|Ryan Donn is booking the musical acts for the fourth annual Global Music Fest, coming up March 1-3 in Kelowna.|
That's the simple approach event producer and local musician Ryan Donn took when he was booking the musical acts for the fourth annual Global Music Fest, coming up March 1-3 at the Laurel Packinghouse and Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna.
Crowds attending last year were entertained by the likes of Vernonite Andrew Allen and Vancouver indie popsters Rococode, along with locals such as Dan Oig, Leah West and Mark Irving. But, according to Donn, perhaps the musical highlight of the whole event was the Bhangra group En Karma of Vancouver, which kept the audience jumping with its infectious energy and exotic sound.
"That kind of clicked," said Donn, who's booked the acts again this year for the three-day festival of music and entertainment. "And it was the first time we really had the word 'global' represented in the music.
"We introduced a whole new sound and visuals Kelowna's never seen. The response was amazing; after seeing that, I used those guys as my anchor of what we were going to strive towards this year."
Global Music Fest is just one part of the ninth annual Global Citizen Kelowna Week, a collection of events that's been under way since mid-February, designed to entertain, educate and inspire people and celebrate the role of Kelowna's citizens involved in international humanitarian efforts.
This year's edition of the music event features Friday headliners, rock-pop sextet Boom Booms of Vancouver, who will bring energy and exuberance to the Laurel Packinghouse, along with support act The Ponderosas. The world music sound of Saturday's headliners, San Francisco's Mazacote, will follow them. Some may be familiar with their Latin swing and Salsa, as they played here at the Summer Street Social event, and they'll be sure to have the Laurel jumping again, as will warm-up act Kytami, a truly innovative violinist.
While both nights at the Laurel Packinghouse are 19+ events. The Global Music Festival closes Sunday night with a singer/songwriter evening headlined by Canadian Jodi King, with Kelowna's Corey Doak in support.
All in all, it should be three nights of wide-ranging musical styles, as befits the inclusive name of the whole event.
"Our target audience has been that 20 - 40 (year-old) demographic, but I don't want to turn anyone away," said Donn. "We wanted it to be accessible to everyone."
With financial help from the City of Kelowna, the federal government and Accelerate Okanagan, the musical festival and Global Citizen Week, as a whole, was designed to bring attention to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. A list of eight objectives, such as eradicating poverty and hunger, reducing child mortality, ensuring environmental sustainability and achieving universal primary education, were the targets created by the world organization in 2000.
With somewhere in the neighbourhood of 40 local non-governmental groups which work largely in the developing world, Global Citizen Week provides an opportunity for them to have a presence at Global Music Fest and other events, so they can get the word out on the valuable work they do.
"Global Citizen Kelowna is more than just entertainment, said Donn. "Everything we do is to promote the Millennium Development Goals.
"We have a pretty darn good quality of life here, but every piece of this is raising the quality of life around the world."
To that end, the week-long event also featured a speaker series, A Taste of Home (a sampling of world cuisine), Artist's Eye on the World, the Millennium Development Challenge and the eye-opening Global Children's Village.
Events have in fact been going on since Feb. 16 and continue through Sunday, so the best way to see what's up is to go online to globalcitizenkelowna.org, or check it out on Twitter and Facebook.
Donn and the organizers are hoping people will check out the plethora of educational and inspiring events, and perhaps be spurred into action that may just make the world a better place.
Music is, after all, the universal language and with the variety of talent taking the stage this year, Global Music Fest will be a great way to wind down the whole week.
As Donn explained, while Global Citizen Week Kelowna is all about raising awareness of global issues, the Global Music Fest is also a great opportunity to dust off those special shoes for a night or two.
"Anyone that wants to dance should come," he said.
What: The fourth annual Global Music Fest, part of Global Citizen Week Kelowna.
Where: The Laurel Packinghouse, 1304 Ellis St. and Trinity Baptist Church, 1905 Springfield Rd.
When: Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at the Laurel Packinghouse and Sunday, March 3 at Trinity Baptist Church. Each show begins at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $12 in advance or $15 at the door. Available at Leo's Video, 2680 Pandosy St., or the Bike Shop Cafe, 1357 Ellis St., or online at globalcitizenkelowna.org/gmf