The First Waltz followed a format similar to the documentary The Last Waltz, which featured a farewell celebration for The Band; the concert featured several artists including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton to name a few.
CFUR Radio recrafted the documentary into a fundraising event; the evening of musical celebration featured local Northern talents Murray Gable, Marcel Gagnon, Corbin Spensley, Raghu Lokanathan, Kym Gouchie, Jeremy Stewart, Britt Meierhofer, Naomi Kavka and Nathan Kelly – all backed by the band Black Spruce Bog.
“The event took a year to plan from concept to full realization with most of the planning happening this past summer” says Fraser Hayes, Station Manager at CRUF 88.7fm.
The event gave local artists the opportunity to share their music and also perform at The Prince George Playhouse. “There are a handful of artists that have been very active in the Prince George music scene over the past 20 years. People like Murray Gable, Marcel Gagnon and Raghu Lokanathan have been in PG music for a very long time. The rest are artists who are very involved with PG music; they work to make our music community more vibrant” continues Hayes.
Besides providing exposure to fifteen local artists, The First Waltz met the CFUR fundraising goal bringing in over $5000 and also gave them the opportunity to partner with community businesses like Integris – businesses with similar values of promoting arts and culture in Northern BC. Funds raised from the event will go directly towards further supporting Northern BC artists.
Besides CFUR Radio and Integris Credit Union, partners of the event also included Coldsnap Music Festival, Barkerville Brewery and McInnis Lighting. The evening concluded with the band, the artists and the audience singing a Prince George classic: ‘Across the River’ by Murray Gable. “Oh, I Love This Land!” the lyrics to Gable’s song were the perfect ending to a showcase of great northern music. Hayes says “we absolutely missed a few people but we see this as an opportunity to do something again so on!”
|Written by Cori Ramsay, BA – Communications Officer|