Starting on July 7, every Thursday night of the summer, plan to head down with a lawn chair or blanket at 6 p.m. to enjoy some free live music.
Performances in the Park, presented by the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society, is bringing the open-air shows back to the Gwen Ringwood Stage on Thursday nights.
The Community Arts Council of Williams Lake (CACWL) is again managing the series, and have recruited performers and sponsors to entertain music lovers in Williams Lake.
On hold since the pandemic began, Programs Manager Venta Rutkauskas hopes the two years away will motivate people to come out and support the acts.
“What so many of us have missed these last two years are the simple ways we can celebrate in community together. We’d like to present these events as a welcoming place where just about anyone can find something enjoyable, without any barriers like cost getting in the way. Music and the arts do have the power to bring people together.”
The musical line-up is diverse, with acts from away that include Juno-nominated The Fugitives and The Aerialists, as well as seasoned traveling musicians like Tennyson King, Elise Boulanger and Kurt Loewen.
There is also no shortage of local talent, including Cole Patenaude and his new band the Screech Owls, Dance in Common studio dancers, Shannon O’Donovan, The Salmon Brothers, Dena Baumann, Fallsway and 10 Day Notice. Nearly local Quesnel musicians include Spencer Holmes and No Big D.
“The CCACS (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society), the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Williams Lake are very proud and happy to announce that live musical performances are coming back to Boitanio Park this summer for eight Thursday nights,” states Harry Jennings, President Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society. “It has been a while due to unfortunate circumstances, but we are so pleased that Performances in The Park will be giving our summer Thursday evenings a wonderful boost of musical talent from far and wide, and I’m confident we’ll see huge enthusiastic crowds returning to what has become a fixture for Williams Lake and the Cariboo Region. The events are also well known to attract visiting tourists from all over the world. Thanks to the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake for producing and managing the evenings, and to all the valued sponsors helping to bring this sparking arts and culture event to our beautiful downtown backyard!”
We’re continuing to promote the ‘Patrons Play Your Part’ sponsorship opportunity. If you love the concert series and want to contribute, visit our website and donate the price of a concert ticket! These donations are directly impacting the artists performing this year and in the following years, artists who’ve seen their gig economy so heavily impacted these last years.
Be sure to catch up with Performances in the Park on Facebook and Instagram and have your finger on the pulse for our weekly events.
On Thursday July 7, we present Beaver Valley’s singer songwriter Shannon O’Donovan with Esk’et and Squamish band of brothers, The Salmon Brothers.
On Thursday July 14, you’ll not want to miss Dance in Common studio showcase dance routines from their summer intensive, followed by Tennyson King, a nomadic indie folk musician from Hong Kong and Canada playing a raw, gritty and organic sound that makes the soul feel wild and the heart comforted.
July 21, two out of town acts take the stage, with Kurt Loewen and The Aerialists. Kurt Loewen captivates with original, gentle story and song of love and heartbreak. The Aerialists bring something completely different, fronted by harp and fiddle.
July 28, The Wild Pigeon Expedition flies north from 100 Mile to share old time music with us, followed by Cole Patenaude and The Screech Owls. Cole’s warm and heartfelt rock and blues is a home for anyone’s ears.
Moving into August, on Thursday August 4, don’t miss a local talent filled stage when Dena Baumann and friends get the night going with sweet and powerful music, followed by Fallsway, a rock act put together by Clayton Charleyboy and Ben Lamb Yorski.
On August 11 we feature two more traveling acts who take musicianship and story songs to another level. First up is Nanaimo’s Elise Boulanger, whose haunting voice paints moving pictures. Our second act of the night are The Fugitives, an authentic folk quartet with unforgettable live shows brimming with complex harmonies, infectious storytelling and top-notch musicianship.
August 18 is one for the books, opening with locals Leah Martin and Matt Granlund’s band 10 Day Notice. These housing advocates have a lot to say in a deeply post po punk melodic way. They’re followed by Quesnel’s Spencer Holmes, an earthy Cariboo-born balladeer who’s bound to make a few friends.
Closing night, August 25, goes out in style, with four-piece all femme party starter, no big d opening for The Cariboo Gold Dance Band – all style, all glamour, and that’s just the brass section.
“Our goal is to provide an entertainment destination for the community,” explains PiP manager Venta Rutkauskas. “We’re working on having some excellent food vendors and kids’ activities available to make the events a total package.”