Artists Neville Bowman, Heather Orminston, Paul Byrne and Sean Bray workshop original songs from The Plutocrats at Cache Lounge in Kelowna. OCT 2018

Paul's Voice

What better way to celebrate three decades of Okanagan Life than printing a 30th-anniversary issue and penning a new musical libretto?

Plutocrats the Musical sets out to find an Okanagan solution to shine a light on the corruption of Wall Street (you know, to really drain the swamp.) Regular readers of Okanagan Life will know that I go to great lengths to boast about, sell its advantages and invite all to visit our renowned Valley, which is humbly known as one of the prettiest, happiest and adventurous places—and what better locale to place my cast of musical characters? 

Perhaps an exceptional Okanagan winemaker, a witty social psychologist, a musically-charged neuroscientist and a globe-trotting magazine publisher can take to the stage. Having grown weary of Trump-style lying, they plot together to host a World Truth Conference, attracting the world’s smartest, brightest and intriguing people.

Music and art (and journalism) can speak the truth in ways that community leaders and politicians sometimes fall short. This political musical comedy is long overdue, despite the fact that Trump-style lying is no laughing matter. Now’s the time to encourage a new way of thinking about income inequality and Wall Street greed. 

Sadly, scamming and inequality reigns here in our small towns and cities. Local businesses, lured by digital gurus that deliver bots instead of consumers, are passing on magazine advertising—choosing to buy scam-vertising and send their hard-earned dollars south across the border. Ironically, the one medium that can help them (and their community) prosper is ignored in favour of one foreign and corrupt to the core. Digital experts like Reid Tatoris explain, “You have less than an 8 percent chance your digital ad will ever be seen by a human.” 

I’m proud to say this 30-year-old-magazine is well loved. Thanks to our investigative and heartfelt writers—and local photographers and designers that turn images into art—we’ve become, per capita, one the best-read magazines in North America. Now that’s making your own kind of music. 

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