Variété D’Arts Society will be presenting the inaugural Art Ya! music festival in Maple Ridge.
The original name of the festival was supposed to be the Maple Ridge Sustainable Music Arts Festival.
But, said society president Chris Horne, “its definitely a mouthful.”
Instead, the society came up with the name after a music show it put on at the Blue Heron Art Gallery in Osprey Village last year.
Local blues musician David ‘Boxcar’ Gates was playing and was inspired by the visual artists who were painting on stage while he was playing.
So, between songs, he would call to the audience to give him an, “Art Ya!” And the audience would reply by yelling, “Art Ya!”
“It was pretty unanimous to call it Art Ya!,” said Horne.
“And in taking with that element of live art that we did at the gallery, we thought if we could do that at the gallery, why can’t we do that at the bandstand,” he said.
Variété D’Arts Society held a fundraiser last summer and this music festival is primarily funded by the money raised during that event.
“[It was] not a lot of money, but enough to get us off the ground and started,” said Horne.
Even so they are still searching for a sponsor for the concert.
The concert will feature Maple Ridge duo Kat and Tony’s group called Swamp City and local singer/songwriter Patsy Thompson, whose sound is described as growly blues melded with musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, KoKo Taylor and Bob Seger, to name a few.
Horne’s group, Band For Good, will be playing a combination of blues and rock.
Julie Eight will be taking to the stage with her partner Bryan in their recently formed duo Billanannee.
Between sets, Caden Knudson and Julian Burns will keep the music going.
Capping off the evening will be local ska band The Bone Daddies.
“We have it set up so its 15 minutes singer/songwriter and then a band,” said Horne.
“That allows us to change the band over without having dead air,” adding that the night will be non-stop music.
• Art Ya! takes place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on May 6 at the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge.
It is a free event but donations to the Variété D’Arts Society will be welcome.