Summer concerts in the park

Annual music series in Memorial Park kicks off July 1

Gerald Charlie & The Black Owl Blues Band will kick off the Concerts in the Park series on July 1.

The sixth annual Concerts in the Park series kicks off on Canada Day.

“It’s a little bigger and a little better this year. We have a concert every Sunday,” said Diane Ferguson, with the Hope & District Arts Council. “I think it gives community members the opportunity to get out and participate in a social event. It’s accessible to everybody and they get to listen to performers they most likely wouldn’t hear.”

Gerald Charlie & The Black Owl Blues Band are the first act to take the stage. Since forming, they have recorded two award-winning albums. Real Blues won best blues debut recording and best No.1 release in Canada in 1999. Out There made the real blues top 100 list from 2006-2009. A career highlight for Charlie was performing as the opening act for Bo Didley.

The lineup this year also includes an encore performance by the Australian all-girl band Jungal playing folk, soul and rock;  Debbie Bergeron performing Songs and Stories; the Hoodlums and Swamp Water playing rock ‘n roll; Don Olds with the Cheam Mountain Band playing old-time fiddle and Irish music; Kelowna’s Hot Air/Cool Tunes performing jazz blues with a classical, rock influence; and  The Crew playing blues. To wrap up the series, Hope Performing Arts Community Theatre will showcase excerpts from their upcoming play Fools Gold as well as provide music by the Moonshine Mountaineers.

The free summer concerts will be held every Sunday in July and August from 2-4 p.m. in Memorial Park. The series is presented by the Hope & District Arts Council, with sponsorship from the District of Hope, Envision Financial, and the province through B.C. Gaming. Bottles of water donated by Nestle Waters will be distributed for free at each concert along with ice donated by Buy & Save Foods.