John MacKenzie and Ruth Travers sing together at the 7-bar-7 Gospel Jamboree held at Cochin Lake in the Chilcotin earlier this month.

John MacKenzie and Ruth Travers sing together at the 7-bar-7 Gospel Jamboree held at Cochin Lake in the Chilcotin earlier this month.

Singing out at the 7-Bar-7 Gospel Jamboree in the Chilcotin

7-Bar-7 Gospel Jamboree in the Chilcotin draws visitors from B.C., Alberta and the U.S.

When three big name acts from Alberta, Montana and Washington State were unable to make it to the 18th annual 7-Bar-7 Gospel Jamboree at Cochin Lake during the second weekend of August (9-11), local musicians did the only thing they knew how; they got up and performed.

Naturally there were a few surprises as some very skilled musicians showed up from Fort St. John, Prince George, Bella Coola, Williams Lake, the Okanagan, Alberta, Seattle and Arizona to compliment the excellent local talent from Tatla Lake.

There was lots of room onstage for beginners with very rudimentary skills to come up and play a song or two, and the result was a fun time enjoyed by all.

Performers included Bev Butler and Lea Butler on fiddle, Christine Peters on guitar and vocal, Wesley Birchwater on cornet and piano, vocalists Ruth Travers, Lana Birchwater, Charlene Travers, Mekayla Markley and Charlie Travers. Twelve-year-old Caleb Birchwater played a couple of piano pieces, as did Xavier Birchwater.

Their sister, Acacia, played both the piano and fiddle.

Doug Venn from Prince George played several songs with his brother Teddy Venn from Tatla Lake, then was joined by his kids Doug Venn Jr, Nakita Venn and Justin Venn.

John Mackenzie from Eagle Lake played his guitar in a round with fiddlers Bev and Lea Butler, then performed a few solo numbers.

David Lulua, who grew up at Cochin Lake, took to the stage with his guitar and vocals, followed by Luis Mendoza, who made his way to the jamboree from Arizona and offered some incredible licks on piano and guitar.

Teddy Venn accompanied his wife Ruth Kuehl-Venn for a few songs, then Clifford Schuk made a surprise appearance with his daughter, Sydney, singing acapella. Not to be outdone, Allyson Schuk accompanied herself on guitar and sang a couple of tunes.

Perhaps the most memorable musical delight was the contingent of two families originally from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, who now make their home in Fort St. John. Luke, Stephen and Paul Noble, formerly of Williams Lake, sang some very melodious songs accompanying themselves on guitar, piano and fiddle.

Also from Fort St. John were Tony, Levi, Tianna and Jordy Warriner, who have roots in Bella Coola.

They inspired people with their vocals backed up by lively piano, bass guitar and acoustic guitar.

Shantyman pastor John Noble gave the sermon following the music on Sunday morning, and this was followed by the traditional pot luck feast.

Of course a big part of the 7-7 Gospel Jamboree is the fun time playing in Cochin Lake. Young and old took to the water in a big way as a reprieve from the hot weather.

Everyone extends a big thanks to the Travers family for hosting the memorable occasion for the eighteenth time. Ruth and Charlie Travers recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.


As childhood sweethearts, Charlie says if he had his way, they would have married five years earlier.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Most Read