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Rotary Dragon Boat Festival cancellation disappointing

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The 19th anniversary ATB Rotary Dragon Boat has been the latest Covid- 19 casualty. However festival chair Dan Westhora hopes the work the four local rotaryThe Chevelles were among the local acts scheduled to play the 2020 ATB Rotary Dragon Boat Festival. Photo by Richard Amery clubs and numerous volunteers have already  put into the event, originally scheduled for June 26-28, will lead to a bigger and better 20th Anniversary festival next year.

“We’ve been following Corvid 19 news since January and set a do or die date by mid April. We wanted to postpone the cancellation as long as possible,” Westhora  said, adding a number of reasons played into the decision to cancel this year’s event. The festival draws 1,500 athletes and, depending on the weather, between 15-20,000 people visiting over the weekend to see the races,  listen to a lot of live music and enjoy food trucks and vendors.

“A lot of money comes to the city because of the festival. But we’d rather everybody walk away happy and healthy after the festival,” he continued, adding part of the reason they cancelled is because the deadline for vendors to submit their deposits is also in April.

 Another reason is several teams travel the summer dragon boat circuit, some communities having cancelled their races already.
“Last year we had 68 teams and 40 of them travel. Some do the entire circuit, others only go to a few of them. We were talking to Edmonton and they’re likely to cancel their festival,” he said.

They were expecting 17 food vendors and an additional 13 or 14 selling merch. The deadline to  get involved with the festival was mid April.

 Westhora, who is also a member of the Mosaic Rotary Club, noted the cancellation also affects local rotary clubs.
“The festival raises a lot of money for the clubs, though that isn’t why we do it,” he said adding local service clubs including Rotary, but also other clubs including Kinsmen and Lions, clubs are thinking out of the box and thinking of new ways to work in the community.

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 April 2020 18:32 ) Read more...

Covid concert cancellations include South Country Fair and Dragon Boat Festival

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Covid -19 concert cancellations are continuing into the summer.Dory Rossiter performing at the Rotary Dragon Boat festival in 2019. Photo by Richard Amery
Over the weekend,  the Rotary Dragon boat Festival announced on their Twitter account, that the 2020 festival, scheduled for June 26-28 has been cancelled for this summer. Crews and vendors  registered will be contacted about refunds.

 Today, the South Country Fair announced South Country Fair #34 will not go on for 2020. It has postponed  until 2021. According to the South Country Fair website,  it is a temporary measure. Organizers are hoping some of the same artists will be available.

Last Updated ( Monday, 06 April 2020 10:10 ) Read more...

Makiisma excited about new CD “Lady Misery”

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Megan Brown shows her heavy side on her  debut  solo CD “Lady Misery,” under her pseudonym Makiisma.
 She was supposed to have a CD release party on the weekend, but it was cancelled due to Covid-19 fears.

While she has recorded with other bands like Junkman’s Quire, this is the first CD she has recorded of her own music with her “doom folk” band Makiisma.
She recordMegan Brown has released Makiisma’s debut Cd Lady Misery. Photo by Richard Ameryed the CD at Green Recording company with producer Jon Martin, who also plays a couple of guitar solos on the CD along with keyboardist TJ Waltho, drummer Keenan Pezderic and bassist Steve Martin. Brown sings, plays guitar plus violin and viola on the songs.

“There are nine songs on the CD that I have written over the past two or three years. I chose songs that had a similar sound,” she said, adding her more folk/ singer/ songwriter songs like  “Do I Work for the Devil (or Live in Hell),” which was her South Country Fair Songwriting competition submission last year, didn’t make the cut.

“I have a lot of folk and singer songwriter songs, but these songs just felt right together. They are a lot of fun. And the band worked best on  a heavier sound,” Brown said, adding she chose the nine best out of 12 songs she had in  the heavier style.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 31 March 2020 18:06 ) Read more...

Local musician Gabe Thaine performing live shows online

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Just because you can’t go out, it doesn’t mean the music has to stop.

Gabe Thaine is performing live online twice a day. Photo by Richard Amery
 Quite the opposite, with everyone  being told to stay home and any gatherings of more than 50 people being effectively banned including the local live music venues to prevent the spread of the COVID virus, local musicians are performing their shows online.

And listening to music and supporting artistic pursuits is all the more important, if only to prevent going insane from cabin fever. George Arsene has been performing online as has Keenan Pezderic, however local musician Gabe Thaine (Gabriel Olsen)  has decided to perform two shows live online every day — a 45 minute long 2 p.m. show for kids and  an hour and 15 minute long show of his own material plus covers at 9 p.m. every night as well.

“I miss playing open mics and going out to see shows,” said Gabriel Olsen, whose live shows be seen on his Gabe Thaine Facebook page.
“ For the kids show I play songs by Raffi and Sharon Lois and Bram and some of my kids songs. The kids shows I was doing with the band were so much fun and now we can’t do them,” he said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 March 2020 17:45 ) Read more...

Tyson Ray Borsboom excited to release new CD with band

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Lethbridge based singer songwriter Tyson Ray Borsboom was excited to release his first full length  CD “Will” and is looking forward to a tour once the Covid 19 panic blows over.Tyson Ray Borsboom playing his CD release party at teh Owl Acoustic lounge, Feb. 22. photo by Richard Amery

“It’s my first full length CD,” said Borsboom, who officially released “Will” at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Feb. 22.
 He recorded the 10 track CD last  July with Matthew Rederburg at the Farm outside of Lethbridge with band mates Kevin Giron, Eric West and Brock Boot.
“I’m just super excited to release this CD. It’s my first full length band CD. The other was more of a singer songwriter CD (Sinner in 2018)and I also  released a CD of covers,” he observed, adding he took a few  guitar lessons as a teen, then gave up the guitar for a while before picking it up again and starting to write songs.

“This CD is about self help and about some of the things I’ve experienced over the past two years,” he said, adding he had been playing most of the songs live before recording them. He has been a prominent face at local venues like Owl Acoustic Lounge and The Slice.

“Steve at the Owl and Derek at the Slice have been really kind to me. I’ve played a lot of open mics. I called them a lot, more than most bands. They’ve let me open for a lot of acts and have given me a couple headlining shows,” he said, adding it is important to maintain positive relationships with fans, club owners and everybody else.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 March 2020 16:55 ) Read more...
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