Benefit concert to rock the Gem Theatre

The concert will feature eight local bands volunteering their time.

Local musicians will be banding together to host a fundraiser at the Gem Theatre next week, with all proceeds going toward Gem Theatre reconstruction costs.

The event will feature eight bands, all of whom have volunteered their time to perform in support of the iconic 107-year-old community theatre, which was ravaged by the devastating flood of 2018.

Local musician and organizer of the event, Jan (John) deHaan had the idea of organizing a benefit concert after reading an article featured by CBC that detailed the monumental struggle that local theatre owners Maureen and Marius Paquet faced with rebuilding the iconic theatre in the wake of the flood. The Paquets were forced to spend their life savings to bring the theatre back to its former glory.

After reading the news story, deHaan put a message out on a blog for local musicians to see if there was support in the local music community to volunteer and put on a benefit concert, with the intent of donating all proceeds toward reconstruction costs.

“The response was overwhelming” said deHaan. “Within a week I had upwards of eight bands offering their time … not to mention the numerous people offering to volunteer in one capacity or another.”

Encouraged by the response, deHaan contacted the Paquets with the idea and after some initial discussions and planning the date was set and organizing for the event began. Since the initial announcement of the concert, many more people and businesses have come forward with generous donations in one form or another.

The event will feature door prize draws in between each band and at the half time intermission as well as a 50/50 draw. Featured donated door prizes include two CannaFest weekend passes, a two-night stay for two at the famed Tinhorn Creek Winery, an original painting by local artist Shannon Fredrick Thorpe, gift certificates from Buy Low Foods and Durand’s Nursery, Gem Theatre passes and more. The evening will also feature a cash bar with beer and wine donated by the Nelson Brewing Company and the Tinhorn Creek Winery.

The concert date is Wednesday, Feb. 13 with music staring at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Concert organizer Jan deHaan has notified the Gazette that with the help of the most awesome Wooden Spoon and CannaFest ticket outlets, advance tickets for guaranteed seating have already sold out, but if you’d like to come out and support the Gem anyways, standing room and dancing tickets will be available at the door – and you will be dancing! All entrants will be eligible for the door prize drawing.

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