Every summer the word “community” seems to be on the tip of peoples’ tongues as art shows and neighbourhood barbecues and events like the Downtown Kelowna Association’s Block Party fill the streets with happy Okanganites.
But if there’s a true test of community spirit, it’s in peoples’ willingness to lend a hand in times of need.
This summer, one Kelowna musician is in need of just such a boost.
Floyd Vedan, of the Floyd Vedan band, was assaulted three weeks ago at a house party after playing a gig. He remains in hospital with a serious head injury that will take months, possibly years of recovery time.
“As soon as I found out that he had been hurt and he was in hospital, it was like what can I do?” said Jane Eamon, Kelowna singer/songwriter. “…He takes the time to really connect with everybody he comes in contact with and he knows a lot of people.”
Eamon wasn’t alone with her offer. While the musical community may not be one with copious funds to spare, it’s plenty strong on talent and heart and the offers to make use of both soon littered a Facebook Page for Vedan.
Now just starting to get day passes to leave the hospital, Vedan knows it will be some time before he is able to return to work, his good friend Jimmy LeGuilloux said. In the meantime, he and his girlfriend will need to cover new medical expenses and the time off he’ll need to recover.
“Floyd’s been here since the ’80s,” said LeGuilloux. “He’s pretty much a staple of the Kelowna music scene and we need him.”
As such, local musicians Brad Krauza (also the publisher of Gonzo Magazine), LeGuilloux (a longtime rocker), Paul Sexsmith (playing with The Hip Replacements) and music producer and Interior Music Awards organizer Mark Greenhalgh have stepped up to connect the people who know and love him on a concert venture designed to provide some help on the financial front.
“We went for recording acts, names that will draw people in; so none of us (organizers) are even playing,” said LeGuilloux.
Floydfest at the Kelowna Community Theatre will feature Darby Mills, lead singer for the Headpins; new hipster band Fields of Green; a reunion of Ten2Nine; Leah West; Just About Janice; Jane Eamon and Gord Brush; Gary Turlock and Theresa Bishop.
There is also to be a surprise guest the organizers are refusing to reveal.
Rose’s Waterfront Pub is sponsoring the event and will host an open mic jam session beginning at 11 p.m. Put on by the Floyd Vedan Band, the after party is open to any local act who wants to contribute and the group is looking for silent auction items as well.
To donate an item to the silent auction please call 250-215-5777. Floydfest is by donation and will be held Sept. 6 at the Kelowna Community Theatre, doors opening at 6 p.m.