Former Williams Lake resident and award-winning guitarist Don Alder has been inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame 2020-21 StarMeritus category.
StarMeritus Stars are reserved for pioneers of the entertainment industry receiving special merit for their outstanding contribution to the performing arts in British Columbia, noted BC Entertainment Hall of Fame in announcing this year’s winners.
Joining Alder in the StarMeritus recognition are actor, singer and arts advocate Candus Churchill, pioneer of the B.C. music industry and Juno Award winner Lynne Partridge and manager, producer and entertainment publicist Valerie (“Valley”) Hennell.
After Alder’s father died, he moved to Williams Lake at the age of 10 to live with his late grandmother, Jean Anne Montgomery.
He became good friends with Rick Hansen, and was with him when Hansen suffered a spinal cord injury in a vehicle crash.
In 1985, Alder joined Hansen on the Man in Motion World Tour and said when he performs he tells stories from the tour, which he believes is one of the reasons he was given the StarMeritus.
“When I do shows it’s not about watch me play, light my hair on fire, and do all these fancy guitar tricks, it’s about trying to connect to an audience,” he told the Tribune.
“Through story, which I’ve many because of the tour and different things, you kind of can share about community and getting others to connect with you on things that might be in their lives.”
Chuckling he said he’s not the best guitar player around, but is an ‘amazing artist,’ who can break some of the rules.
As a musician he has his own defined character, he added, noting he often hires guitar players when he’s recording a new CD to play parts he doesn’t think he is capable of.
During the COVID-19 pandemic he has recorded some music videos and finished up some older songs, but all touring gigs in Europe are on hold, for now.
“Like everyone else, I’ve had to hunker down and hope for the best,” he said.
This latest feather in his cap tops off previous accolades such as the Brand Laureate Award Malaysia he won in 2013 for his contributions using his guitar to help and inspire others around the world and the Domenic Troiano Guitar Award he won in 2015.