SCMA-Prince Albert celebrates 30 years with a pair of weekend performances

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald H.A.R.D., made up of Les Breiter and Rick Galloway performed on Saturday evening as part of the SCMA-Prince Albert 30 th Anniversary Celebration at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.

For two days the Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) Prince Albert chapter celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a pair of shows at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.

Performer and longtime member Larry Krause said both the Saskatchewan and Prince Albert associations are important to artists in the Prince Albert area. Krause said that both create opportunities for people to be up on stage that might not have otherwise had a chance.

“It creates a network and it creates a group of like minded people that can sit down together, (and) work on doing shows like this,” he explained. “They give people an opportunity that might never have had a chance to do it.”

The SCMA-Prince Albert was founded in February, 1991 with the goal of getting local people who love country music to get more involved. In March, 1991 the first jam session was held and a year later they hosted the first SCMA Awards Show.

The association has also launched people to larger careers such as Donny Parenteau who credited the group in a video message during the performance on Saturday. With changing musical styles the SCMA-Prince Albert has also evolved.

“It’s a good number of performers and a broad variety of country music styles,” Krause said. “We have some of the younger people that are coming up with some of the newer country, and some of us more traditionalists that keep bringing forward some of the older style.

“There is a place for all of it, there is a place for all performers to come and be a part of it.”

One younger performer on Saturday afternoon was Connor Anderson who has been performing for 15 years.

He explained the association helps him by allowing him to perform at shows in front of live audiences.

“It helps me put out my music, get everybody to listen to what I am singing and to get my voice out there,” Anderson said.

“We have meetings on the first Tuesday of every month so people can come join if they want.”

Krause said that the diversity of performers and musical styles helps them garner interest from newer members.

“If we were very staunch on ‘this is the only kind of music you can play’ we would very quickly become a very stagnant group that would have no new blood coming in,” he explained. “Really, we welcome the ones that can appreciate the tradition, and on the same token they are bringing their new spin to the country and they are an asset.”

Krause has been involved with the Association since 2001 and has seen it change.

“The style of music has gone a little bit different,” he said. “There have been ebbs and flows. There have been times where we have had just a great number of members and lots of people involve, and then all of a sudden run into a spot where it starts to slow down a little. I think we are on an upward surge now and that’s a very positive thing.”

Saturday afternoon’s list of performers included Krause and Carmen Robertson, Anderson, Gayle Breiter, Audrey Dore, Cole Walker, H.A.R.D. (Les Breiter and Rick Galloway), the Moose Hunter, Larry Villeneuve, Lauraine Toth and Linda Bjork, Tim Dyck and Nancy Hagen with a group performance by the cast to close the show. Saturday’s performance was emceed by Ken Landers.

Performers on Friday evening included Josh Stumpf, Taya Lebel, John Quinn, Rod Gjerde, Sandra Burke, Darlene Tuleta, Tori Korczak, Wade Fehr, Elmer Lammedee, Rick Martin, Layton Ferster, Cory Wasyliw, Jim Chute and Marcel Trudel.

The association has also given other opportunities to performers, according to Krause.

“I have had the opportunity to be on stage and tour all across Canada and it would be opportunities that would probably never have been available to me if I wouldn’t have had an involvement with the Country Music Association and the connections with the people who are involved in it,” Krause said.

A portion of proceeds from the shows were donated to the Rose Garden Hospice.