A Maple Ridge woman is trying to promote the local live music scene with the hopes of bringing the city alive post-pandemic.
Betty Selezinka, who has been volunteering around the community for a variety of organizations and events, is championing to get the word out about live events in the community.
“It is so important to get the community engaging with each other, especially because of COVID. We all are so disconnected and these live events music, comedy, etc. will bring people together,” said Selezinka.
“So many artists have been affected by the pandemic, and this is one way to make sure they are given a platform.”
On Friday, Selezinka attended the live event, dubbed the Happenings, put on at Memorial Peace Park by the Maple Ridge parks department. The July 9 performances, a first for the season, featuring pop music from Nikki Kennedy and esc. (The Escapes). It saw roughly 75 to 100 people in the park, socially distanced, with their own lawn chairs or blankets.
“Most people weren’t even aware this was happening. Some were passing by, heard the music, and decided to stop by. Just imagine how great it would be if people actually know of all the upcoming events,” she said.
The Happenings will continue every Friday, through Sept. 3, and a list of all music, comedy, magic, and dance events (by amateur and professional artists) is available on the city’s website for the event.
There are a number of other events planned throughout the summer:
• Maple Ridge Museum’s Music Off The Wharf will take place every second Monday starting July 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event is free to attend, but people will need to register in advance, considering the space limitation due to COVID. Selezinka, however, insists that coming to the venue and checking if there is availability would be a good option in case community members haven’t had a chance to register.
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• The Wolf Bar Acoustic Guitar Nights for Thursdays, July 15 and 22 at the Wolf Bar in Maple Ridge, would be an opportunity for local artists to perform and for community members to enjoy some acoustic music.
• The Haney Farmers Market, which runs every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature an artist each week. Although these artist features would act more like background music to the market, they still give the artists a platform.
• Fred Hill’s All-Star Blues jam starting Sunday, July 18 at the The Wolf Bar would be another opportunity for the community to enjoy some blues tunes. These gatherings are every Sunday, 8 p.m. onwards. This event, according to Selezinka, is to honour Hill, a local artist who passed away last year in July.
“These live events, the music, it replenishes my soul, and I feel this is exactly what we all need right now,” said Selezinka.
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