|TribeHouse members Norm Strauss, left,Â Graham Ord,Â Debbie Moore and Dave Moore are actively involved with the artist's collective group. The Sallows Road house is in the process of being renovated and will be central to their Kelowna activities, including workshops and other events.|
For one, there are no membership dues and, in fact, there aren't really any official members.
"If you want to be part of TribeHouse, you can be," said musician/producer Graham Ord. "And if you feel like you're part of it, you are.
"But there are no 'members' because there's nothing to join."
As their website states, TribeHouse is "an artist collective interested in creating a culture of collaboration and conversation about the mystery of faith, arts and social justice."
Beyond that, however, TribeHouse is, as Ord explained, a group of like-minded friends who, together, draw strength and inspiration from each other.
Taking inspiration for their name from the German word for greenhouse, A cornerstone of the TribeHouse group is a common Christian faith, but that's not something they seek to push to the forefront.
"We're not trying to start a church or anything," said Ord. "A lot of people we knew had a faith, but they weren't only thinking that it had to remain within the church.
"We want to be a place where people can be creative without some of the confines that are usually present."
It's a little hard to say when exactly the idea of TribeHouse came to fruition, but suffice to say it was sometime around the fall of 2010. Ord, who emigrated to Canada from the U.K. 15 years ago, ran the residential Canada West music school in Kelowna from 2008-10 with long-time friend and fellow musician/producer Norm Strauss.
"After two years, we realized we were only reaching 15 to 20 people at a time."
Club Penguin website founder Dave Krysko, and Dave and Debbie Moore were also there pretty much from the beginning as the idea evolved and grew.
"At the root of it, it's just a bunch of friends who happen to be artists," said Strauss. "And we like working together and a lot of collaboration has happened over the years.
"We all have a heart to make the world a better place through art, and we found that working together on stuff, we work better and things are more creative."
Although it starting from a shared love of music, the collective idea of TribeHouse has grown to now include artists working in many other media, and the group is connected to others overseas and south of the border as well.
They're in the process of renovating a house on a rural property on Sallows Road in East Kelowna that will serve as their Kelowna base, and will also be the venue for workshops, seminars and hopefully future artist residencies.
With their dedication to the arts in many forms, from the written and spoken word, to music, video, visual and other performing arts, the young group has facilitated events such as a summit of sorts held at the neighbouring Bo.ttega Farm Inn in 2011, which saw some 50 artists working in various disciplines come together to share ideas and inspiration.
They've also held a couple of events in what they call "10-10-10 series," featuring
10 different artists in music and other performance in 10-minute segments, all for
$10 admission, as well as the monthly Katalyst series of talks and interaction at the downtown Streaming Cafe venue.
There's also the annual Christmas Market at Bo.ttega, which they've helped with, and on the long weekend in July, they will again host the TribeHouse Summer Festival, now in it's third year.
Most recently, in conjunction with Creative Okanagan, they digitally released music entitled TribeHouse Christmas Compilation Vol. 1, featuring Strauss, Graham and Aaron Ord, along with fellow performers Joshua Smith, Nico Boesten, Brent Tyler, Raquel Warchol, Corey Doak, Ryan Donn, Jesse Padget, Johanna Olson and Jordan Leibel.
TribeHouse has also facilitated connections that span far beyond the Okanagan.
Strauss, for example, is getting ready to relocate to Germany, where he'll be based out of a centuries-old castle near Dresden, complete with recording studio.
But no matter where the loose conglomeration of people who make up the TribeHouse extended family are physically, they remain connected by their shared faith and a strong sense of the powerful role art and creativity can play in making the world a better place.
As Ord explained though, while they've grown and expanded, their philosophy of being inclusive has remained constant.
"It's been a journey, but it started with music - people playing together," he said.
They welcome interested artists and like-minded people to check out one of their upcoming events, all found on their website, Tribehouse.org.
Strauss will host the next Katalyst gathering Jan. 14 at the Streaming Cafe at
596 Leon Ave., where he'll share his insights and his experiences on music.
Like the majority other Tribehouse events, there's no charge and no membership required, but then again, that's the whole point, really.
"People have asked us, "How do we get into Tribehouse,'" said Strauss. "Our response has always been, just come hang out with us and if you find out you like us, you're already part of us."