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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 14:26

Bassano a host site for big-name singers

Written by  Rose Sanchez
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Aaron Lines Aaron Lines press photo

Despite its relatively small size, the Town of Bassano has been able to consistently attract big-name performers to the community thanks to the hard work of volunteers with Bassano Arts Council.


The council celebrates its 30th year of operations this season. Concerts will include Aaron Lines on Nov. 6; The Traveling Mabels on Jan. 29, J.P. Cormier on Feb. 23 and The Arrogant Worms March 18.
The season wraps up with a community dinner theatre usually taking place the end of April.
Linda Andres has been the president of the council since its start 30 years ago. She is responsible for helping line up the performers each year, using the connections she has gained over that time, says Jan Armstrong, treasurer with the group.
“The last few years we’ve had more country and western acts because that’s what audiences are most interested in,” says Armstrong.
Because most of the concerts take place mid-week they can be more easily fit into an artist’s schedule as he or she is travelling to other locations for performances.
Big names have performed in the small town of about 1,200 people including Ian Tyson a few times and Corb Lund before he really hit it big.
Season tickets sell for $50 for all four concerts. The dinner theatre tickets are sold separately. Individuals can also show up the evening of the concert and pay to get in the door, but season tickets are the best deal, points out Armstrong.
Money is raised through ticket sales, but also a 50/50 at the concert as well as wine and beer sales.
The concerts take place in the Bassano community hall. Money earned, usually between $3,000 to $5,000, is sunk back into the community. Some years, the arts council has helped bring in Missoula Children’s Theatre to work with students in the school or send a few students to the Missoula Children’s Theatre Performing Arts Camp.
Theatre is important to the group. Members of the arts council choose and organize the community play every year while others help prepare the plated meal that feeds about 250 people.
Funds raised through the volunteers’ hard work is sometimes also put back into the community hall such as for sound system or lighting upgrades.
“The money keeps coming back to the community,” points out Armstrong.
In turn, the community support for the concerts has always been strong.
“We get good support from outlying communities as well,” adds Armstrong, including concert attendees from communities such as Gem and Brooks.
“We’re a volunteer organization. We make a little money, have some fun and give back to the community.”
Anyone interested in purchasing season tickets can do so by contacting the Bassano town office at 403-641-3788 and being put in touch with the Bassano Arts Council.

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