Music lovers across the B.C. Interior will soon have another reason to celebrate concerts, besides COVID-19 restrictions lifting, as Route 97 Culture announces an initiative to establish new and unique live music venues and promoter relationships.
The aim for Route 97 Culture is to forge alliances with partners such as wineries, breweries, academic institutions, Indigenous organizations, tourism partners, arts councils and other pre-existing venue partners, to bring young emerging and established artists to the region.
The project has received funding from Amplify BC, created by the province and administered by Creative BC to support the music and sound recording industry. With this initiative new venue choices, promoters and resources will become available to serve culturally diverse and younger artists.
Mandy Wheelwright of Blister Management, and project co-lead Mark Greenhalgh of Misty Mountain Productions, along with Julie Fowler, Paul Crawford, Kate Wattie, Tori Jewell, Matt Rands, Greg Curtis (promoter consultant) have begun the engagement process with potential partners.
To date, the project team has initiated discussions with the following: Okanagan College (all regions), Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops), UBC Okanagan (Kelowna), Covert Farms (Oliver), Frank Venables Theatre (Oliver), Travel Penticton, Crown and Thieves Winery and Truck 59 Cider House (West Kelowna), Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Kelowna), Tourism Kelowna, Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre (RDNO), Bill Jaswal of Jelly Events (Kamloops), Frank Antoine, Kukpi7, Bonaparte First Nation, (Hat Creek Ranch), Caravan farm Theatre (Armstrong).
Kukpi7 Frank Antoine of the Bonaparte Indian Band, Moccasin Trails, Indigenous Tourism BC and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association said Bonaparte First Nations is happy to be working with Route 97 Culture.
“This project identifies the combination of our culture in a musical form that brings us back to our ancestors who get to then connect with our future generations. The world has changed and to feel like we must come together is so high on our list of feeling safe and normal again. We need projects and experiences like this to stimulate the spirit of belonging to the places we call home,” said Antoine.
According to Route 97 Culture, the initiative aims to grow and develop B.C.’s music ecosystem by having this new network of potential stakeholders invest in the province and Canadian talent.
“By finding new performance venues, working out new promoter relationships, developing stronger interconnectedness between academic, Indigenous organizations, arts councils, and the commercial and tourism sectors, this project aims to build a viable touring corridor in the B.C. Interior for younger artists,” stated Route 97 Culture.
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