After two decades of bringing festivals, culture, and arts to the prairies, Blenders Events will play out its last tunes on Saturday night.
The grand finale event comes after a struggle to bounce back from pandemic deficits. According to Board Chair Ian Swann, the outbreak of COVID-19 was the genesis of the organization’s dissolution.
“We were on a hiatus there for a year, then coming back, we haven't got the same crowds that we did prior,” he explained. “The artists were also suffering because during COVID, they couldn't make money, so all of a sudden we're finding our fees are now double, triple what they were before. And the fact that our MOU with the City expires at the end of December...we were looking at how we can restructure and financially we were having a problem.”
Since the Lyric Theatre closed its doors to the public back in May, Blenders was left without its iconic historical venue and its concert series has been hosted in Great Plains College.
When asked if this adjustment affected attendance and revenue, Swann said, “Oh, big time; it's more expensive to go to the college, it's not quite as intimate, and it doesn’t have the same sound. The Lyric really was a special venue in terms of the acoustics there."
Saturday evening's concert is sure to strike a chord with residents, featuring Swift Current's very own Dillon Currie and prairie-raised Belle Plaine.
Currie's haunting lyricism against the backdrop of comforting tunes showcase a personal storytelling that will resonate with listeners.
Bringing the sound of classic blues and true country, Belle Plaine sings her crowds into nostalgia and reminiscing with an atmospheric voice.
The pair of Saskatchewan artists won't be the only highlight of the night, however. Blenders is inviting guests to send in their favourite photos and memories of previous events for a slideshow to end the night on a high note. These can be emailed in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets for the event can be purchased at Pharmasave.
"It's going to be a chance to reminisce with a lot of people," Swann added. "The bar will be open a little later, for people to just meet and greet and enjoy."
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