The COVID-19 pandemic won’t stop the Bragg Creek Performing Arts (BCPA) Society from celebrating its milestone 40th season, as the non-profit prepares to host an annual concert festival on April 16.
The virtual event – called Couch Fest – will feature performances from John Wort Hannam, Oscar Lopez, Colin Linden and the Travelling Mabels. For $25, attendees can sit on their couch and tune into the performances, which will also be available online for seven days after the event.
“This is our first attempt at an online event,” said Clint Docken, president of BCPA. “We had a really good response from some top artists. Everyone on the program is either a Grammy or Juno award-winner or nominee.
“I think it’s great we are able to offer something to the community, and at the same time support some artists who are struggling due to COVID-19.”
According to its website, the BCPA formed in 1980 with the goal of facilitating live performances in Bragg Creek. The association currently presents five concerts a year, split between fall and spring seasons. The concerts include a variety of professional entertainers from all genres.
As the BCPA typically hosts its concerts in person, Docken said it has been an adjustment switching to an online model, though he said the artists have embraced it.
“The artists performing have provided us with new material, so they have been motivated as a result of their interest in Couch Fest," he said. "All of this has been quite positive for us.”
Docken cited the dedication of volunteers and interest from Bragg Creek residents as reasons the BCPA has been able to operate for four decades.
“It’s also been a general interest in our community in terms of the arts,” he said.
He added one of the things the BCPA was able to feature during its successful fall drive-in performance in 2020 was the plethora of local musicians the community boasts.
“Bragg Creek pre-COVID certainly had quite the music scene with a number of locals,” he said. “We have had a number of locals come out of the community in the music field that went on to bigger and better things.”
He referenced the success of Shawn Everett – a Grammy Award-winning artist and engineer from Bragg Creek who has worked with a number of large acts, such as Alabama Shakes and Kacey Musgraves.
Docken said he hopes Couch Fest provides some joy during difficult times, after the Province announced it will move back to Step 1 of its reopening plan due to rising COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations.
“Hopefully people will enjoy the product,” he said. “We also look forward to attracting audiences for future events.”
For more information and to buy tickets to the event, visit braggcreekperformingarts.com