The Brons Brothers, Peak Music Festival, 2019. Murray Hayward photo

The Brons Brothers, Peak Music Festival, 2019. Murray Hayward photo

Donation-matching campaign will help live music return to Cranbrook

Live outdoor music, resonating from the heart of downtown Cranbrook on Saturdays in the Summer has been sorely missed by many in the past year due to … you know what (let’s try to not mention that name in just one news story, shall we?).

By 2019, the Summer Sounds concert series and ‘PEAK’ Music Festival, organized by the volunteers of the Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society (FPPAS), had become a favourite community program of local citizens and visitors. More than 90 local artists were featured on Rotary Park’s stage that year, and attendance exploded by the time September had rolled around. Locals were pleased that the park was being used in a way that it was designed for – a regularly scheduled, fully accessible, community entertainment program where people could freely socialize in a casual atmosphere.

An increase of live entertainment became evident in Cranbrook restaurants and bars, marking a noticeable shift in the arts and culture reputation of a city previously known primarily for its hockey team, medical, commerce and (sigh) boring nightlife.

Now it is 2021 and people are coming together to make it happen again. Scotiabank will collaborate with the non-profit arts organization on a donation-matching campaign, which could raise up to $6,000 for the seasonal outdoor music program.

“Music brings people together in a natural way that we can all enjoy,” said David Freund, Scotiabank Branch Manager. “This program is a great way to foster a stronger sense of community.”

Funding is needed now to put the planning into action. It takes months to pull together the full season program, slated to begin on Saturday July 10 (6-10 pm) and to continue every Saturday after. The start date will remain flexible to accommodate public safety by sliding forward as necessary.

The 2021 Summer Sounds music concert series will culminate with the two-day ‘PEAK’ Music Festival on the September Labour Day long weekend. Should exceptional delays be imposed by Provincial regulations, Fall dates will be considered. Postponement to 2022 is a last resort.

On behalf of a handful of dedicated FPPAS Directors, Maureen Frank expressed gratitude.

“We are very thankful for the commitment made by Scotiabank and donors, as well as several sponsors that have also invested; East Kootenay Community Credit Union, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, Lotic Environmental, Max’s Place, Baker Hill Dental, and Kootenay Communications.

“Yes, please donate,” Frank added, “but we also encourage people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others, so we can reconnect and revive through live music.”

The performing arts sector has suffered greatly in the past year and local performers are eager to get back in front of live audiences. Projections from the Province’s Health Minister suggest that outdoor seated events are probable by July or August, providing the uptake of vaccines produces the desired results.

Those who wish to support these dedicated efforts and double their contribution, can donate at www.fisherpeakperformingartists.com/ or send an e-transfer to fisherpeakperformingartists@gmail.com or send a cheque to: Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society, Box 474, Cranbrook BC V1C 4H9