POPS in the Park will be hitting the stage in Boitanio Park again on Friday June 15th. Last year's 'Music for Youth' fundraiser was so successful, the volunteer team behind the scenes burst into production mode last month to make POPS 2.0 an event to remember.  

 POPS poster image by Steve Harkies

POPS poster image by Steve Harkies

POPS in the Park raised over $5000 last year, through the generosity of business sponsors and the local audience who came out on the night of the performance.  These funds have directly benefited music students who might not otherwise be able to pursue their musical education.  The POPS team works directly with music students, 12 of whom received bursaries to continue their lessons. Our partnership with Boys and Girls Club has seen several students engaged with guitar lessons, while a group drumming workshop is coming up this summer. William Wallace, the dedicated architect of the POPS movement, adds, "We're pleased to say that POPS proved itself in its start-up year by keeping some of Williams Lake's most promising and hard working youth in music when a lack of money may have prevented it."

Hearing from the instructors involved in offering the music lessons, CACWL Secretary Sharon Hoffman noted that so many families underwent duress, with a record breaking, stressful wildfire season, then a closure at Tolko's Lakeview mill due to fire.  When times are tough, it's the extras like music lessons that are cut away from a family's budget. The wonderful news is that with our business sponsors' support, POPS 2018 is already poised to raise at least as much as last year.  We are counting on you, Williams Lake, to help us create an annual fund that sees talented young people pursue all the benefits that music education offers.  

The night will begin at 5 pm with the Williams Lake Rotary Club's delicious BBQ and Taylor Made Cakes providing goodies, with all the profits going toward the music fund.  The musical line-up is composed of some of our community's most dedicated musicians.  The Lake City Secondary School Concert Band opens the night followed by the dynamic quartet, Synergy.  Next up, the talented Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddle Society,  a group composed primarily of children and teens, take the stage with their unique brand of old-time, feel good tunes. We are delighted to present a group of award winning soloists from the Cariboo Festival, highlighting the empowering ways music changes lives by developing confidence, intelligence, all the good things! Following the soloists, we have the Quintet Plus choir, and finally, The Cariboo Gold Dance Band. These acts are smooth as silk, you won't want to miss it.

 The suave sounds of Cariboo Gold Dance Band will close out the POPS evening on June 15th.

The suave sounds of Cariboo Gold Dance Band will close out the POPS evening on June 15th.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all the business sponsors this year: Cool Clear Water, Evergreen Service Partners, FBB Chartered Professional Accountants, Heartland Toyota, Horizon Climate Controls, Kornak & Hamm Pharmacy, Vanderburgh & Company, Williams Lake & District Credit Union, Williams Lake Optometry, Zone 4 Hair-styling & Tanning and Johnston Meier Insurance.

All the musicians and volunteers do this for the love of music and the good cause! We are so grateful to them for their time and energy on this project. Another big thanks goes to artist Steve Harkies for his incredible poster and promotional imagery.  

 Performers like Harry Jennings generously perform at POPS for free in order to 'pay it forward'.

Performers like Harry Jennings generously perform at POPS for free in order to 'pay it forward'.

There are so many ways a community shines. When we support those who grapple with hard times, encourage our local talent, and celebrate joyfully the power of music, Williams Lake's sheen gets a little more polish, don't you think?  See you at Boitanio Park's Gwen Pharis Ringwood Stage on Friday June 15th at 5 pm to get your BBQ on, settle under the blue bell skies and soak up the good times.

Have any questions?  Contact Venta at williamslakearts@gmail.com for more info on the night and ways you can support the cause.