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Tribute Festival to run three days in May
There will be a whole lotta skakin’ goin’ on at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre in May as the first Vancouver Island International Tribute Festival kicks off three days of fun.
A group of local ladies have hatched a plan to bring renowned tribute acts to the area May 23 through 25, including Elvis, Cher, Alan Jackson, The Judds and many more, and donate the proceeds to the Canadian Cancer Society. Organizers of the event (a group of local Elvis fans, plus supporters from around the Island) have traveled near and far catching tribute shows. When they started talking about bringing a festival to this area they discovered that four of them were breast cancer survivors, so they settled on making the event a fundraiser.
Sherry Judson said tribute artists keep past eras of music alive for future generations and allow many people who might not otherwise have access to the music a chance to take it all in.
“These tribute artists are so talented and so entertaining, and they bring the music to us,” she said.
The festival will be bringing one of the world’s most renowned Elvis tribute artists to the area, Ben Portsmouth.
Portsmouth, from the United Kingdom, was the first artist from outside the United States to win the Worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist honours in Memphis in 2012. He’s performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and he’s won a slew of other Elvis contests.
Other tribute artists will be coming from Washington State, The Okanagan, Vancouver, the lower mainland and the Island.
Although organizers are still in the planning stages, they have already secured a number of artists who have all committed to perform for free at the event. Approval has been given from the City of Parksville to waive a $1,000 rental fee, and other community organizations have stepped up to assist them over the weekend.
This includes a Saturday morning pancake breakfast hosted by the Parksville-Qualicum Shrine Club and the Ocean Idlers Car Club will drive tribute artists around in a Vintage Car show, Saturday, May 24 from 11 a.m. to noon.
The tribute festival committee members agree that this is a safe festival to bring to the area, it will benefit local businesses and it will provide an opportunity for all ages to enjoy music.
“It appeals to the seniors as well as families,” said Judson.
Sharon Schienbein said these festivals are very popular in Canadian towns and cities like Penticton, Collingwood and Kelowna, as well as many places in the United States like Las Vegas and Memphis. She knows, because her and her daughter attend them regularly. In fact all the committee members have attended these types of festivals.
“It’s such a fun era of music,” said Judson. “It makes people happy and it make people want to get up and dance.”
The festival is slated to run Friday, May 23 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 24 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a Gospel show Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Organizers are planning on making this an annual event.
More sponsors are needed for the event as well as some professional volunteers who can help with things like security and computer work.
They are also looking for volunteers for basic work. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tickets prices have yet to be announced.