Swift Cur­rent busi­nesses host­ing a free drive-in con­cert for the com­mu­nity

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - NEWS - mlieben­berg@prairiepos­t.com By Matthew Lieben­berg

Mem­bers of the Swift Cur­rent busi­ness com­mu­nity are again com­ing to­gether to host a free mu­sic con­cert for area res­i­dents.

The 2020 Tak­ing it to the Streets free drive-in con­cert with a per­for­mance by Saskatchew­an coun­try mu­si­cian Justin LaBrash and his band True North takes place at Ki­netic Park, July 25.

The in­au­gu­ral Tak­ing it to the Streets con­cert took place last year in the Swift Cur­rent down­town area at Memo­rial Park. The ar­range­ment of the 2020 con­cert is again spear­headed by Leanne Tunt­land-Wiebe from Bumper to Bumper Great West Auto Elec­tric.

The for­mat of this year’s con­cert will be dif­fer­ent due to the COVID-19 pub­lic health mea­sures, but the in­ten­tion of the event is still the same as be­fore.

“It was a feel­ing that we needed to give back to the com­mu­nity,” she said. “Great West Auto Elec­tric has been here al­most 70 years and peo­ple in the south­west have sup­ported us tremen­dously. We are so blessed to be in this new build­ing and we couldn’t have with­out the sup­port from all the south­west. It was time to give back and that’s why we chose to do it as a free con­cert and then I started ap­proach­ing busi­ness friends and peo­ple who have also been in the com­mu­nity a long time and their feel­ing was this is great.”

An im­por­tant fo­cus of last year’s con­cert was to thank area res­i­dents for their ef­forts to cre­ate a great com­mu­nity through vol­un­teer­ing. The Swift Cur­rent area hosted a num­ber of ma­jor events in 2019, in­clud­ing the Western Canada Sum­mer Games, and vol­un­teers played a key role in the suc­cess of those events.

“I re­ally wanted a sense of com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether and all be­ing one, and I think we proved that last year,” she said about the suc­cess of the in­au­gu­ral con­cert.

That spirit of giv­ing as­so­ci­ated with last year’s con­cert will con­tinue with the 2020 drive-in con­cert, be­cause the evening of mu­sic will help to lift peo­ple’s spir­its and to give them a break from the pan­demic.

“Men­tal health has come to the fore­front dur­ing all of this and hav­ing some­thing fun to do, nor­mal to do, help peo­ple to for­get for a lit­tle while,” she said. “I think it’s an im­por­tant con­cert go­ing for­ward too. There’s al­ways go­ing to be some­thing that we’re thank­ful for, some­thing we can help the com­mu­nity with and we’re hop­ing Tak­ing it to the Streets goes on for many years.”

The 2020 con­cert was orig­i­nally sched­uled to take place in Au­gust, but the COVID-19 pan­demic de­railed those plans en­tirely. How­ever, Tunt­land-Wiebe did not give up on the idea to still have a con­cert this year.

“I was re­ally hop­ing there was some­thing that we could pull off,” she said. “Then hear­ing that Brett Kis­sel was do­ing drive-in con­certs in Ed­mon­ton, my brain started to think this is open­ing up, how can we do a drive-in, how can we do it safely.”

She im­me­di­ately con­tacted LaBrash when she heard he is do­ing drive-in con­certs in Saskatchew­an, and he was on board with the idea of a sim­i­lar con­cert in Swift Cur­rent.

He was sched­uled to be one of the three per­form­ers at the Tak­ing it to the Streets con­cert that was sup­posed to take place in Au­gust.

“He’s the type of artist that reads his au­di­ence and he can play any­thing,” Tunt­land-Wiebe said. “So he re­acts with the au­di­ence. He’s go­ing to be re­ally good for get­ting the crowd go­ing. … He’ll make peo­ple for­get for a time that we’re so­cial dis­tanc­ing, even though we’re in cars. Ev­ery­body likes a drive-in, ev­ery­body likes con­certs, and ev­ery­body likes be­ing out­side in south­west­ern Saskatchew­an in the sum­mer time. So we’re pro­vid­ing all three of those and I think it’s go­ing to be a re­ally, re­ally good evening.”

