ROUTE 97 CULTURE ANNOUNCES NEW INITIATIVE
TO IMPROVE LIVE MUSIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN THE BC INTERIOR
31 MAY 2021 (Penticton, BC) – Today, Route 97 Culture announced their initiative to establish new and unique live music venues and promoter relationships across the BC interior. Seeking to forge alliances with commercial partners (wineries, breweries, organic farms), academic institutions (colleges and universities), Indigenous organizations, tourism partners, arts councils and other pre-existing venue partners – their aim is to bring young emerging and established artists to the region. This project has received funding from Amplify BC, a fund created by the Province of British Columbia and administered by Creative BC to support the province’s music and sound recording industry.
Strengthening the live touring sector in BC’s interior, by building touring infrastructure, is a key goal. This means ensuring that new venue choices, promoters and resources are available to serve culturally diverse and younger artists. Additionally, their initiative seeks to provide underserved audiences with an array of creators to see and support. The project is seeking partnerships with both Indigenous organizations and artists, as well as academic institutions in the region who share this goal. They are committed to strongly supporting artists from a variety of backgrounds including women, those in the LGBTQ2S+ community and under-represented BIPOC groups.
Mandy Wheelwright of Blister Management, and project co-lead Mark Greenhalgh of Misty Mountain Productions, along with Julie Fowler, Paul Crawford, Kate Wattie, Tori Jewell, Matt Rands, Greg Curtis (promoter consultant) have begun the engagement process with potential partners. These project team members all have deep experience and ties to the Canadian and BC music industry and each other. To date, the project team has initiated discussions with the following: Okanagan College (all regions), Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops), UBC Okanagan (Kelowna), Covert Farms (Oliver), Frank Venables Theatre (Oliver), Travel Penticton, Crown and Thieves Winery and Truck 59 Cider House (West Kelowna), Summerhill Pyramid Winery (Kelowna), Tourism Kelowna, Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre (RDNO), Bill Jaswal of Jelly Events (Kamloops), Frank Antoine, Kukpi7, Bonaparte First Nation, (Hat Creek Ranch), Caravan farm Theatre (Armstrong).
This project, by design, aims to grow and develop BC’s music ecosystem by solving problems and by having this new network of potential stakeholders invest in BC and Canadian talent. By finding new performance venues, working out new promoter relationships, developing stronger interconnectedness between academic, Indigenous organizations, arts councils, and the commercial / tourism sectors – this project aims to build a viable touring corridor in the BC Interior for younger artists. As the Provincial Health Orders for public gatherings are lifted, this initiative will lead to growth in cultural tourism allowing live music to become a larger conduit of positive economic impact.
We acknowledge that Route97 Culture’s offices are on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation. We carry out our work respectfully on the land of Indigenous Peoples throughout British Columbia and are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous Peoples that develop through our work together.