Ask Kelowna-based musician Dan Bremnes about his first big gig and he’ll tell you only about 10 people showed up.
He was playing a sideline show for Avalanche, an event held here in Kelowna, though he was still living in his native Salmon Arm.
Ed’s Private Jet, later renamed Stutterfly and more recently Secret and Whisper, were also on the bill, as was Greg Sczebel.
“You wouldn’t want to learn in front of huge crowds anyway,” Bremnes says with the smile of those who’ve suffered the deafening microphone wheeze from the performer’s side of the fence.
If those little gigs in shady bars, or in his case high school hangouts, are good for anything more than uncomfortable memories, it also affirms the knowledge that such horrifying experiences might just be a thing of the past.
Adding fuel to that belief for Bremnes was winning the Praise 106.5 FM Talent Search last spring.
That led him to headline for Downhere and Lincoln Brewster in front of 2,000 people at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.
Coming out of Salmon Arm, Bremnes says his journey into the Christian Rock genre has been a very smooth road and a natural way for him to get noticed as a musician as his father is a preacher in the Living Waters Church in their town; so he’s more likely to have the connections.
“I guess the songs came out of my life and what was going on in my life. My faith is a huge part of my life, so it just makes sense,” he says.
He grew up playing shows with Sczebel, a gospel musician whose second album won Christian/Gospel Album of the year at the 2011 Juno Awards, and Kamloops-based Heather Clark, a top touring Christian artist who plays Europe and the U.S.
Now with six nominations for the Canadian Gospel Music Awards and a nomination for a Western Canadian Music Award to his own name, Bremnes is certainly establishing himself as a force in the genre.
Playing Kelowna on Nov. 2 with Jodi King, Bremnes said he’s looking forward to doing music full-time out of the Central Okanagan.
Both he and his wife relocated to the area after touring Australia earlier this year in order to find work.
But since the music has gone so well for him of late, he recently gave up serving at Eastside Mario’s to tackle his real passion while his wife runs a wedding photography business here in town (Bremnesphotography.com).
“This has been the dream for a long time, so it’s pretty exciting,” Bremnes said.
He noted that Eastside Mario’s was as accommodating an employer as he could ever have hoped for as he tried to get his music career off the ground.
To check out his music on line fans can go to www.danbremenes.com.
The concert in Kelowna takes place Nov. 3 at The House, 1-240 Lougheed Rd.