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7th Annual Wearable Art Gala

At the fringey free-for-all that is the Wearable Art Gala, only one thing is consistent from year to year — those who’ve got it, flaunt it. And they’ll flaunt it all night long.

Paint-doused women baring all, men teetering through a night in heels, trashbags twisted into high fashion, and a liberal dose of cheeky dialogue are the staples. “Anticipating what’s next in the runway-meets-high- art show is where the excitement comes in,” says Jennifer Pickering, the Alternator’s director.

“It’s totally unique. It’s not theatre, it’s not dance, it’s not performance,” she says. “It’s a crazy, freaky hybrid where there are no rules. People push the bounds all the time. Sometimes we don’t even know what to expect.”

Where fashion meets art performance and a dash of T and A, audiences experience everything from moments of shock to uproarious laughter.

“It can also be delicate and poetic, raunchy, disturbing or magical,” adds Pickering.

Whatever emotional outpouring is around the corner, the Wearable Art Gala offers something far different than what’s come to be expected in this oftentimes uptight, real-estate rich valley. This year, organizers are upping the ante.

“One of the things people have really enjoyed, is getting to interact with the artists, so that’s something we’re really emphasizing,” says Pickering. “There will be many of opportunities to get up close to the costumes, and speak with the artists. The same goes for the after party too.”

Following the gala, the Kelowna Community Centre will be morphed into one of the biggest parties this city has seen for the G74 Music and Media Arts Festival.

“There’s going to be amazing DJs, new media artists, installations, and the main theatre will be transformed into a bistro,” says Pickering.

Artist, Chris Bose, will present his Jesus Coyote piece, while DJ elis Dye, JGirl & Manousos with FLY DJs and DJ Timothy Wisdom, will keep the beat.

“It’s a high energy mix of styles in three separate spaces at one party,” Pickering says. “It’s unique for Kelowna to get live music and DJs and a really cool lounge.”

The night’s events will unfurl July 30. For more information go to

By Kathy Michaels

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