For the seventh year running, Shuswap musicians will take to the stage and perform to pay tribute to an iconic folk musician, and in 2019 their focus is on Pete Seeger.
Seeger began his musical career in the early 1940s as a way to promote views of social justice and equality. He felt the best way to enact change was by having people sing together. He, like others such as Woody Guthrie, travelled the world over with nothing but his voice, a five-string banjo, a guitar, his musical message and stories.
As well, for many years Seeger was a member of The Weavers, a popular folk group which included Ronnie Gilbert who lived at New Denver in the Kootenays in her later years. Seeger also performed at a number of Canadian schools in the 1950s and ‘60s.
On March 22-24, the Wildwood Productions group and producer Jake Jacobson will host their seventh benefit concert in Seeger’s memory at Shuswap Theatre.
Upon hosting the first benefit concert with a Woody Guthrie theme, which raised $1,600 for local food banks, Jacobson and the crew of organizers decided to try it as an annual event to contribute to local causes. In the past, other productions have featured the music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, as well as Broadway show tunes and Canadian classics. In total, the productions have raised more than $16,000 to contribute to projects in the Shuswap.
Admission is by donation on a ‘pay what you can’ basis, as the team doesn’t want to exclude anyone from joining in and singing along as they celebrate Pete Seeger’s musical achievements. Proceeds of the show will be donated in support of the proposed Shuswap Performing Arts Centre.
Show dates are Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m., at Shuswap Theatre located on Hudson Street in Salmon Arm.