Film crew at Quails’ Gate

It’s lights, camera, and action at West Kelowna’s Quails’ Gate Winery.

The musical film documentary The Lake/N’-ha-a-itk has begun filming at the winery.

The film is an expansion of live performances that took place at Quails’ Gate in 2014.

The production was based on B.C. composer Barbara Pentland’s 1952 opera and a true-life event in the life of Susan Allison.

Allison and her husband John were the first European settlers in what is now West Kelowna. The story is set in 1873 at their original “Sunnyside” ranch home, restored by Quails’ Gate Winery and now known as the Allison House.

“When I first discovered the unpublished score of Barbara Pentland’s The Lake in 1995, I could never have imagined how far or where this journey would lead,” producer Heather Pawsey said.

“I am deeply honoured to be a part of sharing this unique, true story—rooted in history but continuing into our present and future. It is a privilege to work with Westbank First Nation, Opus 59 Films and Quails’ Gate to bring this vision to life.”

The Lake will be the first and only Canadian opera on film. It will incorporate segments about the ongoing collaboration between Astrolabe Musik Theatre and Westbank First Nation, featuring interviews with key artists and collaborators in both the Okanagan language and English.

“This beautiful collaboration created a greater sense of awareness and appreciation for the original opera, but also Syilx/Okanagan culture for everyone involved,” WFN’s Jordan Coble said.

“The performances truly broke down barriers between performance and history, audience and stage, as well as cultural understanding. This is how we will honour the path we continue to walk together.”

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