Prince Albert Country Music Association aims to promote the Exhibition with inaugural downtown kick-off performance

Country music singer Larry Krause. -- Herald file photo.

A group of country music artists plan to use live music to help promote the Prince Albert Exhibition this year with a special PAEX kick-off event Wednesday morning.

From 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., members of the Prince Albert Country Music Association will put on a free show outside City Hall in conjunction with the Prince Albert Farmers Market. Show producer Larry Krause said they looked to the Calgary Stampede for inspiration when planning the show.

“All over the city they have all kind of Stampede related events,” Krause explained. “The idea was to bring that kind of concept into Prince Albert and have PA Exhibition style events all over the city reflecting on what was going on that week. A lot of discussions and ideas got thrown around, and the end result was having this kickoff in the morning at the City Hall.

“(We wanted) something that wasn’t necessarily on site, but spread the exhibition around the city,” he added.

Krause and his band Timberline will open the proceedings at 8:30 a.m. Other musical acts include Connor Anderson, Rebound, Mystery Train, H.A.R.D., Carmen Robertson, and Audrey Neubuhr.

Ideally, Krause hopes the Exhibition Kick-off Show will become an annual event.

“There’s the parade, and there’s all of the other things going on on the grounds, and that’s great, but this gives an opportunity to have something that represents the exhibition that is a little bit of an outreach type of a thing,” he said. “Hopefully it catches on and people enjoy it.”

The PAEX Kick-off at City Hall is just one of several country music events lined up for the Exhibition.

Krause and his band will also perform Thursday afternoon at the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre. The Prince Albert Country Music Association will then put on a full show with a back-up band on Thursday night.

Krause said the Timberline show will feature a variety of country music, but the main focus will be on performing songs from four Canadian songwriters: Wilf Carter, Gary Fjellgaard, Ian Tyson, and Gordon Lightfoot.

Krause said he appreciates how all four songwriters did a great job of documenting “Canadiana” in their country music.

“They were able to sit down and they were able to write and reflect on the time and the circumstances and the people who created the west that we know today,” he said.

Brooklyn Valcourt, Dave Arsenault, Lauraine Toth, John Quinn, Carment Robertson, Gayle Breiter, and Trinity Amy will all perform at the Thursday evening show in the Prince Albert Exhibition Centre. The music begins at 7 p.m., and entrance to the show is free with an Exhibition pass.

They’ll be accompanied by back-up singer Sheryl Kimbley, and band members Dave Sinclair, Kolton Kimbley, Garry Larson, Dean Bernier, Glen Gessner, and Robertson.

Krause said there is lots of local talent in Prince Albert, and the Exhibition is a great opportunity to hear them.

“It gives an opportunity for the people who are good in this area to get out and showcase themselves. The adage always used to be that nobody around home knows you but you get 200 miles away and you sell out every hall. I guess this what we’re trying to do, is get more local people understanding what we have for local performers in the area.”

For a complete list of all musical performances throughout exhibition, please see the article on page 3.