Street corner, busker-style concerts kick off Sunday

People might not be able to gather for music, but the Flin Flon Arts Council wants to gather music for the people. The group is hosting a new set of busking-type concerts throughout Flin Flon July 12, with other sets of similar shows later this summer.

The new series is officially titled Street Corner Concerts. The first set of performances will start at 1 p.m. in five different locations around Flin Flon. Kevin Allen and Megan Reimer will start at the corner of Bracken Street and Green Street, while Blueberry Jam performer and singer-songwriter Deb Tripp will begin at Rotary Park. James Page, a Chinese flutist, will start at Pioneer Square. Kari Rutherford, an accomplished operatic singer and a lead organizer behind the shows, will start off her afternoon at the Joe Brain Petting Zoo and Jenn McLean and Mark Kolt will start their shows at the playground on Steventon Boulevard. Performers will play a short set, then pack up and end over to the next performance area.

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The end result, for music fans lingering at one location, will be similar to a community show at a venue like Johnny’s Social Club, with several musicians coming by to play for the crowd.

“What it is, is we have artists at different locations that will be playing 15-20 minute sets, then they’re going to rotate to a new location,” said Rutherford, who is working this summer with the arts council.

“They’ll play the same set so that it brings like a socially distant concert series into some of the neighbourhoods of Flin Flon.”

The July 12 shows are not the only such concerts the arts council has planned. At least two more sets of street corner shows are slated for later this summer, though performers, locations and dates have not been confirmed.

“It’s actually spread out over the course of a couple different dates. We have three for sure,” Rutherford said.

“It kind of relies on performance interest. If there’s more that would like to play, then we can add them in there.”

The shows won’t be filmed or livestreamed by the arts council, though performers will have the option to film their shows themselves if interested.

“It was trying to be fairly organic. We have a lot more acoustic performances,” Rutherford said.

“It’s at the artist’s discretion. If they choose to livestream that for themselves and put that out there, that’s great. If they don’t, it’s not something that we were organizing.”

The shows are one part of the arts council’s alternate summer schedule. With prominent events like the Blueberry Jam Music Gathering long since cancelled for this summer due to COVID-19, the council is leaning on two new programs - the Street Corner Concerts and the Summer Music Series, a series of performances at the Blueberry Jam main stage featuring local bands. The next show in the series, featuring The Whyte, will take place July 18. The first show in the series included the Usual Suspects and was held late last month.

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