New society put together to support local performers

A local non-profit is inviting the public to come down to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel for an inaugural event on Friday, Dec. 12.

A local non-profit is inviting the public to come down to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel for an inaugural event on Friday, Dec. 12, to thank and recognize supporters for the SummerSounds season.

The Fisher Peak Performing Artists Society—a newly formed non-profit organization as of last Thursday—is holding their first sponsorship appreciation night at the Royal Alexandra Hall following another successful program in 2014.

Tickets are $20 each, which includes an FPPA membership for the coming year that will provide discounts on future events including concerts, artist development and promotion workshops and performance recording.

The evening, beginning at 8 p.m., will feature performances from The Little Jazz Orchestra and Joshua Burning.

The FPPA was formed as a way to streamline communication between local area musicians who wanted to find venues to perform and develop skills outside of their musical talents, according to organizer Jim Conley.

“We sat down at the end of the year and decided there was enough interest and kind of a different focus, so we decided to set up our own society independently,” said Conley. “We’ve been working on the society setup for the last couple months and doing some brainstorming.

“At this point, now that we got that squared away we want to put on an event. Our primary focus is to thank people who donated and helped out with SummerSounds.”

Conley cites an example of a group that wanted to perform but needed a demo tape so that the organizers could hear their material before allowing the group to get up on stage.

He then organized a workshop where musicians used recording equipment and software to learn how to make their own demo tapes for the future.

“We sat down and thought about how we take this beyond just the events in the summer. So there’s always been a very vibrant music community in the area and we wanted to organize a bit more,” Conley said.

“The number one focus is going to be throwing events and shows but we also like to be doing some workshops for artist development, basically we want to be able to provide some services for the whole range of performers.”

Conley added that the support from local businesses and volunteers has been invaluable to SummerSounds because it allows musicians to be financially compensated for their performances.

“Fender strats aren’t cheap,” he joked.

Support has come in from local small business, the city of Cranbrook and other organizations such as the Columbia Basin Trust and the Cranbrook Rotary Club.

“I think one of the other things that prompted us to start an independent society was seeing how willing the community was to get involved either financially or on a volunteer basis to work on the SummerSounds program,” Conley said.

“…The best thing about it is a lot of those sponsors are local, they’re not regional or national. They’re basically small businesses in the community who are in support of homegrown events, so if the sponsorship wasn’t there, I doubt we’d be pursing what we’re pursuing.

“We’ve had really good feedback from the community.”

For more information about the event or FPPA, email contact@fisherpeak.org.