"There's also going to be a jazz band and choir from OKM Secondary."
With so many different artisans taking part - featuring art, pottery, wood crafts, jewelry, clothing, kids toys, candies, foods and handmade Christmas decorations - the event will get even the Grinchiest into the spirit of the season and community.
"It's casual and it feels like community," said Ord. "It's really quite magical."
Added Donley: "It really feels like Christmas."
As a prelude to the Christmas market, and certainly worth attending in it's own right, the music and artistic collective Tribehouse is presenting an evening with storyteller Justyn Rees and singer/songwriter Russ Rosen on Dec. 12, also at Bottega.
With Rees' creatively told stories from the first Christmas along with a musical tapestry from Rosen, percussionist Calum Rees and keyboardist/saxophonist Brett Ziegler, there will be many characters re-imagined across cultural borders, including Joseph, the Innkeeper and Dick the Shepherd, among others.

What: The third annual Bottega Christmas market, arts show and concert, and a Tribehouse Christmas celebration with Justyn Rees and Russ Rosen.
Where: Bottega Farm Inn, 4485 Sallows Rd. in East Kelowna
When: Market on Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday evening concert with the B3 Kings at 8 p.m. Tribehouse celebration Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.).
Admission: Daytime by $2 minimum donation with proceeds to support Kari's Support Society. Sunday evening concert tickets (limited to 200) are $25 plus taxes and fees, available in person at the Streaming Cafe, 596 Leon Ave. or at Mosaic Books, 411 Bernard Ave. or online at Tickets for Tribehouse event are $15, available at
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