After almost a year of careful negotiations with the National Persian Art Gallery, the Columbia Valley Arts Council has secured a once-in-a-lifetime showing of an ancient Middle Eastern artifact.
The legendary “Midnight Genie Bottle” will be in the Columbia Valley for a two-night show on October 20 and 21, said gallery curator Jami Scheffer, who is over the moon with excitement at the upcoming presentation.
“This is the first time the magical flask has ever been allowed outside of Iran, and already a number of foreign dignitaries are on their way to try their hand at enticing a mythical genie out of the bottle during the limited engagement,” Scheffer said.
According to local legend, once a year the Midnight Genie can be enticed out of his bottle to grant some lucky person three wishes. The Genie can only be charmed out by dancing, and every year, for generations, thousands of Persians enter a lottery hoping to win a chance to shimmy and shake in front of the ancient artifact.
Violent battles have often broken out in the past among the contestants; which is what encouraged gallery officials to find a temporary home for the bottle away from its home country at the time when the Genie may be conjured.
Believing in the existence of the Genie is secondary, Scheffer added, as the very presence of such an internationally significant historical artifact has never occurred in the province, or even the country.
“All art is magic, one way or another,” she said. “This event is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I am truly looking forward to hosting and displaying a piece of such international importance.”
Many wealthy dignitaries from overseas have either already booked their tickets, or are in the valley early to take part in the show. Scheffer confirmed that she has been contacted by two sheikhs and a sultan who will be performing their dances in front of the bottle during the two evening shows. In years past, one of these attendees was successful in enticing the Genie out of the magical vessel, and did in fact receive three wishes. As part of the Middle Eastern theme, Pynelogs Cultural Centre will be transformed into an oasis for the event.
So mark your calendars and polish up your dance moves, you won’t want to miss this event.
For more information, or to book your tickets, please call 250-342-4423.