Trent Bruner

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Go West, Young Man! Print E-mail

My usual "Rite of Spring" is to travel back to Western Canada anywhere between three to six weeks each year for various music engagements.  Some apearances are the same from year to year while others can be different in nature.  This 2009 spring trip for me was no different. 

It started with a flight to Abbotsford, B.C. for the annual Pacific Fiddle College at Camp Hope, along with their opening "Fiddlerama" concert at Abbotsford's Mastqui Auditorium.  Over 300 people were in attendance for a fiddle show featuring the Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers, Gordon Stobbe, Mark Sullivan, Patti Lamoureux and her son Alex, Michelle Bruce, J.J. Guy, and Calvin Vollrath, with Ray Bell and Yours truly accompanying.  What will always be a good memory for all of us who performed was seeing one of Canada's fiddle legends in the audience, Frankie Rodgers.  For those unfamiliar with Frankie, he is known as "The King of the Country Fiddle", and the composer of many fiddle tunes, including "Ookpik Waltz", which the instructors performed before the end of the first half of the show.

When we went to Hope afterwards, we ended up with 91 students for the week, the most students this camp has had to date!  Many thanks are to be given to Jody Garneau, her family and her dedicated group of volunteers for making this camp a tremendous success.

After that, it was off to Edmonton, Alberta for Calvin Vollrath's 17th annual album release party.  Yours truly played the whole weekend, inlcuding the Friday night dance, Saturday night show and Sunday afternoon Gala, along with many special guests throughout the weekend.  I worked with Ray St. Germain and Glenn Nott as the backup band for the Friday night dance while on Saturday and Sunday I worked with guitarist Clinton Pelletier.  What Calvin did with his show this year was added a three piece string section to bring a different presentation, with Mark Sullivan, Patti Lamoureux and Daniel Gervais as part of the band. 

The next weekend was off to Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan for a Saturday night dance with button accordionist Justin Bell.  The evening event was a part of a francophone cultural month that lasted throughout March 2009.  It was also a night that volunteers under the  "Katimavik" volunteer program were trading groups as one group was leaving shortly for another Canadian community, another group was coming to Gravelbourg in its place later that week.  It was also a tragic time for the communities of Gravelbourg and Kincaid, Saskatchewan as three teenage girls were killed in a two car collision near Kincaid during the dance that night.  One of the victims, Laramie Ross, was a niece of Les Danseurs le La Riviere La Veille's coordinator, Camille Bell.  Funeral services were held April 3rd in Gravelbourg.  I extend sympathies to Laramie's family and the families and friends of the other two deceased.

To wrap up my performances this trip, I was in Stony Plain, Alberta with Calvin Vollrath for a concert that was raising money for drilling water wells in Africa, coordinated by an Alberta country music duo named "Jac and Jenny", who also performed with Stony Plain instrumentalist Bob Glidden as the opening act Saturday, April 4th.  My schedule concluded with a John Arcand R.O.O.F. fundraising concert with Calvin, his wife Rhea Labrie, John Arcand and wife Vicki (with Lionel Gilbertson on piano), and country musicians Freddie and Sheila Pelletier Sunday afternoon, April 5th at Castle Theatre, a performance theatre which is part of Aden Bowman Collegiate High School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

I hope to see you at a future performance.  Please sign the guestbook, check out the webshop, let others know about this website, and in the meantime, depending on where you are, have a blessed Easter.

Musically yours, Trent