Elly on the Arts: Getting ahead by a century at Johnny's

Here is yet another exciting column full of talk about music and magic in Flin Flon and area. On the weekend of February 21 and 22 there are two events coming. First, there is an event at Johnny’s Social Club celebrating the life and music of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip. The band will consist of John Bettgar, Mike Gobeil, Keving Imrie, Mark Kolt, Chris Lengyel, Danny Lyons and Zach Rainville.

Several of these young men are newer to Johnny's stage, but they have been playing in various bands in the area for quite some time now. John Bettgar and Kevin Imrie are known quantities for both their singing voices and their playing. Each of the other musicians have significant experience, notably at the Blueberry Jam event. It will be fantastic to hear them all together and the material is wonderful so we are quite confident is saying it will be an awesome show.

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Tickets are $20 and are available at the Orange Toad. Doors open at 7:00 pm and music begins at 7:30 pm or so.

The second event of that weekend is a one night and one night only event, that we don’t think has happened here in the past. It is a lip-sync battle! You are encouraged to register either with or against your friends in categories: individual, couple vs couple, groups and business vs business. We assume that you don’t actually have to sing (hence the name - lip-sync) but you may get extra points for stepping up to the mic(?).

The evening is a fund-raiser for Northern Growing Abilities and you are encouraged to register in advance with Tracy at 204-271-1326 (call or text). The event is in Creighton Community Hall and the cost is $20.

There will be drinks for sale so audience members must be over the age of 19. Tickets are at Northern Rainbows End, Di's Confectionery and The Gateway. Doors open at 7:00 pm and the fun begins at 8:00 pm. There will be a social with late-night snacks to follow.

The following weekend is the fourth concert in the Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous tour. Ben and Anita will be in Flin Flon for shows on Feb. 29 and March 1. They are Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald, touring at this time with guitarist Zakk Cormier, all the way from Cape Breton Nova Scotia.

Miller plays Scottish small pipes, which we have some familiarity with here in the region, thanks to a Culture Days visit by Ian Kinear from Scotland. We have heard a rumor that Ian actually built these pipes and if that is so, it will be even more fun to see and hear them played.

Anita MacDonald is a traditional Cape Breton Fiddler, step-dancer and Gaelic singer, expert in the traditions of the new world. Between them they bring the music of Scotland and Nova Scotia together in ways that showcase both styles and yet adding something special to the blend. The third member of the trio, Zakk Cormier, is Acadian from Prince Edward Island so brings yet another flavour to the mix with his Franco-Celtic background. Cormier is a multi-instrumentalist but will be mainly playing guitar and percussion (with his feet) on this tour.

Regular readers will know the scoop about Home Routes shows but to repeat for new readers, the shows are home concerts and they happen at 19 Hemlock Drive (February 29) and 183 Murton Blvd (March 1).

Doors are open at 7:00 pm and music starts at 7:30 both nights. The cost is $20 and you might want to bring a little extra to buy a CD. All the funds go to the musicians. You can bring your choice of drinks and treats, the hosts don’t mind. You can email timelly1@gmail.com for Saturday and rossann53@hotmail.com for Sunday. There are usually plenty of seats but they like to have an idea of how many to expect.

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