Kasey Graff and Dan Tait make up Kelowna duo, Tiger Moon. (Kirk Squires photo)

Emerging artists given chance at Shuswap’s Roots Blues Festival

Chosen participants can perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night, and more.

Barb Brouwer

Contributor

Performing in front of a large and enthusiastic audience is the dream of many musicians.

And the opportunity to do just that is being offered through a partnership between the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival and the Creative Okanagan Artist and Event Development Society.

Emerging musicians from the Okanagan and Shuswap/North Thompson area are invited to apply for an artist development opportunity through an Inside the Festival program.

This is the third time for the program, after great success with the inaugural program in 2017, said Roots and Blues artistic director Peter North.

Tiger Moon, a Kelowna duo comprised of Dan Tait and Kasey Graff, were the first artists to benefit in 2017.

“The program helped Tiger Moon widen their fan base, learn about the inner workings of playing a large festival and grow their network in the Okanagan music community,” said Karma Lacoff, executive and creative director of Creative Okanagan.

“As the region’s foremost festival of its type, an opportunity for an emerging artist from our region to play Roots and Blues is an amazing learning opportunity and chance to connect with new audiences.”

Kelowna-based bluegrass quartet Under the Rocks was awarded the opportunity in 2018 and band member Chris Baxter called the experience life-changing.

“There were huge networking opportunities for us in particular as we got to hang out with, and pick the brains of, many veteran artists in the blues-folk-bluegrass scene,” said Baxter. “The Inside the Festival program has given us so much publicity and performance opportunities that would have otherwise taken us many more years to achieve.”

Thompson Okanagan artists performing music within the genres of roots and blues can apply to participate in the program.

Read more: 2017 – New concert series supports Okanagan talent

Read more: Working it out at Roots and Blues Festival

Read more: The Hillside Outlaws compete to play Denim on the Diamond

Chosen participants will get the opportunity to perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night before the Roots & Blues Festival, a Friday night workshop or a Saturday morning brunch outreach event.

Also included are backstage passes for weekend, a meeting with North during the festival, a $1,000 honorarium, hotel accommodations and assistance connecting with media.

Applicants must have been residents of the Okanagan, including the Shuswap/North Thompson, for one year and not previously hired to play the Roots & Blues Festival.

For more information and an application, go to the Creative Okanagan website at https://www.creativeokanagan.com/inside-the-festival.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, July 7 at midnight.


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