Rosemary Thomson’s Favourite Places Kelowna

Where to conductor and music director goes for good coffee, holiday shopping and live music in her hometown

Photo by Darren Hull, shot on location at Giobean

As conductor and music director of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Rosemary Thomson appreciates the rich artistic talent found in the Kelowna area, as well as its “wonderful places to rejuvenate.” Here are some of her favourite spots to visit.

For dining “We have incredible chefs here. A favourite date-night destination is RauDZ Regional Table downtown. We love hanging out with the fun bartenders and trying their incredible handmade drinks. My husband and I are vegetarian, and the chefs at RauDZ’s always create a great farm-to-table experience for us.”

For good coffee “I meet people regularly at Giobean on Water Street because I know the coffee there is great. Plus, [owner] Gio sings to me when I walk through the door.”

The great outdoors “When the clouds sit low in the valley, I love breaking through to the sunshine for a cross-country ski up at Telemark Nordic Club in West Kelowna. The serenity and quiet on the trails is stunning.”

Winter side trip “My family’s tradition is to go out to the Armstrong area, to the Caravan Farm Theatre’s Winter Sleigh Ride Show in early December.”

Holiday shopping Bottega Farm Inn and Studio’s Christmas Craft Market is on the last weekend of November. It has about 60 vendors, plus great food and a kids craft program. I also look forward to the Ponderosa Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists Guild’s Christmas sale. You meet and support local artists as you shop.”

Cold-weather culture fix “[In addition to] the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, there’s Chamber Music Kelowna, Ballet Kelowna, the Kelowna Art Gallery and Jazz Cafe Kelowna. It all makes for a very full cultural life here.”

For live music “Of course, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra! We’re in our 56th season.”

If Kelowna were a piece of music “There are two pieces that capture the beauty here. The first is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, known as his “pastoral symphony.” It captures the glory of the Okanagan landscape. The other is R. Murray Schafer’s The Falcon’s Trumpet, which revolves around a trumpet solo. It’s quintessentially Canadian and has an incredible sense of space.”

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