Saskatchewan will celebrate International Women’s Day with seven concerts spread across the province this weekend.
The concerts are an initiative of SaskMusic, which is looking to celebrate the women who make music in the province while also raising money to support local organizations that help women.
The project — which includes a concert hosted in Prince Albert at Jam Street Music Saturday — is part of a partnership with FACTOR Canada. That organization provides financial support to artists, labels, songwriters, publishers, event producers and distributors.
“We did something with them last year and they approached us again,” explained Lorena Kelly of SaskMusic.
“We pitched to them that we wanted to do concerts as our focus. We went big with seven of them. We wanted to showcase as many female artists as possible on this one weekend.”
In addition to the Prince Albert concert, shows will be held in Yorkton, Regina, Estevan, Lemberg and Forget. All of the shows will be held on Saturday, with the exception of the Forget concert, which is set for Sunday. International Women’s Day 2020 is Sunday, Mar. 8.
“We’re thrilled with the number of artists that applied to play. We couldn’t get them all on. But there is a really good diversity of the kinds of music they’re playing,” Kelly said.
“There are artists from really young and getting started to really established. We’re looking forward to that diversity and lots of people who haven’t met, just artist to artist.”
In Prince Albert, Rymestone will be “holding down the post-punk and rock and roll, heavier type of music,” said Emma Anderson, who sings lead vocals for the band.
Rymestone will be performing alongside another band from Prince Albert, The Upside, along with singer-songwriters Dara Schindeklka from Lac La Ronge and Rhonda Galant-Morari from Saskatoon.
“Having a variety is great because it brings a more diverse listener group,” Anderson said.
“Sometimes, there is a bit of crossover with people’s interests. Even if there’s not, I think it makes it nice because there is something everyone will enjoy.”
Prince Albert’s concert will benefit the Prince Albert Safe Shelter for Women, which seeks to serve the needs of women and children who require safety and support due to an abusive relationship. It provides temporary shelter, safety, nutrition, transportation, information, referrals and support to women and children who are experiencing physical, mental, sexual, emotional and/or spiritual abuse.
“It’s a great cause and a great event,” Anderson said.
“We’re hoping that it brings a lot of the community together. We’re proud and happy to be supporting this event.”
While the event is about raising money for a cause that supports women, it’s also about giving women a voice.
“We are trying to amplify the voices of women, in particular, who aren’t getting the proper recognition they should as far as radio airplay goes, festival lineups, even being able to apply for funding. The numbers aren’t there for women artists,” Kelly said.
“We know there are a million talented female artists in the country and there are so many here in Saskatchewan. We feel they need to be boosted up more than they are. We’re hoping that by doing all f these events we’re demonstrating that there are a lot of talented women artists and bands with women in them in the province. They deserve to be heard as much as other artists.”
Anderson said there are a lot of talented artists in Saskatchewan in general. She added, though, that it’s nice to focus on women.
“I think women supporting women and helping women is a really great thing,” she said.
“We’re looking forward to a wonderful night.”
Tickets are for sale at https://www.showpass.com/iwdprincealbert/ and cost $15 or $10 for people under 18. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and the show starts at 7. Jam Street Music Sessions is located at 1026 1 Ave. West, across from the downtown A&W.