Updated: Dec 26, 2020
-Scott Roos reporting
- photo courtesy of the EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts
Via an online announcement today at 3 pm, the EA Rawlinson Centre for the Arts has unveiled their fall schedule chock full of local Prince Albert and regional Saskatchewan artists including:
October 22nd: Wade Fehr; Tales of Ghosts & Graveyards (EP release show)
October 24th: The Acoustic Sessions featuring Chris Henderson, Munro & Patrick, and Jack Semple
October 31st: The Bush Pies
November 7th: Eekwol
November 13th: The Bromantics Tribute to the 50s
November 20th: JJ Voss And A Damn Good Band
December 4th & 5th: Jeffery Straker A Very Prairie Christmas
In a press release sent to media yesterday, EARC Marketing and Events Coordinator Cara Stelmaschuk articulated reasons for some of the venue's choices in performers, "We are featuring a lot of regional talent this season, since COVID-19 makes it impossible to book acts that will have to travel (from other provinces) to be here. But luckily we live in Saskatchewan, which is bursting with musical talent! So we’ve assembled a diverse and high-quality season that we’re mighty proud of!"
Local Prince Albert folkster Wade Fehr, whose album release show on Oct. 22nd is kicking the season off, last played the Rawlinson stage opening for Canadian music legend Burton Cummings in October of 2019.
"It is surreal to think I’ll have (the Rawlinson Stage) for the evening," explains Fehr, "Opening for Burton (Cummings) was a huge opportunity for me. That was the first time I played that stage solo and it was in front of a packed house. As the opener I only played for 20 minutes. It will be exciting to have the time (on Oct. 22nd) to share more songs and stories from that same stage that I’ve got to see so many great acts play on."
On the other hand, Regina based country rocker JJ Voss was scheduled to play a Cabaret show at the Rawlinson this past March. Unfortunately, COVID19 had other plans and the show had to be cancelled due to the government restrictions on mass gatherings that were in place at the time. He's happy to be able to get a second chance on Nov. 20th
along with longtime musical partners in crime Brian Kelly (bass) and Drummer/percussionist, Jayson Brinkworth.
"It's a thrill to play my show in a 'soft seater'. My songs are topical and some are story songs. A theatre like the Rawlinson allows for the crowd to get comfortable and hopefully get lost in the stories," says Voss, "With the unique, social distancing protocols, I think everyone will be able to focus on the show without having to worry about their personal safety. I'm grateful to the entire staff and management (of the EARC) for coming up with a new path forward for live music. As we're saying in 2020: the show must go on... safely."
One of last year's crowd favourites is also coming back. Jeffery Straker will be returning to the Rawlinson on Dec. 4th and 5th to once again present his Christmas show and close out this fall season. The two shows are so that social distancing can be maintained by staff at the EARC while at the same time abiding by the provincial guidelines currently in place for maximum people allowed at concerts. Jeffery has recently started playing small, backyard shows once again but is looking forward to getting back into a theatre atmosphere. He will likely be performing his show as a trio compared to last year where he was able to pack more musical peers on the stage.
"Music is magic, there's no denying it," says Straker, " And now, the next move is one more step closer to "normal" in getting to bring my holiday show back to theatres again this year (with Covid sized audiences of course). This (Christmas) show was so well received last year. It's a really fun concert, and honestly, I think it's just what the pandemic is calling for. People can come into the theatre and (my show can) help them forget all their troubles for an hour or so."
* Jeffery Straker photo courtesy of Ryan Nolan