Opinion

Hodge: Musicians and music fans come together for fundraiser

If, indeed, we are known by the company we keep, then I run with some pretty top quality folks.

Last Saturday night, the Kelowna Community Theatre played witness to that as a packed house of Okanagan residents listened to a host of top notch musicians.

Thanks to the generosity of those community-minded music fans the eighth annual Night of the Arts not only set attendance records but also, more than likely, a financial best as well.

According to Metro Community staff, benefactors of the awareness and fund-raising concert and silent auction, music fans donated around $17,000 at the door for the admission by donation event alone.

A tally of the silent auction items will be completed this week after all the financial commitments are received.

A big tip of the hat to our Kelowna firefighters, led by Larry Hollier, who apparently donated an additional $1,000 to the cause.

The boys at the fire hall are quality folks who are always willing to assist others in our community.

Residents may rest assured that the funds raised will go to a worthy purpose, mainly to assist those members of our community who are homeless or at risk.

With a cold, wet winter in progress such community caring and sharing is huge.

As with the past seven concerts, myself and co-organizer Curtis Tulman were busy on/or backstage and never had a chance to mix and mingle with the crowd, but we understand that the fun and fellowship in the foyer and theatre was just as enjoyable as it was backstage with the host of musicians and volunteers who all donated their time to the event.

Special thanks go out to all of the bands involved and also to the amazing artistic skills of painter Linda Lovisa, who created an amazing painting on stage while the various bands performed.

Talk about performing under pressure, co-host Kim Calloway and myself were captivated how Linda filled the blank canvass into a colourful work of art before the crowd’s scrutinizing watch. Impressive.

Metro’s Theresa Falk was brilliant in her work organizing the foyer and silent auction events, and her company (Theresa Falk Travel) donated the grand silent auction prize of the night—a cruise for two to Alaska.

Tate Adrian was the lucky winner of the cruise and I am currently working very hard to become his new best buddy.

Singer and songwriter Corey Doak closed the night providing audience members with samples of his latest written tunes on his brand new CD, while a re-united Ten2Nine, led by the dynamic vocals of Pat Brown, opened the evening.

In between, the Deb Stone Band reminded Okanagan music fans why she is considered one of Canada’s best kept secrets as she and her team churned out one tremendous tune after another.

Most amazing of all for me, however, was to watch and hear Curtis Tulman and his group of fine, classy gentlemen in Cowboy Bob—Bob Verge, Rod Miller and Gary Smyth—step in at the last minute and replace our initial headliners, The Cruzeros, who had to back out after lead singer Barry Mathers badly cut his finger on a table saw.

Curtis and crew knocked the musical ball clean out of the park with an entertaining and impressive set of old-time favourites and originals.

In addition, further best wishes to comedian Maureen Postnikoff, who also had to withdraw from the show to travel to Vancouver to be with her ailing father. Our prayers are with you and your family Maureen.

While the eighth edition of this annual event provided a number of last minute challenges, as always Tulman, sound man John Adams, the staff of the Kelowna Community Theatre and others all helped pull off yet another  wonderful show.

Words, no matter how well penned, cannot thank everyone involved enough.

And thank you Kelowna for a truly

wonderful response and show of community support.

•••

Speaking of magical and talent-loaded fundraising concerts, my life-long buddy Jim LeGuilloux is once again hosting his annual Rock4Kids event at Whisky Jacks Pub in West Kelowna. Scheduled for all day Dec.2,  the event features outstanding talent and a plethora of great silent auction goodies.

The day of talent starts with a Songwriters Circle featuring six acoustic acts—Floyd Vedan, Theresa Bishop, Gary Turlock, Mean Donna, Steve Dreger and the Melish Band.

Intermingled with silent auctions will be performances by Leah West, Andrew and Zachari Smith, the always entertaining Zamboni Brothers, The Young’uns, The Ozzy Osmonds, Calum Hughes Collective, Jimmy LeGuilloux Band, The Flu, and headliners for this year—The Odds from Vancouver.

Check it out.

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