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Music series beams live shows from Campbell River across the country

The performances are a way to aid musicians affected by the pandemic.
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Vancouver Island musicians Nico Rhodes, left, and Rick Scott perform Saturday at Campbell River's Tidemark Theatre. SUBMITTED

ON STAGE

What: Music From the Edges of Canada

Where: Tidemark Theatre, 1220 Shoppers Row, Campbell River

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $33.60 ($22 for livestream) from tickets.tidemarktheatre.com

A series of concerts featuring in-person and online performances is putting music from four corners of Canada into venues and homes across the country, with the goal of supporting the embattled arts and culture sectors.

Music from the Edges of Canada, which is co-produced by Margot Holmes of Nanaimo, is narrowing the gap brought about by COVID-19, which made touring all but impossible for the better part of 18 months. Vancouver Island artists David Gogo, Blue Moon Marquee, Rick Scott, Joelle Rabu and Nico Rhodes are performing live for in-person audiences at the Tidemark Theatre in Campbell River in the coming weeks, content of which will be livestreamed via www.musicfromtheedges.ca.

Similarly themed concerts are set for theatres in New Brunswick, Yukon and Northwest Territories. Those out-of-province events will also be streamed through musicfromtheedges.ca, which gives viewers across the nation the opportunity to sample music unique to each participating area, and in-person attendees the chance to see live music in their own backyard.

Holmes and her Yukon-based partner in the project, Debbie Peters, rushed to create the series out of necessity and sympathy for the artists, venues and staff directly affected by the pandemic.

“We have represented touring artists, between us, for over 50 years so we could see that this was not coming back as fast as people were predicting,” Holmes said. “How do you still give artists work, and how do you showcase their art? This was the idea, something a little more unique.”

The producers approached managers at four theatres in the aforementioned provinces, each of whom jumped at the opportunity. Music From the Edges of Canada premiered Oct. 28 at the Tidemark Theatre with performances by Vancouver acts Krystle Dos Santos and Locarno. Rick Scott (of Pied Pumkin fame) and Nico Rhodes are next up at the Tidemark Theatre on Saturday, with support from Tiller’s Folly — one of 11 multi-band concerts in the series through March 2022.

“It gives the artists the chance to perform in their own community, and not travel long distances, and allows their art to go out into the world,” Holmes said.

The series is expected to provide work for more than 140 people in the four regions, from artists’ agents and marketing professionals to stage technicians and venue staff. Multiple Juno Award nominee Scott, who founded folk favourite Pied Pumkin with Shari Ulrich and Joe Mock in 1974, praised Holmes and her team for having the best interests of artists in mind.

“You can’t give enough kudos to Margot, because this is all uncharted territory,” Scott said. “It’s a whole new ballgame in the music world. Every aspect of this is all-new. Musicians aren’t real quick on the draw when it comes to making a change in their life.”

In his 50 years as a performer, the Protection Island resident said he’s never seen anything like the decimation brought about by the pandemic. He played a show at Rogue Folk Club in Vancouver last week, his first in-person performance for a full audience in almost two years. “I’m thrilled about [the series]. It’s so nice to be back in the saddle again. It allows me to do what I live the most, which is get on a stage.”

mdevlin@timescolonist.com