New season for Music in the Park starts next week

Bi-monthly round up of music and theatre in the local area.

The Packing House presents Willy Blizzard

Mark Saturday, May 5 on your calendar for a candlelit evening of incredible cuisine and great music in the cozy confines of the 100 year old Packing House acoustics! The Willy Blizzard Band will be entertaining. They are a three piece band playing upright bass, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars and great three part harmony. Their music combines folk and country that “raises a little dust” and “carries the stamp of our land.” For reservations call (250) 458-2256. Check out the wonderful harmonies of Willy Blizzard at www.willyblizzard.com

4th annual AES Fun Fair fundraiser

Support the fourth Annual Ashcroft Elementary School fundraising Fun Fair on Thursday, May 10  from 4-8 pm at the school grounds (711 Hill St.) and gymnasium. Outdoor stage with  performances from local musicians.

Enjoy this year’s inflatables, horizontal bungee run, pirate ship slide & bounce, rat race  obstacle course, looneytunes bounce and sumo suits (my personal favourite!). All new games in the gym thanks to the Gr. 6/7 class (photo booth, bean bag toss, fish pond, and  more). Raffles and draw prizes include eight themed baskets – kids bikes ($200 value), Gr. 6/7 big ticket motorcycle ($900 value), cake/dessert walks, food concession by local vendors, emergency workers and vehicles and Rock Band and Wii games.

Bringing our Community and School District together to honour, celebrate, and support our school. Please join in for a great evening of family fun and fundraising. Organized by the AES Parents Advisory Council. All are welcome!

House Concert with Christa Couture

Creative Cow House Concerts up in Barnes Lake (just 12 minutes from downtown Ashcroft) are hosting another great House Concert. These nights are so special – an opportunity to see an artist up close and personal. The intimate delivery and experiences of each Artist is truly a memorable experience – don’t miss out!

Christa Couture makes her return to the Ashcroft area for a House Concert on Friday, May 11. From the start, Vancouver’s Couture established herself as a songwriter with sharp-shooting wit, effortless grace and heart-on-sleeve intensity. Her ‘gorgeously intimate voice is somewhere between the tough vulnerability of Amy Rigby and the passionate, sophisticated folk of Joni Mitchell’.

She has released two critically acclaimed CD’s since 2008 and currently working with producer  Steve Dawson to record her third full-length album ‘The Living Record’ for a Fall 2012 release.

The concert start at 7:30 pm and the house location is at 3820 Barnes Lake Rd, just past IG Machine. Call Nadine or Andrea at (250) 453-9100 to reserve your seat. Hope to some new faces at this very enjoyable community event – coffee, tea and sweets provided.

Music In the Park starts May 9

Music in the Park is back for another year of Wednesday night concerts at the Gazebo in  Heritage Place Park on Railway Ave. from 7-9:30 pm.

Getting things started on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 pm is Brandon Isaak. Brandon is ‘a young man with and old soul’ whose affinity for the rawness and spontaneity of the blues is second to none. He brings a firebrand style of guitar and killer vocals that truly has to be seen and heard to be appreciated! He’s got a vintage swing style and will take you on a journey through Blues, Swing, Ragtime and even a little RnB, Funk and Gospel on the side.

Brandon was nominated by The Maple Blues Awards 2009 for Song Writer of the year and Producer of the year. He was nominated for a Juno Award in 2006 with his band The Twisters. Real Blues Magazine has him in the top five Blues Guitar Players in Canada.

He is most recently up for a Western Canadian Music Award for “Best Blues Recording Of The Year” with his band The Twisters. Ya gotta come and check him out!

Music in the Park is brought to you by the folks of Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society (WRAPS). During the coming months, a variety of musicians will tune up at the under the Gazebo, including celtic rockers, boogie blues crooners, local folkies and some funky beats to keep you cool. We will also feature some local dance & music groups like the Desert Moon Tribal Bellydance Troupe and the Benner-Tapia Family Quartet to name just a few.

Our first month of performances continues on May 23 with Country/Folk act Willy Blizzard. The trio performs rootsy originals featuring superb vocal harmonies, upright bass, banjo, acoustic and electric guitars.

