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Exhibition Park board considers post Covid-19 future for Whoop Up Days and farmer’s market

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Though organizers had high hopes the show would go on, Whoop Up Days is the latest festival to fall to government Covid-19 socially distancing measures.Fans enjoying Whoop up Days entertainment last year. photo by Richard Amery
 “ We thought that because we were the last show of the summer before the midway moved to B.C. for their festival season beginning in Armstrong, that we would be able to continue, but we had a feeling,” said Exhibition Park CEO Rudy Friesen who officially made the announcement on Friday, April 24.

“ We’ve put on a festival every year since 1897, though it started as a fall festival. To my knowledge, the only time it was cancelled was during the First World War when the park was used for infantry training and during the Second World War when the grounds were used as an internment camp of some sort,” he said, adding they started scaling down preparations as soon as Covid 19 hit, while doing their best to remain optimistic.

“It used to be a fall fair in October which celebrated the end of harvest,” he said adding originally Whoop Up Days combined Aggie Days, the home and garden show, the rodeo, farmer’s market and several others which have evolved into very successful individual events.

“The Fair has evolved. And now looking at the vacant grounds, it’s really eerie,” he observed, adding they likely won’t bring back the fall fair.

 Setting aside Whoop Up Days’ massive financial contribution to the community, estimated at $5 million going into the community each summer, Friesen said the most significant loss is the social aspect to the community.

 “Whoop Up Days is a great social gathering and an opportunity for the community to get together. You really miss that social interaction during a pandemic,” he added.

He noted the board and volunteers were just starting the major foot work for the festival. A lot of that was evaluating all of the changes from last year.

“The way the cycle at the beginning of the fair, you start thinking about next year. Our planning for 2020 will carry over to 2021,” he said.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 April 2020 15:54 ) Read more...

Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset release first full length CD,“ Perfect Vision”

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Taylor Ackerman isn’t letting a pandemic stop him from releasing new music.Taylor Ackerman has released a new Global Acid Reset CD. Photo by Richard Amery
 The local blues and roots musician just released his first full length CD “Perfect Vision” under the sobriquet “Taylor Ackerman’s Global Acid Reset.”
“I had a couple big shows coming up and I was going to release it anyway,” said Ackerman.

“I was was going to play the Slice with The Perpetrators on May 1, which seemed like a long ways away then, now it’s only four days away. And I was booked to play the South Country Fair, so I was going to release the CD to have them available for them. But the shows got cancelled,” he said.
 “With kids and family and the band’s schedule, I don’t have the capacity to travel a lot,” he continued, noting he played most of the instruments and  sang most of the vocals himself.

‘That’s how I usually work anyway. I make demos and if they are any good, I bring them to the band to work out,” he continued, adding he worked with drummer Devin Gergel on some of the nine songs on “Perfect Vision,” and got him to play on “One Day,” which also features Tyler Bird on bass and extra keyboards from James Phelan.

Last Updated ( Friday, 22 May 2020 11:22 ) Read more...

Covid 19 cancellations claim Lethbridge Jazz and Blues Festival plus ZZ Top and Cheap Trick

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And the Covid 19 cancellations continue.

Jazz in the Park is always a highlight of The Lethbridge jazz and blues Festival. Photo by Richard AmeryThe Lethbridge Jazz Festival, originally scheduled for June 12-20 has been cancelled for this year.

“ We’re very disappointed but we’re very cognizant of the safety of our patrons, volunteers and artists,” said Lethbridge Jazz and blues festival president Mike Prociw. This year would have been the tenth anniversary of the festival.

Prociw and the board plan to put all the work they already put into this year into making next year bigger and better.

“It really was the only viable option because we use city venues and artists travel a great distance to perform for us,” he said, emphasizing the health and safety of patrons, volunteers and performers was of utmost importance.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 April 2020 13:32 ) Read more...

South Country Fair songwriting competition cancelled due to Covid 19

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The Covid 19 cancellation of the South Country Fair co-relates with the cancellation of the South Country Fair Songwriting contest.

Joshua Beebe playing his winning song at the South Country Fair last year. Photo by Richard Amery
“ I knew they were talking about cancel the fair two weeks ago,” said Owl Acoustic Lounge owner Steve Foord, who had offered to record entrants’ songs at the Owl’s Monday open mics.

“It’s unfortunate, but the contest just isn’t happening,” he continued.

“ There wasn’t a lot of entries. We usually get a lot of entries  at the last minute and there was still two weeks to go ” he said adding most of them were going to pay through e-transfer, which he just didn’t put through when he cancelled the contest.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 April 2020 09:24 ) Read more...

Owl Acoustic Lounge featuring live show broadcasts

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 Owl Acoustic Lounge Steve Foord has been learning new technology while the popular live music  venue is closed due to Covid 19.
 He featured a live broadcast of Shaela Miller and Skinny Dyck last week, April 4.Shaela Miller played the Steve Foord’s first live broadcast. Photo by Richard Amery

 “I recorded it at my  house. It’s set up with different rooms so we can still social distance. I just tried it on a trial basis,” he said, adding the concert is available on the Owl Acoustic Lounge’s Facebook pages and has drawn close to 4,500 viewers since.

“ It took some time to teach myself the technology. I wanted to ensure we have the best sound quality as possible,” he said.
“It turned out great,” he said.

“We had 150 tuned in for the live broadcast,” he said adding he’d like to do live broadcasts every 14 days, though that depends on circumstances.
“Things change so fast. It depends on who is available to play,” he said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 April 2020 09:13 ) Read more...
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