BY ZACHARY CORMIER
It will be another summer of music in Lacombe as the third season of the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre Foundation’s (LPACF) Music in the Park concert series recently got underway in the Lest We Forget Park outside the Lacombe Memorial Centre.
“We’ve gone out and we’ve got some different bands this year and we’re really trying to offer a wide variety of music. We have a bluegrass band and we have a Dixie band and we’ve got country, classic rock and jazz. So we’re trying to offer quite a wide range of music,” said Ellen Corea, a member of the Music in the Park committee.
The popular concert series, which has been running every Wednesday during the summer months for the past two years, was originally created by the late Lann Lieurance, a local musician who was very involved in the local music scene.
“His idea was to provide free musical entertainment on a weekly basis throughout the summer to the people in Lacombe,” Corea said, adding that Lieurance did most of the booking for the first season of concerts, which only ran from July to August.
“The bands loved coming here. They really loved the atmosphere of Lacombe and where we held it, so we got a lot of people who were great, really professional bands who wanted to come back for the second season. So for the second season we expanded to June, July and August.”
Corea said the third season was a challenging one for the committee.
“Because we go every week and there’s two months in this year that have five Wednesdays instead of four, we’re actually doing 14 performances in the three months. Plus we’ve taken over the programming for the music for Canada Day and for the Culture and Harvest Festival.”
Despite the challenge of planning 17 performances in three months, Corea said the LPACF is excited about the upcoming season.
“It’s pretty exciting for us. It gives us a chance to bring some really wonderful concerts into the community, but also to highlight some of our local and regional performers.”
This year’s lineup features a number of new acts, such as Whitemud Drive on June 8th, and a couple of old favourites, including pianist Kim Cote (June 15th), and CJ Berube (Aug. 24th).
Another new thing for the Music in the Park this year is the addition of the Lacombe Community Market, which runs on site alongside the weekly concerts between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
“It really is a nice atmosphere with the market. People can come down before and there’s food trucks at the market, so they can get some food and make it a whole evening. It really is a wonderful evening in Lacombe. Wednesday evenings downtown, it’s just great,” Corea said, adding the LPACF has been thrilled with the community response to the concert series over the past two years.
“We really have been very lucky. The audiences have been very generous in their donations and we’ve got some new people who have sponsored us this year, so we’re really happy about that. That allows us to pay all of our performers and do all the advertising.
“We’ve been really, really happy with the support from the community.”
The Music in the Park concert series runs every Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in The Lest We Forget Park, with the Lacombe Community Market taking place outside the LMC from 4:30 to 8:30. A full schedule of performances can be found at www.lacombeC4.com or www.lacombetourism.com.