An evening with the Valemount Old Timers

Dianne St. Jean
The Valemount Old Timers entertain at many public events. Here they are playing at the Mt. Robson Marathon.
The Valemount Old Timers entertain at many public events. Here they are playing at the Mt. Robson Marathon.
Gord Peters photo

A special concert will be held in Valemount at the Community Theatre (at the Secondary School) on Friday, May 26 featuring the Valemount Old Timers.

The event, organized by VCTV Station Manager Gord Peters, is to show appreciation for the many years of music the group has provided to the community.

The seven band members, consisting of Ken Abernathy, Gordon Carson, Lynn Carson, Joe Edwards, Lou Hartman, Art Hart and Ray Leslie, have provided music to the community for years, usually playing for free or just a small honorarium.

Originally Peters wanted to create a regular DVD of the group performing at the Seniors Lodge, but realized the venue was too small to do a good recording.

“As I started thinking about it,” says Peters, “ I thought, these guys deserve something more for all the years of service they’ve done, playing at least 15 years every Wednesday night at the Seniors for free, they play every year at Canada Day, at Valemountain Days, they’ve played for the last five years at the Mt. Robson Marathon – they just do a lot for the community.”

The group also performs every second week at Abernathy’s. Many of the members are in their 80s. 

“To my knowledge there’s no [professional] video of them,” added Peters, who figured that one of the best ways to thank the group for all the music they’ve given the Robson Valley, is to give them a special night and to professionally record their performance.

“What I wanted to do to make it really special is to record, not just a video, but also an audio recording, so we’re bringing in a recording specialist from Vancouver (Kyhan Smith) and a professional sound mixer, GK Sound from Kamloops.”

According to Peters, both men are giving substantial discounts.

Others have stepped forward to help as well. The Valemount Arts and Cultural Society (VACS) booked the Community Theatre at the school and provided insurance coverage for the event and the use of their sound equipment. Donations from a private donor as well as the Valemount Senior Citzens’ Club were given, Infinity Office & Health provided the poster advertising, Dan Lawless will be doing the lights, and the Best Western is providing rooms for the sound crew from out of town. The VCTV Board has also allowed Peters to spend personal time on the project as well as the use of their equipment for the production.

 “Nobody from here is making anything, it’s all volunteer,” says Peters.

  “We want to have a special night for them that they and their families can remember, but we also want to fill the hall – not only because it’s great for them as performers, but we need the ticket sales to help pay for the recording and the sound.”

The result will be a professionally recorded and mixed CD, which Peters will use as the soundtrack for the DVD of the show that VCTV is producing.

The concert begins at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available from Infinity Office & Health for $20, or $25 at the door.

Come out for an enjoyable evening of music, and to show your appreciation and support for this wonderful group of local musicians.