Contenders bring western roots to Red Barn

Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard tour in support of George Ryga Week.


The Contenders are on their 12th annual tour of the Interior in support of George Ryga Week in B.C., as proclaimed by the province and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Nov. 4-10.

Valdy has a new album entitled, “Read Between the Lines,” and will be performing some of his new material, along with a repertoire of favourites from  two previous Contenders CDs.

Gary Fjellgaard never stops writing songs, so he’ll be sure to have some great new tunes along with his vast repertoire that spans more than 40 years of recording.

Together, as The Contenders, Valdy and Fjellgaard will be performing at the Red Barn Arts Centre. They are always a great hit with the audience. With an easy manner on stage, Valdy and Fjellgaard sing songs that appeal to almost everyone, and give a great evening of entertainment.

Fjellgaard was raised on a farm on the Canadian prairies. This award-winning singer/songwriter is a champion of vanishing values and the frontier spirit. His western heritage, cattle drives, wagon treks and working folks with ties to the land have all been an inspiration for the lyrical imagery in his songs.

Valdy was born Valdemar Horsdal in Ottawa, and has been part of the fabric of Canadian pop and folk music for more than 34 years. A man with a thousand friends, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, Texas to New Zealand, he’s a singer, guitarist and songwriter who catches the telling moments that make up life.

These two guys have known each other for a long, long time. Now, with two albums under their belts together, “Contenders” and “Contenders Two – Still in the Running” on the leading Canadian roots music record label, Stony Plain, they make the most logical duo in Canadian music.

Consider what they share. They’re both family men. They both live on small islands off the coast of British Columbia. They are both singer-songwriters with an eye for memorable tunes and finely-honed images. They’re both road warriors who tour and tour and tour.

They are also both committed Canadians, more particularly, committed Western Canadians. And their music draws on all the aspects of life in the west. “Western roots” they call it. It’s music that, in every note, echoes the mountains and the sea, the cowboys and the fishermen, the oilwell roustabouts and the loggers, the sunsets and the rain, the streak of rugged independence and contrariness that so many display, and the generosity and warmth that make Westerners so welcoming to all.

Together, they have visited Sicamous many times in the past and if you have never seen them before, it is worth your while to come and see these consummate performers. If you have seen them before, I am sure that you will want to come out to see them again.

The show takes place Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m., doors open at 7:30. Tickets, $20, at IDA Eagle Valley Pharmacy or at the door.


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