No matter the season, music can be heard, indoors and out. Summertime brings a wealth of performers, from concert bands to country, to our parks. Plant your feet in the grass or get up and dance at Gyro Park, or follow the tunes to a festival performance along one of the lakes.
Exploring the outdoor market? You’ll stumble upon a flash mob of belly dancers descending upon an intersection, a busker or two next to a table filled with craft jewelry catching the light of the early afternoon sun, or a break-dance artist teaching kids his moves.
But there are many indoor venues to tempt you too. On Front Street and Main Street, intimate cafes and coffee shops with walls covered in the works of local artists and batiks collected on the owner’s worldwide travels — right next to a collection of handmade drums — invite you in for an evening of food and wine, accompanied by jazz from a New Orleans transport, or a visiting rock’n’roll band, or an African drum troupe.
Feeling inspired? You might stumble upon open mic night at a downtown diner, or exercise your voice with karaoke. Rumour has it, Elizabeth Taylor once dined here.
Your vocal chords are sure to need some soothing after an evening at a concert. Classic rock, the hottest country bands climbing the top forty charts, Canada’s pop icons…they’ve all been here. And you may run into them exploring Penticton too, for a surprise selfie next a salmon sculpture downtown.
Those sculptures? They reflect our natural history, and sometimes our storied past. A walk along Penticton or Ellis Creek reveals the story of Penticton. Stop to read the plaques detailing our former “Chinatown”, or the home of a former movie theatre, or the site of a once glorious hotel that succumbed to fire years ago.
History lives on at the Shatford Centre. It stands as a testament to the architects who built this town. The building is approaching its centennial, and now invites you in for visual and performing arts, and concerts in a grand room that still has the scent of its former self: a school library.
And history is reflected in the calm lake waters surrounding the SS Sicamous, that sternwheeler you saw as you glided into the north end of town, or admired from the beach at Okanagan Lake, and at the Penticton Museum. Explore downtown Penticton, and experience our past.