A recently established organization is seeking to better the lot of performers in the Creston Valley.
“It’s to promote local music and media arts with a particular focus on profitability and business development, and working co-operatively with other organizations and businesses,” said Marc Archambault, chair of the Creston Music and Media Society (CMMS). “There’s not really a history of beneficial representation for either segment of the arts community. It’s just been individuals on their own.”
That hasn’t been the best scenario for musicians, he said, with some organizations expecting them to perform for nothing at fundraisers and similar events.
“Musicians are viewed as disposable commodities, almost,” he said. “They’re not valued. There’s an expectation they will work for free.”
To help promote valley artists, the CMMS will be holding a launch event next week, running at the Snoring Sasquatch on Sept. 20 and 21, with licensed evenings, and Saturday afternoon open to families. On Friday night, Velle Weitman and Mark Koenig will take to the stage, with Elena Yeung and Daniel Huscroft on Saturday evening. Saturday afternoon’s events include music by Monte Anderson and Kalen Huscroft of the Creston Valley Music Teachers Association, and Tiizak Hamra, the animation works of Richard Reeves, and some other media related surprises
Other promotions are soon to be offered, as well, with CMMS director Carl Erickson planning a music history show, and Gary and Jason Deatherage planning a relaunch of Creston Underground Sound, both under the CMMS banner, and both on CIDO 97.7 FM.
The goal of CMMS is more than just entertainment, though, with education, project assistance and identification of funding also in its mandate.
“The particular focus of the CMMS will be to promote local musicians and media artists, to contribute to the local economy, and to facilitate business development in those fields,” says the organization’s philosophy statement.
To help anyone interested in hiring a musician or media artist, a CMMS website created by Nathan DeVuono will be a one-stop shop, with members showcased in profiles.
The organization got started when Snoring Sasquatch owner Paul Hutcheson started to meet with musicians with similar goals in mind. Then media artists came in and it “snowballed from there,” said Archambault. CMMS was incorporated last month, with a board comprised of Archambault, Erickson, Matt Hansen (vice-chair), Peter Feltham, (secretary-treasurer), Dave Lyons and Joanna Wilson.
The society covers Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay areas A, B and C, allowing people from the whole valley to join.
“There’s room for everyone to work together to help the community grow as a whole,” he said. “We want to be a hotbed for creativity. All kinds of talent here is untapped.”
Tickets to next week’s launch event are $12 in advance (at the Snoring Sasquatch, Black Bear Books, Kingfisher Used Books and Buffalo Trails Coffee House) and $15 at the door for a single night, and $20 in advance and $26 at the door for both nights. Saturday afternoon admission is $5, and free for children 12 and under. For more information, visit the CMMS Facebook page.