While the Oxbow Arts and Cultural Committee won’t be hosting its annual Bow Valley Jamboree this year, that doesn’t mean it isn’t having something for the community this summer.
The committee announced last month that it had to cancel the jamboree due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It had been scheduled for August 8 at the Bow Valley Park south of the town.
The jamboree has been happening for a number of years, with Saskatchewan musicians, including some from the southeast, entertaining music lovers with their talents. Up and coming musicians from this region get a chance to perform as well, in between the featured acts.
Artisans get to show off their talents as well, thanks to booths that are set up.
Committee members Megan Andersen said it was a difficult decision to not have the jamboree, but it was inevitable.
“We would like to have it,” she said. “If regulations lift in the fall, maybe we could try to have something smaller. Otherwise, for now, we’re just playing the waiting game.”
The jamboree is an important event for the committee. It’s the biggest event they have each year, and they look forward to it. It takes a lot of work to make it happen, but the postponement also required work.
Still, there are events that the committee continues to have. An online concert was held on their Facebook and Instagram pages on Canada Day. The musicians paid tribute to some of their favourite Canadian musicians.
“This was the third online show we’ve had since COVID began,” said Andersen.
They didn’t have as many artists as normal, because people have been away or have been busy, but they still had a lot of viewers. Some of the videos had over 1,000 views after the first couple of days.
Mariah and Spencer Warriner, the Harmoniously Hip, Christina Dyck, Laurie Fornwald and Kathi Rutledge were the performers.
Sarah McLaughlin, the Barenaked Ladies, Bryan Adams were among musicians whose music was performed.
“Luckily we didn’t have any repeat songs,” said Andersen.
Their next online music event will be Aug. 8, which was to be the date of the jamboree.
The committee has also been highlighting a local artist and music teacher on its pages, uploading a music video to showcase the performer’s skills. Last month they recognized Gina Bayliss, who recently graduated from high school and does musical theatre and piano.
Future plans include a quilt show that they would like to host online in their area.
“We have a lot of quilters around here. They often have somewhere to be recognized or to put their work on display. So we’d like to do that. For the time being, we’re just trying to keep busy and find ways to connect with the community online, and we look forward to being able to have live music soon,” said Andersen.
The performers for the concert on Aug. 8 have yet to be announced, but Andersen said they are still looking for musicians.