Cold­snap takes to city stages

The Prince George Citizen - - Local | Weather - Frank PEE­BLES Cit­i­zen staff fpee­bles@pgc­i­t­i­zen.ca

Cold­snap is great for Prince Ge­orge be­cause it will also bring in peo­ple from sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties to lis­ten to the mu­sic.

— Re­nee Con­way

Cold­snap is sec­ond to none at bring­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional folk-roots mu­sic acts to Prince Ge­orge. It is also sec­ond to none at shin­ing a spotlight on all lo­cal tal­ent. Best of all, there is, on a nightly ba­sis, a mix of tal­ent from here at home and come from away.

This year the list of lo­cals tells a tale of mat­u­ra­tion of our home­grown mu­sic scene, es­pe­cially when one con­sid­ers the names not on the list. Ev­ery one of these lo­cal open­ers for the main­stage con­certs are ex­pe­ri­enced in tour­ing, ex­pe­ri­enced in mul­ti­ple lo­cal gigs, and are also ex­pe­ri­enced record­ing artists. They are Amy Bland­ing (a swiftly added sub­sti­tute for Out Of Alba who had to de­cline their show due to ill­ness), Naomi Kavka, Za­van Trio, and Genevieve Jaide.

Add Kym Gouchie who is also all of those things and is fea­tured at one of the work­shop events.

And then add Is­abelle Houghton who is only 10 years old and won this year’s Lime­light Quest com­pe­ti­tion.

The lo­cal in­clu­sion gets thick when you fac­tor in four strong per­form­ers per night at a pair of all-re­gional show­case shows at The Le­gion (one on Tues­day night, the other on Feb. 1).

The first night of­fers the au­di­ence Trina Chivalo, the Danny Bell Trio, Adam Winn, and Far From Lin­ear.

The sec­ond of these show­cases gives us An­drew Twin­ing, Kiera Dall’Osto, The Alkemist, and Crow­marsh.

“I think the lo­cal mu­sic scene is alive and well, cer­tainly for some gen­res like folk and roots,” said Dwight Wolfe, host of the CFISFM ra­dio show Home­grown that ex­clu­sively plays the mu­sic of this re­gion. “Mu­si­cally, there is a lot of cross pol­li­na­tion and play­ing be­tween bands. New artists have moved to P.G. – specif­i­cally Brin Porter, bassist with The Party On High Street from Vic­to­ria. He is well known lo­cally be­cause of tour­ing and the sum­mer fes­ti­val cir­cuit, and he can sit in with any­one. He’s al­ready part of Salt­wa­ter Hank’s al­bum project.”

The lay­ers of in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness have been build­ing the lo­cal scene for years. Jaide took part in the re­gional show­case last year, and is now ad­vanc­ing to a main­stage open­ing slot. She cred­its veter­ans from the city like Matt Robin­son, Jeremy Ste­wart, Dawn Boudreau and Nick Tindale with coach­ing her from as­pir­ing rookie to some- one with a fresh new al­bum on the mar­ket and tour dates pend­ing.

“I don’t know what it’s like to have this sort of Cold­snap ex­pe­ri­ence, but it is great to get these chances be­cause peo­ple in your home­town see some­thing in you they want to sup­port,” she said. “The re­gional show­case last year, to be re­ally hon­est, was the kick­start of everything. I was al­ready record­ing, but I didn’t know why. I had all these songs I’d writ­ten so I fig­ured I should do some­thing with them, but there was no plan or goal to it. But then last year hap­pened, the re­gional show­case night, and it all came tum­bling to­gether. I met other mu­si­cians that night, I saw a com­mu­nity of mu­si­cians in ac­tion, I sud­denly felt part of some­thing I re­ally didn’t re­al­ize ex­isted. I got in­spired and it kicked my butt into gear.”

Part of that was the con­cert she got to per­form, and part of it was the work­shop she took in in­structed by im­port head­lin­ers Matt Epp and An­drea Ramolo. She got a strong con­nec­tion from Ramolo and that sparked con­fi­dence in Jaide that set her on a year of con­cise mu­si­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Far From Lin­ear has had quite a year as well. The Prince Ge­orge pop-punk rock trio (com­prised of Demmy G., Re­nee Con­way and Olivia Ko­zoris) got in­dus­try no­tice at the Break­out West mu­sic con­fer­ence, per­formed on the buskers’ stage at a Prince Ge­orge Cougars game, Ko­zoris made the fi­nals of Lime­light Quest, and other no­table high­lights. They even have a freshly recorded demo CD and mer­chan­dise that will be avail­able at their Cold­snap ap­pear­ance.

“We’re super ex­cited about Cold­snap. This is ac­tu­ally our very first fes­ti­val as Far From Lin­ear and we’re happy to get the op­por­tu­nity to do it in front of our home crowd,” said Con­way. “Cold­snap is great for Prince Ge­orge be­cause it will also bring in peo­ple from sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties to lis­ten to the mu­sic. It helps to get word out of your band be­fore ever ac­tu­ally play­ing a gig in that town.”

The re­verse is also true. The re­gional show­cases are in­deed not re­served solely for Prince Ge­orge artists. One of those com­ing in a few ex­tra miles is singer-song­writer Adam Winn from the Fort St. John area, where he al­ready has a strong fan base and es­tab­lished cre­ative ca­reer.

“I am ex­cited to come down to Prince Ge­orge (for Cold­snap). I have never played in the area be­fore so I’m cu­ri­ous what the mu­sic scene is like there,” he said. “I re­ally like the fact that Cold­snap em­braces that we live in the north and should cel­e­brate cul­ture in the win­ter months. It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to not just stay cooped up all win­ter. What is re­ally cool is the sup­port lo­cal artists find from their com­mu­nity at fes­ti­vals like this. One of the big­gest com­po­nents to hav­ing a good mu­sic and arts scene is lo­cal peo­ple com­ing out to show their sup­port.”

Jaide had some cau­tion­ary ob­ser­va­tions about that, though. She de­tected a frus­tra­tion but also an op­por­tu­nity.

“I still feel there’s a big seg­ment of the pop­u­la­tion of Prince Ge­orge that still doesn’t know what Cold­snap is, even though it’s been do­ing this for years,” she said. “I’m still amazed at how many peo­ple, when I tell them I’m per­form­ing at Cold­snap, re­spond by say­ing ‘what’s that? Never heard of it.’ I’m not sure how to go about it, but this fes­ti­val still needs a lot of sup­port and at­ten­tion from its own com­mu­nity.”

Wolfe, who is also a lo­cally noted stage per­former him­self, rou­tinely vol­un­teers his time to boost Cold­snap’s for­tunes, and said the be­hind-the-scenes or­ga­ni­za­tion (P.G. Folk­fest So­ci­ety) was stel­lar in its pro­duc­tion of this an­nual mu­sic smor­gas­bord.

“Putting over orig­i­nal mu­sic is a chal­lenge in this town and the artists have to re­ally be ded­i­cated,” he said.

Cold­snap runs to Feb. 3, with the city com­ing alive with one of the best streaks of lo­cal and im­port mu­sic all in one col­lec­tion.

Tick­ets to all the events are avail­able for on­line pur­chase on the Cold­snap website, or get phys­i­cal tick­ets at Stu­dio 2880 and Books & Com­pany.

CIT­I­ZEN FILE PHOTO

Lo­cal singer/song­writer Naomi Kavka is one of the lo­cal artists who will be in the spotlight at this year’s Cold­snap.

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