The sounds of live music will be coming back to Maple Ridge after the ACT announced a free outdoor concert series to celebrate the Arts Council’s 50th anniversary.
The 50-For-50 Outdoor Summer Concert Series starts July 3 and is only the first activity in a year-long celebration.
Kutapira Percussion Ensemble, a group of five percussionists who have been performing for more than 15 years together, will be the first to take to the stage for the 50-minute, lunch hour concerts, in the plaza in front of the ACT, with their fusion of world music. Each performer in the group is proficient on each of the many percussion instruments that make up their unique sound – from the Zimbabwean marimba’s to the West African djembe to the Afro-Cuban conga’s and timbales to the drum kit which provides a steady driving groove.
A performance by Pure Harp – a duo including Lani Krantz, known for his performances in Winter Harp, along with Janelle Nadeau – will be the second in the series combining the sounds of strings and voices in light classics and popular favorites.
“These performances are a birthday gift to Maple Ridge, to help lift us all up after such a dark, challenging time,” explained artistic and executive director, Curtis Pendleton.
“We have chosen exuberant, inspirational musical styles and performers, to re-engage with all that we have been without through the pandemic,” she said.
Although the concerts are free and coincide with Stage 2 of the B.C. Restart Plan, only 50 patrons will be allowed at each performance where there will be umbrella tables for two. Tickets must be reserved for each of the seven concerts that will take place to ensure a distanced, social space.
Performances will also include: a quartet of singers from City Opera Vancouver that will present Love in Operatic Proportions; Celtic Blaze with the Stephanie Cadman Trio; Steve Maddock Blues Project Quintet; and Tiller’s Folly.
Alpha Yaya Diallo, the multiple Juno-winning Guinean guitarist and singer will also be returning to Maple Ridge with his quartet.
The Arts Council was formed in 1971 by a group of committed arts supporters, who, in their early days raised funds for a local student group’s music field trip. From its very inception, the Council had a vision that the arts could transform a community and lift up peoples’ lives, contributing to the public good in Maple Ridge and surrounding communities.
The council, a non-profit charitable society, operates the ACT Arts Centre that reaches more than 80,000 people every year.
This anniversary celebrates the Arts Council’s legacy and demonstrates how civic commitment, public focus, and artistic engagement contribute to elevating a ‘place’ into a community, noted Pendleton.
Other 50th Anniversary activities include The Story Project; Raising the Ridge, a collection of published interviews with community members who have been a part of lifting up Maple Ridge through the arts over the past 50 years.
A large art installation for the lobby space – that will be installed in January 2022 – done by students in the Arts Learning Programs.
The ACT will also be hosting a themed Secondary School Art Exhibition in the Art Gallery space in April 2022 in collaboration with the local school district.
Other projects and activities will be announced throughout the year.
“It’s a joyful way to sample the enormously diverse talent we have in B.C., and showcases the high quality which audiences can expect as The ACT moves into its regular performance season this fall,” Pendleton added.
Free tickets for the first two performances will be released to the public on Monday, June 21.
ACT Patrons, those who have donated $100 or more to the arts centre, have an opportunity to book seats a few days prior to each performance.
The remaining performance tickets will be released in stages, approximately two weeks prior, to allow for potential weather or scheduling changes.
Performance descriptions and tickets can be reviewed at theactmapleridge.org/act-presents.
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