Chilliwack artist Trevor McDonald turned his focus toward promoting house concerts by Fraser Valley musicians, as opposed to live entertainment, once large gatherings were banned and people were ordered to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19. (Trevor McDonald)

Weekly videos promote Fraser Valley musicians and their house concerts during COVID-19 pandemic

It's Trevor McDonald's way of spreading the word about virtual concerts and supporting local musicians

Chilliwack musician Trevor McDonald has made it easier for folks sitting at home to experience local talent from the comfort of their living room.

As artists around the world have switched from public concerts to at-home gigs, he has compiled a weekly video where he lists a number of Fraser Valley artists for people to check out while continuing to self-isolate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone is getting gutted. They went from full-time employment to nothing,” McDonald said of his fellow artists. “We are tying to stimulate the artists’ economy in any way we can.”

It’s called the Lock’s List (in partnership with Lock’s Pharmacy) and it actually started about two months ago, before the novel coronavirus outbreak had happened, as a way for McDonald to promote live concerts in the Fraser Valley for the coming week.

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Once people were ordered to self-isolate, his focus switched to house concerts.

The videos are released every Wednesday on his Facebook business page and yesterday (March 25) marked the second house-concert listing.

The videos are just a few minutes long and each one features about 10 to 15 different local artists to check out. Info on upcoming house concert times are mentioned along with where to find the musician online, be it Facebook, Instagram or the artist’s website.

“It’s one of the positives in a very negative time,” he said.

The virtual concerts – typically Facebook Live videos – can range from just one song to a performance that’s hours long.

They are all unique and charming, though. The viewer gets to have a peek into the artists’ homes where sometimes musicians’ kids can been seen running around in the background.

“You’re seeing a really personal side of these people with these house concerts,” McDonald said. “How cool is it to get a Kyler Pierce or Andrew Christopher concert right in your living room?”

By pushing people to the artists’ pages, they are then able to financially support the musicians by way of virtual tip jars or purchasing merchandise like CDs and hats.

“There’s never been a better time to wear a local artist’s T-shirt or buy their record,” McDonald said.

These virtual concerts are a new side of the business in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he believes they will continue even after everything is back to normal.

“I think you’ll see a lot more of it even when it ends.”

And when it does end, when we are finally allowed to venture outside and put our arms around our friends and neighbours, musicians and concert-goers will be ready to come together for some live entertainment.

“Live music is best. I can’t wait until we’re back there again,” McDonald said.

To see the weekly Lock’s List, go to facebook.com/McDonaldEntertainment. It comes out every Wednesday and features house concerts for the entire week.

For more info, or to ask to be added to the weekly video list, email Trevor McDonald at trevmcdonald@telus.net.

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