A new concert series at Centennial Park this summer promises an exciting lineup of local and touring talent.
And the music continues tonight with a performance by Half/Asian with Amy the CODA, an inclusive concert for the hearing and visually impaired. Half/Asian, whose name is Ian Griffiths, is a mixed raced musician who sings and plays the group's songs on 80's synthesizers, while Amy Braun, a child of deaf adult (CODA), expresses the lyrics in sign language.
“She signs the whole show and dances. I’ve seen the show and kids lose their minds,” says Naomi Shore, one half of the newly formed Bruised Orange Productions with her partner Ryan Sebastiano, and who are putting on the concert series in partnership with the City of Fort St. John.
Shore and Sebastiano, both accomplished musicians, are no strangers to organizing the local music scene, having organized house and coffee shop concerts, and other shows, prior to the pandemic.
Coming out of COVID-19, Shore says she sees an “opportunity for a fresh start” putting on great shows for the community, and says she has set “really high expectations” for herself.
Eight concerts are booked for Thursday evenings in the park in July and August, and Shore says she wants them to be as inclusive and diverse as possible. Folky Strum Strum from Dawson Creek and Garry Oker and the Doig River Drummers are also scheduled to play this month.
“We just want to build some community,” says Shore. “A lot of people don’t want to take a chance on people they haven’t heard of. When they see the Bruised Orange logo, you’ll take the chance because we put on good shows that are always high quality entertainment.”
Next month, Linda McRae, made famous in the band Spirit of the West, will be in Fort St. John to perform.
She’ll also host a songwriting workshop for the community, which Shore says will be a collaborative group opportunity for local musicians to bring their songs, bounce ideas off one another, and get feedback from McRae, a full-time working professional living in Nashville.
“It’s been cool to book people for these Thursdays and also try and get them other opportunities around the Peace,” says Shore.
Music in the Park runs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday evenings in Centennial Park.
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