Outdoor live music in Clearwater a sign of normalcy

Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard from Kamloops entertained the crowd with original tunes and cover songs during the opening night of the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard from Kamloops entertained the crowd with original tunes and cover songs during the opening night of the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)
Being outside and enjoying the live music not only made folks feel more at ease and relaxed, a lot made some new friends, all in Clearwater to experience what the area has to offer. From l-r: Carol Ried and Wade Sharp, from Quesnel, Donna and Wayne Roche, from Kamloops, and Charlene and Barry Sommert, from Millet, Alta. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)Being outside and enjoying the live music not only made folks feel more at ease and relaxed, a lot made some new friends, all in Clearwater to experience what the area has to offer. From l-r: Carol Ried and Wade Sharp, from Quesnel, Donna and Wayne Roche, from Kamloops, and Charlene and Barry Sommert, from Millet, Alta. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)
Many residents and visitors in and around Clearwater gathered at the Dutch Lake Community Centre for some live music. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)Many residents and visitors in and around Clearwater gathered at the Dutch Lake Community Centre for some live music. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)
Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard from Kamloops entertained the crowd with original tunes and cover songs during the opening night of the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard from Kamloops entertained the crowd with original tunes and cover songs during the opening night of the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)
A large crowd gathered at the Dutch Lake Community Centre field to for an evening of live music from Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard for the opening night of the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage. It was the first outdoor live music event since the beginning of the pandemic. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)A large crowd gathered at the Dutch Lake Community Centre field to for an evening of live music from Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard for the opening night of the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage. It was the first outdoor live music event since the beginning of the pandemic. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)
Mike Hilliard and Sabrina Weeks performed a new song titled “Forever Yours,” a piece that was written after the husband and wife duo overcame two bouts of cancer. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)Mike Hilliard and Sabrina Weeks performed a new song titled “Forever Yours,” a piece that was written after the husband and wife duo overcame two bouts of cancer. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)

Almost 200 residents and visitors in Clearwater gathered at the Dutch Lake Community Centre for an evening of live entertainment, something many places haven’t been able to enjoy since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago.

Kamloops’ Sabrina Weeks and Mike Hilliard opened the first of five live shows put on by the Wells Gray Lively Arts Society at their summer stage event.

Charlene and Barry Sommert are vacationing in Wells Gray Country from Millet, Alta. After a day of hiking to as many waterfalls as they could, they saw the Wells Gray Lively Arts summer stage signs in town and thought they’d come check it out.

“It’s fabulous,” said Barry about how it feels to be outside enjoying music. “It’s a beautiful place.”

The Sommerts were sitting next to two other couples — also from out of town.

The live outdoor music had Wade Sharp, who travelled with his wife Carol Reid from Quesnel, reminiscing about his childhood living in the Prairies.

“To me, it feels like home where I grew up in Saskatchewan,” he told the Times. “Small town, back-at-home feeling. This is what I grew up with.”

Despite the smoky skies, folks were just happy to be out, socializing and watching their kids play and make friends as they sat comfortably in lawn chairs, enjoying the live show. Reid said the best part about being at the show was the ability to meet new people by complete happenstance.

“Everybody misses this,” she added.

Wayne and Donna Roche live in Kamloops and said they had passed through Clearwater numerous times in the past but all they knew about the community was what could be seen from the highway. But the push to travel local due to COVID-19 led them to decide to stay in the area for a few days, something Wayne said may not have happened if it weren’t for the pandemic. They were staying just down the road and thought they’d take part in the festivities.

“It’s fantastic being outside again,” said Wayne. “Just being around people, feeling safer than we have in quite a long time.”

The next WGLAS summer stage outdoor live concert is tonight, Aug. 5. The Wheat in the Barley, a six-person Celtic and multi-cultural folk band from Vancouver will take the stage at 7 p.m., rain or shine.



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

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