Okanagan Irish Society

The Okanagan Irish Society is a registered non-profit Society and our constitution and by-laws are governed by the section B of the Society’s Act of British Columbia. Our mandate is to promote the Irish culture within the Canadian mosaic, look after our own in a non-political and non-sectarian manner.   We currently have over 120 members and we arrange a number of social functions annually for our members and their friends – social dinner/pub night/sing-along gatherings, Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day dinners, bowling afternoons followed by dinner in the evenings and weekend camping outings.  irish-knot-gflag

For the past thirty years we have had a benevolent fund which assists those of our members who are ill or in need.  At one point we had Okanagan Irish Society dancers – this is now a private venture. However the Okanagan Irish Society contributes annual bursaries to the Okanagan Society of  Irish Dancers – Parents’ Association  (OSID-PA).

In addition a number of our members are musicians and singers.  They formed a group called “Ceol na hEireann” of The Okanagan Irish Society.  They entertain at many of our functions, entertain at a number of senior facilities, put on a fundraising concert for St. Vincent de Paul in the fall each year and put on a theatre production in the spring to aid a Prayer House located in Kelowna.  Any time they are asked, they entertain unless previously committed.

Anyone interested in more information can contact Pearse Walsh at pearsewalsh1949@gmail.com. or (250) 718-1958.

Musician/Singer Bursary

The Okanagan Irish Society (OIS) is issuing this expression of interest to persons interested in learning or improving their proficiency playing and/or singing Irish Celtic music.

We realize that due to the average age of our membership we need to reach out and engage a younger generation to support Irish culture and heritage to ensure its sustainability into the future in the Okanagan Valley.  We currently have four musicians participating in this program and their improvement in playing skills, enthusiasm and work ethic is evidence of the success of this program.

One and possibly two candidates will be selected and we will  (a) provide them loaner musical instruments and (b) subsidize musical lessons  for a period of one year minimum.

The closing date to submit the attached expression of interest is 31 March 2019 and our intent is to select the successful applicants by 20 April 2019 at latest.

OIS Musician Singer Application

Ceol na hEireann

Ceol-na-heireann is made up of members of the Okanagan Irish Society who enjoy playing and singing traditional as well as modern Irish songs and instrumentals. As part of the Okanagan Irish Society, we are dedicated to ensuring that the tradition of Irish music and song remains a living one and that it continues to be enjoyed by all ages.

We are fortunate to have five young people within our ranks, which is truly brilliant. To have young people wanting to play music and sing with us is what we are all about. We feel we are living our mandate with this addition to our group, besides which, they add greatly to the spirit of the Okanagan Irish Society.

There is a song for every county and town in Ireland. It will take a lifetime to know all of them, but the pleasure is in the seeking, not to mention the sharing with others the enjoyment of Irish music, wherever the spirit of the Irish is present.

Blakey Okanagan School of Irish Dance

The Blakey Okanagan School of Irish Dance is busy traveling all over Western Canada, the United States and Europe representing the Okanagan Valley in competition. We have dancers who have achieved great successes and have had a lot of fun doing it! Our dancers are as young as 5 years old and go up to age 22. These dancers attend classes on a weekly basis as well as perform all over the Okanagan at various charity and cultural events and as the entertainment at special occasions.

The Blakey Okanagan Irish Dancers do traditional Irish step dancing in both soft and hard shoe, solo and group performances. We have our year end show at the Kelowna Community Theatre each year on the last Sunday in May. Tickets go on sale in March and are available to purchase from the studio or by contacting Janice- 250-979-8653 or blakeyokanagan@gmail.com



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