Are we going to see a return of the Blueberry Jam Music Gathering this summer? It’s too early to say yet, but event organizers are about to start the planning process.
Organization for this year’s Blueberry Jam Music Gathering will start in earnest in April, pending whatever the situation around COVID-19 and travel to northern communities may be. Last year’s event, originally scheduled for August 2020, was cancelled months ahead of time due to the pandemic. Several smaller shows were held at the Blueberry Jam stage, involving local artists and with all attendees bringing their own chairs, keeping their distance and masking up.
Volunteers behind Blueberry Jam have help organize a series of livestreamed concerts originating from Johnny’s Social Club which have seen praise with audiences and performers alike. These concerts have been the biggest recent project for the Blueberry Jam executive group, but they’re hardly meant to be the last.
“We need to meet about it - we haven’t yet and it’s sort of top of mind,” said Flin Flon Arts Council cultural coordinator Crystal Kolt, who herself is a member of the Blueberry Jam executive board. Kolt said once the group finishes its year-end - the group’s fiscal year ends March 31 - plans can begin in earnest for a possible return of Blueberry Jam.
“Right now, with these projects like the series at Johnny’s, our year end is the end of March and we’re pulling out all the stops to get that done,” she said.
“We’ll need to see what the climate is within the world in terms of COVID-19. Really, it’s been a bit of a waiting game, but we are having conversations trying to imagine what it might look like or what kind of alternatives we could have.”
Kolt said the arts council has discussed the idea of holding different types of entertainment including theatre, dance or plays at the Blueberry Jam stage over the summer, including a possible return of local acting troupe Ham Sandwich. Another key priority is getting well-acquainted with health measures and advice, in an effort to hold an event while keeping people safe.
“This year, we are actively trying to get a handle on things so they aren’t as hectic as last year for us. We were all just in the very beginning of understanding COVID-19, how far six feet apart was and how we manage everything. That’s something we’re trying to negotiate. I’m trying to figure out how we want to manage that,” said Kolt.