The return of the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band struck an emotional chord for not only its alumni members but the Vernon community as a whole, but now, director Cathy Sim said she doesn’t know how the band can continue without a “forever home.”
Canadian Tire has allowed the around 30 to 35 members of the trumpet band use the old store on 27th Street for their practices, Sim said, but there’s a timeline.
“We can stay there until the building is sold,” Sim said at their first indoor practice of the season Thursday, Sept. 17.
Now, the trumpet band is looking for somewhere they can call home on a more permanent basis.
“We’re hoping to find a double-sized basketball court or gymnasium,” Sim said, noting ample parking is a necessity as the band’s members are coming from as far as Lake Country, Kelowna and Falkland.
“I don’t know what’s out there,” Sim said. “We’re hoping someone can come forward and let us know.”
The trumpet band had been holding its rehearsals in the parking lot of the old Canadian Tire throughout the spring and summer in preparation for the Vernon Winter Carnival. Sim noted the women rehearsed in the pouring rain and had to deal with marching through puddles — some knee deep.
“It’s getting cold out,” Sim said, reiterating the importance of getting indoors faster than the mercury drops.
“We are prepared to pay a little in rent,” Sim said, adding the trumpet band has been applying for available grants since it registered as a society.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a hurdle for the trumpet band, but Sim said the alumni band has had opportunities to perform around town.
“The smiles on all the people’s faces is heartwarming,” Sim said.
“The band has been doing well,” she said. “We love what we’re doing.”
Most recently, the Vernon Girls Trumpet Band has teamed up with the Historic O’Keefe Ranch for a photoshoot. The photographs will be showcased in the upcoming 2021 calendar which will benefit the ranch and help the trumpet band maintain their instruments.
“A special thank you to O’Keefe Ranch manager Sherrilee Franks, wrangler Clyde and his beautiful horses, to photographers Megan, Brielle and Mr. and Mrs. Lindley,” the band said in a social media post. “And to all our fans that passed and honked… you always make our day.”
Calendars will be available through O’Keefe Ranch or by contacting the trumpet band directly.