By Camille Aubin
camille@columbiavalleypioneer.com

Steamboat Mountain Music Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary in a unique way: by creating a double CD featuring local musicians. “It is a great achievement to have an event that has been going for 10 years. It’s something to celebrate. We’ve actually been able to establish a music society that nurtures the culture here in the valley and that has survived for 10 years,” explained Anne Jardine, administrative and bursary director of Steamboat Society.

Vaccinations in B.C. have ramped up, but the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, so in contrast to the normal schedule of a weekend-long event, this year’s Steamboat Mountain Music Festival will occur only on the afternoon of July 3, with restrictions and protocols in place to keep things safe. “This year is not as focused and intense on the three-day festival. With this very unusual year, it’s what we can do,” said Jardine.

Local bands will be performing at different times and locations during the Saturday afternoon from atop a socially distanced Home Hardware truck stage in Edgewater.

Festival organizers are asking people to respect the province’s COVID-19 regulations during performances. If the crowd is already at full capacity, spectators will be advised to avoid the venue.

The B.C. Arts Council has awarded the Steamboat Society with a cultural resiliency grant so that the organization can continue to encourage the creation and sharing culture. The board used the grant to produce the double CD, which features original music from local musicians. “The B.C. Arts Council has been working really hard to keep culture alive. They have been putting out money to all the different cultural groups around the province in the idea that by infusing funding, they’ll be able to keep the profile alive,” explained Jardine to the Pioneer. 

Locally the Columbia Valley Community Foundation is another sponsor that has a positive impact on the Steamboat Society. “They have also been very generous. I think they are trying as best as they can to nurture the cultural sector of the entire Columbia Valley, and we really appreciate that,” said Jardine.

Twenty other bands and artists from the valley will be featured on the CD. “We have very skilled sound engineers here (at the studio), who help with the recording, the editing or retake,” said Jardine. “We have 12 (artists) so far, and we wanted to record as many as twenty so that if there are local bands or artists that would like to get involved, we can still fit them in.”

Artists interested in performing are encouraged to contact program director John MacRobbie at canmaces@gmail.com.

The Steamboat Society is hopeful that by September, the organization can then put together a larger event to coincide with the launch of the double CD. 

“When we’ll have the CD ready to distribute or sell to the valley then we will have a CD release event and hopefully by then, we will be able to have a larger audience. That’s when we would like to invite out the whole valley and region to come out and celebrate, when we will be able to do it safely,” expressed Jardine.

One formula that hasn’t change this year is the Duck Race. “It is kind of like a token raffle, where people buy a duck number. We dump them into the flume, then, they travel down the water at the other end, and we catch them as they come in. The first number duck that arrives at the finish line, the winner gets $500, the second wins $300, and the third one gets $200,” described Jardine.

The money raised during this fundraising is used to finance the Steamboat bursary. “That is for any aspiring musician of any age to take any kind of educational program. So it could be a university course, it could be Master Class. It could be introductory music lessons, anything to do with music and learning,” explained Jardine. “The whole purpose of it is to help music grow here in the valley to help the artists to aspire towards creating music to help them along their path.”

The tickets for the Duck Race are available at the Edgewater Post office or the Legion.

Stay tuned for upcoming events and updates on the Steamboat Society in future Pioneer editions. For more information, visit: http://www.steamboatmtnmusicfest.ca/