Culture & Events — 13 April 2017
Kickin’ It: Fundraiser concert marks 11th year

Plowboys Peter Moffatt, Al Pronger and Randy Szachury

By Chris Marchand

Now 11 years into its run, local fundraising concert Kickin’ Country staged another big show for country fans, April 8.

Kickin’ Country performer Emma Penner gets the crowd going with some audience participation.

The evening began with pre-concert music from Matthew Leutschaft, opened by Dryden High School student Jenna Fenwick, followed by Emma Penner., then Karl Friesen. 

Florence Richard took the stage, backed up by Ken and Jeanette Denby, Rod Parr and Joe McIvor.

After the intermission, Dr. Diesel and the Ploughboys dived into the bluegrass, followed by Don Adams. Christopher Strom was then joined by show producer Louie Haukeness.

For a finale, the well-loved McIvor Brothers — including brothers Richard, Joe, Gerry and Bert Cantin.

Funds raised from the concert have traditionally supported the DHS Music Association — helping purchase everything from instruments to recording software and DHSMA members staffed everything from the coat check to the emcees.

“It’s one heck of a way to see some live entertainment and for such a good cause,” said Graham. “Dryden has supported us every single time. It’s become a nice way to get those extra things for the kids. We just purchased $1,700 worth of sound software for a music project we’re doing.”

The concert unveiled a plaque in the atrium of The Centre dedicated to Come Together and Kickin’ Country founder Carl Bleich who handed the reins over to Haukeness last year.

“With Louie taking over the helm I know it’s in good hands, said Graham. “He’s brought a whole different group in to come and see the concert and participate in making music happen in Dryden.”

Rod Parr and Jeannette Denby backing up Florence Richard.

Rob Rodgers (right) along with Dr. Diesel himself, Dave Borlang and stetsoned banjoist Randy Szachury — approximately 40 per cent of Dr. Diesel and the Ploughboys — perform a bluegrass-inspired set at the 11th annual Kickin’ Country concert, Saturday at the Centre.

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Chris Marchand is a native of Dryden, Ontario. He served his first newspaper internship at The Dryden Observer in 1998 while attending journalism studies at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops B.C. He's worked desks as both reporter and editor at the Fernie Free Press as well as filled the role of sports editor at the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. Marchand was named editor of the Dryden Observer in Aug. 2009.

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