POPS in the Park promises an evening to remember. Boitanio Park, Thursday, June 22, 2017, 5-9pm.

Ideas have a way of taking root, parachuted like dandelion seeds in the wind. When William Wallace originated an idea to highlight Williams Lake’s fantastic brass bands and choirs at a public event, not even he expected the idea to catalyze the music community in the way it has. The seeds spread. Inspired community members enriched the idea with vim and public spirit. The project’s scope grew to build the performance as a benefit for music education and programs for youth who would otherwise not have access.

POPS-SponsorPoster-May 9.jpg

Wallace’s team are a diverse cross-section of the arts community, organized like a well-oiled machine. Many of them play key roles in the choirs and bands featured on June 22nd, and identify with the constructive and expressive qualities music can have on an individual.  “We want to offer these young people a chance to learn, express and find a way through any difficult circumstances they might be experiencing through music.,” says Wallace, who is a member of both Quintet Plus and Synergy choirs. The team approached businesses for sponsorship, setting their sights on 10 donors to support 10 youth with music lessons.  A fruitful meeting with Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake led to a working agreement for program coordination and administration. POPS was gaining momentum.

With a dynamite line-up of talent (read on for full details) and an altruistic end, the project needed some polish. Pizazz, even. Enter Steve Harkies, boss local artist and owner operator of Juniper Trails Bed and Breakfast (check out current paintings and drawings at the Bean Counter!). Harkies got to work on a poster design with ‘Pop’ art in mind, devising a colourful and eye catching piece to suit the festive mood POPS intends to bring out on June 22nd.

Other community groups jumped on-board the electric train Wallace was engineering. Celebrating the summer vibe, there will be a barbecue, thanks to the kind people of the Rotary Club, who will donate all the profits from the barbecue to the cause. Community Arts Council of Williams Lake saw a golden opportunity to make a little magic happen, and put up funds for production and youth performers as part of our project Soundscapes. Our popular Children’s Art in the Park will also be making its summer debut on the night. Meanwhile, Quintet Plus and Synergy member Sharon Hoffman has also been behind the scenes as co-producer with Wallace. She is  also co-musical director, along with her partner in-crime, Murray Hoffman. The team is highly motivated. “Putting on events well takes a lot of work. We want to produce a concert that is high quality, up to the standards of Performances in the Park”, Wallace adds.

The Cariboo Gold Dance Band plays the final set on Thursday June 22nd at Boitanio Park

The Cariboo Gold Dance Band plays the final set on Thursday June 22nd at Boitanio Park

Musically, what is POPS? Technically speaking, it relates to a symphony orchestra that specializes in popular or light music (thank you, dictionary.com). Here in Williams Lake, we may be short of a symphony orchestra, but we’re rich in brass bands and choirs.  Wallace says most of these groups don’t perform where the general public normally frequents. “We’d like to bring this music to people who otherwise aren’t going to go to the usual places these groups play.” The POPS line-up features the event sponsors, including the Cariboo Gold Dance Band, Quintet Plus and Synergy Choirs, as well as Williams Lake Community Band, Lake City Secondary School Senior Concert Band, and a selection of Cariboo Festival Honours students.

POPS in the Park will be a night to remember.  “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” assures Wallace, whose vision of a night out is affordable, beautiful and offers a large array of performances.  “Please come and donate,” Wallace urges, “a loonie, twenty bucks, it’s all good and going to help.” With over 10 business sponsors lined up to offer up matching funds, the program to provide music lessons and workshops in all styles of music promises to be a force for the good.

A huge thank you to the donors: FBB CPAs, O-Netrix, Zone 4, Vanderburgh & Co., Evergreen Service Partners, Heartland Toyota, Horizon Climate Controls, Kornak & Hamm Pharmacy, Kit and Kaboodle, The Laughing Loon and Williams Lake and District Credit Union. 


Schedule of the night:

5:00 (open)               Rotary BBQ &Taylor Made Cakes, Children’s Arts-in-Park

5:30 – 5:55        The Williams Lake Community Band

6:05 – 6:30        Lake City Secondary School Grade 11/12 Concert Band

                                    Selections from their US Concert Tour and 2017 Cariboo Festival

 6:40 – 7:10       The Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers

                                    Selections from their Life of a Fiddle Musical and 2017 Cariboo Festival

7:15 – 7:30         Cariboo Festival Encores

7:40 – 7:55        Synergy

                                   Imagine, Java Jive, Bohemian Rhapsody

8:00 – 8:25        Quintet Plus Choir

                                    Danny Boy, Wonderful World, Unchained Melody, Sing, etc.

8:30 – 9:00        The Cariboo Gold Dance Band