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Vinyl record lovers descend on Kelowna

Annual collectors show takes place Sunday, April 7, at Ukrainian Catholic Church

John Gowland’s love affair with vinyl records began when he was a teenager.

And, it continues today as the 73-year-old Kelowna resident boasts a collection of more than 9,000 albums in his home.

“I still have some, maybe 200 or 300, that I bought when I was a teenager but over the years I’ve continued to add to my collection,” Gowland said.

While record albums have been supplemented over the decades by CDs and then online downloading, vinyl has not totally disappeared from the music scene, as many musicians have indicated it is their preferred format for having their music played.

But building up a record collection these days is a challenge, one Gowland admits means having to keep abreast of yard sales, thrift stores or anywhere else records might still be found.

His love of records led Gowland to help organize the annual Kelowna Music Collectors Show with his partner and event co-founder Rob Scafe.

This year’s event takes place Sunday, April 7, at the Ukrainian Catholic Church, 1091 Coronation Ave. in Kelowna.

Early bird opening is 9-10:30 a.m., $10 admission, and the public opening is 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., $5 admission.

There will be more than 30 tables with multiple vendors, with records, CDs and stereos on sale, representing many music genres.

In a previous interview with the Capital News, Gowland said the experience of listening to a record and the sound quality production on vinyl are characteristics that continue to appeal to him.

“There is something about that ritual of placing a record on a turntable, lifting the tonearm, dropping the needle and away you go. Listening to online or CDs is a much more sterile experience of listening to music.

“You can’t do much if you have a record that is damaged or scratched, but a quality condition record on a good sound system takes you back to the simplicity of listening to records back to the old days.”

Artwork on album covers beginning in the late 1960s through the ’70s has also made some albums collector’s items for that alone, regardless of the music.

“I know people who buy Iron Maiden albums just to put the album cover in a frame on their wall because of the artwork,” he said.

As a special treat for this year’s music collector’ show, DJ AFM.TRAX (aka Asher Freeman Metcalfe) will be spinning records throughout the show.

READ MORE: Vinyl nostalgia on display at Kelowna record fair

Barry Gerding

About the Author: Barry Gerding

Senior regional reporter for Black Press Media in the Okanagan. I have been a journalist in the B.C. community newspaper field for 37 years...
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