Live at the Gazebo brings free music to Shell Lake

The Brothers G from Hafford will perform at Live at the Gazebo in Shell Lake on June 30.

The community of Shell Lake is looking to Montreal for inspiration as a new musical event and fundraiser gets off the ground.

Live at the Gazebo featuring musical guests Brothers G is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30. Event organizer Heather Beauchesne wanted to create an event that would bring the community together while supporting a local initiative, and she thought an evening of free music would be the perfect fit.

“I spent about a decade in Montreal, and it was a town full of free outdoor arts and culture events that you could attend with no monetary investment,” Beauchesne explained. “That was a huge bonus for being in that community. A large group of people who were attending these events had low income, and that was their way of gathering with friends and going to participate in arts and culture. Coming back home, I really missed that.

“A lot of these events are monetized and living so far away from some of the city centres—and with the price that goes with it—there are some limitations. I really wanted to do something in our small town where there isn’t a dollar value to it.”

Musical guests Brothers G are a trio from Hafford, Sask. made up of singer/guitar player Jason Gall, drummer Jordan Gall, and bass/keyboard player Elias Brevik. The group just released their debut EP, ‘Greetings from Highway 16’.

Beauchesne said she spoke with Brevik about performing at a community event in Shell Lake, and was touched by their enthusiasm.

“I listened to the music, and it was such a refreshing genre of country and rock and bluegrass which is hard to find. I had presented them with, originally, the idea that, ‘hey, I don’t have any money to provide you with a guarantee, but would you come out to Shell Lake and play for free,’ and the band was enthusiastic about it,” she said.

“They love what they’re doing. They were okay with not getting a guaranteed return, and I just thought that (showed) such a lovely and genuine interest in their own art, while also being such lovely community members.”

While music lovers won’t have to pay for the June 30 concert, they are encouraged to bring some cash with them. That’s partially because there will be local artisans and food trucks on site selling their wares, but mostly because local entrepreneur Rose Freeman will be collecting donations for the Saskatchewan Make a Wish Foundation.

Freeman was recently named the 2023 ambassador for the Saskatchewan Make a Wish Foundation. She is part of a group of 100 Canadian women who have committed to raising a combined $1 million for Make a Wish.

Beauchesne said it feels great to be able to partner with Freeman and support a worthy cause.

“It no longer just the community hanging out and enjoying free music,” Beauchesne said. “We’re getting together and we’re actually using all our energy and resources to a final goal of helping out our local Saskatchewan kids with critical illness achieve some of their own wishes. That seems like a really great way to invest in so much volunteer time and energy to see that happen.”

In addition to donations, the event will also feature a raffle, with all proceeds going directly to the Saskatchewan Make a Wish Foundation. For more information, visit the Live at the Gazebo Facebook page.