By Steve Hubrecht

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Music lovers get your watercraft ready: the Brett Brett Boat Concert is back again this year. 

The popular event began more than three years ago at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when Canadian country music star Brett Kissel and entrepreneur and philanthropist W. Brett Wilson teamed up to co-host an outdoor boat concert on Lake Windermere. 

The event was designed to boost morale in a trying time and also, conveniently, having people spaced out in their own watercraft helped to ensure pandemic social distancing protocols were observed.

A second Brett Brett concert followed in 2021, and then last year a third concert was held. The first concert saw several hundred boats and a roughly equal number of kayaks, canoes and paddle boards out floating on the lake as Kissel played from near the Baltac Road boat launch. Last year the audience was even larger, although an exact attendance count is impossible.

Wilson told the Pioneer last week that he and Kissel are happy to do another edition of what has now turned into an annual tradition,  even though the pandemic has ebbed because “I have a yard that works out really well (as a venue) and I have a friend who loves to play here (Kissel), and that works out really well too. We enjoy this too much to stop. It’s about creating goodwill between valley regulars and valley locals.”

Wilson defined valley locals as those who live here full-time and year round, and valley regulars as those live in the valley for extended parts of the year (such as through the summer).

“It’s about goodwill, good charity, and good fun,” said Wilson.

The show doubles as a fundraiser for the Columbia Valley Community Foundation. Although the concert is free, everybody who attends is strongly encouraged to donate to the foundation. 

The fourth Brett Brett Boat Concert will be held on Sunday, Aug. 6 near the Baltac boat launch, and will run roughly from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Over the past three years the boat concerts have raised roughly $300,000 for the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, and Wilson explained that the money typically gets directed to youth and adolescents, especially for mental health initiatives.

Wilson said he and Kissel are hoping to raise even more this year than they have in the past.

Concert attendees are asked to respect B.C. boating laws, rules and regulations, such as wearing life jackets, having lights on their watercraft, and behaving safely.

Kissel has won multiple Canada Country Music Association Awards and several Junos.

To find out more about the Columbia Valley Community Foundation, visit