LaBrash en­ter­tains au­di­ences with a dy­namic, high-en­ergy show while per­form­ing his own songs as well as clas­sic coun­try songs and rock hits. He has per­formed across Canada at var­i­ous fes­ti­vals and events.

He just re­leased his third al­bum and his lat­est sin­gle See You in the Stars reached the top spot on the Cana­dian True North Coun­try Indie chart.

He is the 2018 Saskatchew­an Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion (SCMA) emerg­ing artist of the year, a nom­i­nee for Saskatchew­an coun­try artist of the year, and a two-time fi­nal­ist and run­nerup in the 620 CKRM Proudly Saskatchew­an show­case. He was named by CKRM as most promis­ing en­ter­tainer in 2016.

His cur­rent drive-in con­cert tour in Saskatchew­an is the first tour with this for­mat in the province. He be­lieves in build­ing com­mu­ni­ties and pay­ing it for­ward. He there­fore high­lights a lo­cal char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tion to sup­port in each com­mu­nity on his tour.

Tunt­land-Wiebe said the Sal­va­tion Army food­bank in Swift Cur­rent will be the fea­tured char­ity at the Tak­ing it to the Streets drive-in con­cert. Peo­ple are asked to bring non-per­ish­able food items or cash do­na­tions for the food bank with them to the con­cert.

Bumper to Bumper Great West Auto Elec­tric is host­ing the con­cert in part­ner­ship with sev­eral other lo­cal busi­nesses. The other part­ners are Phar­masave, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Robert­son Motorsport­s & Marine, CKSW 570, Sign Here Signs & Print­ing, and Bran­don Wiebe Graphic De­sign.

Var­i­ous mea­sures will be in place for the drive-in con­cert to en­sure com­pli­ance with the COVID-19 pub­lic health mea­sures.

En­trance to the con­cert will only be through the gate on the west side of Ki­netic Park. Cars and SUV’s can start to ar­rive at 7 p.m. and trucks can start to en­ter at 7:30 p.m. The con­cert will start at 8 p.m.

Peo­ple will have to pro­vide their names, phone num­bers and ve­hi­cle reg­is­tra­tion num­bers upon ar­rival. This is nec­es­sary for the pur­pose of con­tact trac­ing in case of any in­fec­tions. CKSW 570 will have a print­able form avail­able on their web­site blog page for peo­ple to print out and com­plete be­fore the con­cert.

Ve­hi­cles will be di­rected to park­ing spots to en­sure that proper dis­tanc­ing is main­tained. Peo­ple must stay at the ve­hi­cle they come in and they can­not visit friends. They can bring their own lawn chairs and they are al­lowed to sit at the front of their ve­hi­cle or on the driver’s side only, but at all times they must be able to touch the ve­hi­cle.

No food will be pro­vided at the event, but peo­ple can bring a pic­nic lunch or snacks and non-al­co­holic bev­er­ages. No al­co­hol will be per­mit­ted and con­cert-go­ers are re­quested to keep garbage in their ve­hi­cles. There will be por­ta­ble toi­lets avail­able with hand gel and dis­in­fec­tant wipes.

Tunt­land-Wiebe noted there is enough room at Ki­netic Park to ac­com­mo­date a large num­ber of ve­hi­cles and at the same time con­cert-go­ers can main­tain phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing.

“We’re hop­ing that vis­ually over 400 ve­hi­cles will be able to see the stage,” she said. “There’s room for many more ve­hi­cles be­yond that, and if you’re sit­ting out on top of your truck, like a lot of the con­certs are do­ing, they can see the con­cert.”

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Pho­tos by Tara Lan­glois Pho­tog­ra­phy

Saskatchew­an coun­try mu­si­cian Justin LaBrash will per­form at the 2020 Tak­ing it to the Streets free drive-in con­cert in Swift Cur­rent, July 25.

Saskatchew­an coun­try mu­si­cian Justin LaBrash dur­ing one of his drive-in con­certs. He will per­form at the 2020 Tak­ing it to the Streets free drive-in con­cert in Swift Cur­rent, July 25.

Saskatchew­an coun­try mu­si­cian Justin LaBrash dur­ing one of his drive-in con­certs. He will per­form at the 2020 Tak­ing it to the Streets free drive-in con­cert in Swift Cur­rent, July 25.

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