Giving a nod back to classic country instrumentation, while tapping into the more contemporary sound of electric, what really sets their repertoire apart is the songwriting. Canadiana at it’s finest. Their latest album, ‘In From the Cold‘, reflects the landscape, the people and the history of Canada and adds just a little more insight into the heart of our country.

Music In the Park shares the Park that night with the many beautiful paintings that will be on display and for sale as apart of the ‘Plein Air – Paint Out’ Event that runs May 22-23. Should be a great evening of creativity for all.

Full Summer Line Up in the Park

Our June 13th show is still under ‘WRAPS’… pretty funny eh? Seriously, should be a great show – just finalizing details.

On Wednesday, June 27, Sabrina Weeks and Swing Cat Bounce Trio  offer up a generous helping of the swinging bouncing boogie blues. The songs are light hearted  with a twist of naughty, the melodies are infectious.

On Wednesday, July 11 listen to the Celtic melodies of Littlehouse. They are an acoustic duo based in southwestern Nova Scotia, specializing in original instrumental compositions with a Celtic flavour. Charlie Wilson plays Irish flute and whistles, and Jude Pelley plays guitars, mandolin, and Appalachian dulcimer. Their music is atmospheric; rich and complex, drawing on both  traditional and contemporary influences.

Get your dancing shoes on for Jungal on Wednesday, July 25. These gals know how to have fun! These three powerful young  women create their own brand of Australian-flavoured indie roots music blended with folk, soul and rock. A great night to party down along with local opening act, the Ghengis Gandhis’ who  play a unique sound, grown from the desert, straight into your ears, minds and hearts.

Get your Celtic groove on when Cod Gone Wild come to town on Wednesday, Aug. 15. The group specializes in Maritime folk music with a modern twist – resulting in a rich and transparent ensemble sound  that brings fire to some great foot-stomping jigs, reels and ceilidh party music.

Our finale will be no doubt a treat. Come and dance and celebrate the end of the summer with a gathering of regional musicians who have formed a band called Mudville. If you remember from  last summer – the impressive pipes from young lady named Joy. Well..this night should give a  clear indication of how talented this gal actually is – go for it Joy! Mudville will be nailing down everything from  Led Zepplin to Amanda Marshall. Should be a fun time! There maybe no joy in Mudville (you’re welcome Jan..) but there sure will be lots of joy and dancing in Ashcroft come that night!

We hope you enjoy the music all summer long! Look for posters around town and take home one of the small handouts that will be available at local retailers.

Or check out www.windingriversarts.ca for info on all the upcoming artists and their music.

Ashcroft Plein Air – Paint Out

Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society, in collaboration with local Ashcroft Artist Pauline Ogilvie, is hosting a two day ‘Plein Air – Paint Out’ event in the surrounding Ashcroft area from May 22-23. Many Artists have been confirmed already. Artists are  invited to paint works inspired by our many majestic Ashcroft landscapes.

The Artists’ works will be on display and for sale at the May 23 Music In the Park concert with the Canadiana landscape sounds of the Willy Blizzard Trio in Heritage Place Park. After that, the paintings be displayed in The Sidewalk Gallery on Railway Ave. across the street from Ashcroft’s Safety Mart.

You can meet and greet the artists during Music in the Park, and vote for your favourite paintings.

The Organizers wish to thank both Hedda Hall from Royal Le Page Ashcroft Realty and Cindy Adamski from Remax Gold Country Real Estate for their generous donations to make this event possible.

Registration deadline is May 15th. Please email windingriversarts@gmail.com or  visit www.windingriversart.ca. For event, billeting or registration information please phone Pauline at (250) 453-9431.

Bellydance Gala Event

Desert Moon Tribal Bellydance Troupe will be hosting a Gala performance on May 26 at the  Ashcroft Community Hall at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Admission is by donation.

In addition to our local Ashcroft troupe, the event will feature Samira Belly Dance, Twisted Skirts Tribal, and Arnica Fairbrother Bellydance from Williams Lake and 100 Mile House. The evening will be flavoured with several different styles of Belly Dance including Egyptian, American Tribal Style, Tribal Fusion, and Burlesque Bellydancing.

This is their second annual event. Last year’s performance was by invitation only. This year they have a bigger hall and are inviting the public. So tell your friends, bring the kids, this is going to be a wonderful evening celebrating women’s dance.

Nadine Davenport