‘Tour de Fort’ unveils lineup

Duane Hicks

Rising country star Corb Lund and pop songstress Chantal Kreviazuk are among the hot names lined up for the next season of the “Tour de Fort” concert series.
“We’re very excited about next season,” said Tara Hamilton, who co-chairs the programming committee with her husband, Scott.
“This season’s gone really well for us but I think next hopefully will be even better,” she added.
The new season will start with a bang Sept. 25 when Lund, an award-winning country artist from southern Alberta, will play the Townshend Theatre.
He will be followed Oct. 21 by John Mann, vocalist for Canadian folk rock legends Spirit of the West who has branched out with several solo albums in recent years.
Tenor Ken Lavigne, who’s been described as having “a voice like liquid gold,” will delight music fans here Nov. 24.
“He’s an excellent tenor. He sounds a lot like Josh Groban,” noted Hamilton, adding Lavigne will do a blend of Christmas songs, original material, and favourites such as “Hallelujah.”
Then 2015 will kick off with some laughs courtesy of comedian Robert Post, who will grace the stage Jan. 7.
Called a “one-man variety show,” Post specializes in rapid-fire character changes during his live shows.
Self-described “daredevils with instruments,” Sonic Escape, will perform here in March (exact date TBA).
Sonic Escape is a flute-violin-cello trio of Juilliard graduates that uses every part of the performer—fingers, mind, voice, and story—to reshape the live music experience.
Kreviazuk then will close out the season April 16.
Many music fans will recall the classically-trained pianist for her hits “Surrounded,” “God Made Me,” “Wayne,” and “Before You,” among others.
Passports for the 2014-15 season will be available through the “Tour de Fort” website—www.tourdefort.com—in the next few weeks.
If you buy one before Sept. 1, the cost is $100 for all six shows. If you wait until after that, the cost is $110.
The 2013-14 lineup wrapped up this past Sunday with a performance by Canadian singer-songwriter Barney Bentall.
Hamilton noted this past season boasted terrific talent, including Bruce Cockburn to kick things off back in October, but could have been a bit better attendance-wise.
The maximum capacity of the Townshend Theatre is 430 people, and none of the shows reached that this year.
A total of 327 passports were sold. Tickets then were sold at the door at each show to help fill the seats.
“We never used to do that but because we weren’t selling as many passports as we had in the past, we had to open it up and try and make some money that way, as well,” reasoned Hamilton.
“And that did help.”
Looking ahead, “Tour de Fort” also is in need of more volunteers.
Hamilton said there’s quite a few different executive roles volunteers can take—ranging from secretary to heading up promotions and grants, advertising, hospitality, and even being in charge of technical/load-in (meaning they meet the artists when they first arrive at the Townshend Theatre).
She added people also are welcome to volunteer for simpler jobs, like putting up concert posters around town or taking/selling tickets at the door on the evening of each concert.
Hamilton said if anyone wants to get a better idea about what “Tour de Fort” does, and how they can get involved, they can attend a meeting this Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the Super 8 Motel.