First Nations fashion designer Jill Setah Weatherbee’s collection is featured in the final episode of Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre’s Focus Online Series, April 1-4. (VDPAC photo)

North Okanagan stages final focus on live entertainment

Performing Arts Centre's series comes to a close with last episode

There’s one last chance to catch live music, virtually, before the curtain closes on a highly-successful series.

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre launches the final Focus Online Series episode Thursday, April 1, featuring popular area band Chipko Jones, viral sensation Justin Moore, First Nations fashion designer Jill Setah and country artist Aaron Halliday.

The online series has garnered over 3,800 views and has been praised by the public and industry professionals for its quality and high level of technical production.

Episode six airs online for four days only from 12:01 a.m., April 1 to midnight, Sunday, April 4.

Viewing is free but donations are accepted at

Locally recognizable and describing themselves as “an island fusion band,” Chipko Jones plays to crowds “at the ski hill in the winter, and the beaches in the summer.” Formed in 2014 and fronted by Moot Murphy, all members met through the thriving music scene in the band’s hometown of Vernon.

Moore performs his original song Someone Who Loves You Can. Singing is in Justin’s DNA. He is the son of two Julliard-trained opera singers, Melina Schein (featured in episode 2), and went viral in 2020 with his father, Paul Moore. Their rendition of Perfect Symphony by Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bochelli has over 200,000 views on YouTube.

Moore is a full-time performer and producer with over 139K monthly listeners on Spotify

“Justin is brilliant and I believe we are looking at a future superstar…” marketing director and film crew member Camillia Courts, “…and we can say we got him first!”

First Nations fashion designer Jill Setah Weatherbee from the Yunesit’in Government has shown her designs in LA, NYC, Vancouver and at Oxford Fashion Studios in Paris, France. Weatherbee started her career after her son needed traditional regalia to dance at powwows. She enrolled in the Fashion Design and Merchandising program at CATO in October 2010. Unlike designers who use only applique, Setah sketches, creates patterns and uses First Nations fabric (much of which is special ordered from Dancing Bear Indian Trader in California) to hand sew her clothing.

Her latest collection will be shown this fall in NYC, which explores the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women, men and children and will be modelled by two spirited models.

“I feel honoured and blessed working with VDPAC. Highly recommend their crew. Very professional and straightforward,” says Jill Setah.

Halliday has been performing for over 25 years, and sites Stompin’ Tom as the motivation to pursue music after he dropped $20 in Halliday’s case while busking in Ottawa. Heavily influenced by Merle Haggard and Alan Jackson, Halliday has long been a Jackson tribute artist. Recently, Halliday is coming into his own as a songwriter and solo artist describing his style as: “dirt country with roots and a traditional feel.”

Hosted by Beach Radio’s Brian Martin, Martin brought his energy and enthusiasm to viewers every episode. A performer himself, Martin says of the series: “It was such an honour to host the first-ever FOCUS Online Series, I would do anything to support the arts and promote talent in the Okanagan.”

To view free one-minute featurettes of the performers from all six episodes, go to YouTube and enter “vdpac” in the search field for VDPAC’s own YouTube channel.

READ MORE: Okanagan artists focus of online show viewed worldwide

READ MORE: Vernon stage puts live music in focus

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Kelowna Capital News


Justin Moore performs in the final episode of Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre’s Focus Online Series, April 1-4. (VDPAC photo)

Aaron Halliday performs in the final episode of Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre’s Focus Online Series, April 1-4. (VDPAC photo)