Before I thank my crew I’d like to congratulate all the folks who stepped up and donated either cash or non-perishable food items for the Loaves & Fishes Food Bank for our opening Thursday night concert featuring “The Queen’s Shuffle”. Proceeds from the “Summertime Blues” opening night: $1,617.65 and 191kg of food. This was a very significant donation at a critical time for the Nanaimo Food Bank. Over 300 hundred people showed up and enjoyed an evening of entertainment. A huge thank you to Coast FM who did such a fantastic job in providing community support and urging folks to come out and partake in our community partnership. Thank you one and all.
First of all I would like to congratulate all of our volunteers who were so generous with their time over the last few days. The hours were countless and some folks worked the entire weekend and for that I am extremely grateful. To my volunteer coordinators who did an amazing job without any template to work with. Kudos to Suzanna and Diana for your willingness to recreate a new volunteer list, struggle with job descriptions and the follow-up that was so essential.
I must give a big hand to my executive board members who put in such amazing hours. I don’t like to single out any one but special thanks to our vice-president and artistic director Grant Payne who got by on virtually two hours of sleep. Our treasurer Darlene Kelt, who was there at 2:00 am figuring things out. Jackie Moisan, who not only worked the festival but did driving duties and organized the incredible after festival jam sessions. Special thanks to my other board members who tirelessly gave their time and support in so many other support areas.
A special thank you to Rick Becker and Leni Baliban who took such good care of the stage. Of course how cannot I give credit to the amazing sound team headed by Keith Gallant and his crew! And a special thank you to Barry Coulson who saw the vision four years ago. Special thanks to the team of Ian Andexser and his wife Dianne. Ian handled the beer garden and Dianne did a stellar job with the green room.
A real special thank you to our audience members who put their trust in our ability to present a “True Blues Festival” and came from as far away as Texas and New Mexico. Special thanks go out to our benefactors who trusted us to deliver on our promise. The Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Tourism Nanaimo and Heritage Canada for their generous financial contributions.
I know that I have left out some other folks that I should be personally thanking but I hope that you know who you are and that my thanks are to you as well. On a personal note, I started the weekend at 6:30 am on Thursday morning and finally finished (almost) at 3:00 pm the following Monday! Just as a lark I put an app on my smart phone to keep track of my steps. 82,681 steps over the duration. No wonder I’m a bit on the tired side.
Once again congratulations to all who participated. It was the best year ever and I look forward to “Summertime Blues” 2017. And last but certainly not least, I have to thank my supportive wife Coreen who allows me the latitude to do my crazy volunteer thing with the Nanaimo Blues Society. I love you babe! “Thank You”!
Stay tuned for next year!
Loaves & Fishes Food Bank
2:00pm – Gates open
3:00pm – Summer & The Sinners
4:00pm – Lazy Mike & The Rockin Recliners
5:00pm – The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer
6:15pm – Sue Foley
7:30pm – Shakura S’Aida
8:45pm – Tommy Castro & The Painkillers
11:00am – Gates open
10:00am – Gates open
This year’s international, national and local blues artists represent the best line-up of artists we had ever had!
From the British Blues/Rock legends Savoy Brown to American southern blues masters Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, along with local favourites Lazy Mike & The Rockin’ Recliners and Blue Moon Marquee. Three amazing days of blues are on their way!