Out Loud Series brings music, authors to library
Turner Valley: Annual event celebrating National Library Month
Friday, Oct 13, 2017 11:58 am
It’s about to get noisy in Turner Valley’s library.
Sheep River Library staff and volunteers have invited Canadian authors and musicians to its annual Out Loud Series in celebration of National Library Month.
Highlights include a performance by Okanagan musician Ari Neufeld on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m., an appearance by award-winning Ontario novelist Terry Fallis on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. and a concert by Vancouver Island multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and storyteller Ed Peekeekoot on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
The Sheep River Library won the Provincial Minister’s Award for its Out Loud Series in 2012.
“We try to get people that we know people are going to want to come see,” said Sheep River librarian Jan Burney. “Terry Fallis gets such a great reception. Any time we contact his publicist he will usually make us a stop on his route.”
This year marks the third the author of six national best-sellers, including his latest One Brother Shy, visited the Sheep River Library for its Out Loud Series, said Burney. Fallis, a humourous political pundit on CBC Radio from time to time, is also the two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour.
Throughout October, students at Turner Valley School and Black Diamond’s C. Ian McLaren School visit the library to connect with children’s authors and illustrators from across Canada, said Burney.
“It’s about lifelong learning and providing experiences for people,” Burney said of the series. “A lot of the times the musicians will talk about the process of writing a particular song or how that came about. That helps people understand more of the writing process, not just from an author but from a musician.”
Library volunteer Doris Daley said gone are the days when the librarian hushed patrons.
“In the old days the image of a library was a spinster at the circulation desk going ‘shush, shush, shush,’” she said. “Our library is the opposite. We want to shout out loud that we’re a thriving heartbeat of our little community.”
Daley, an award-winning cowboy poet, has become an important resource for the library due to her connection with Canadian entertainers.
It was Daley who came up with the idea of inviting Peekeekoot, who grew up on the Ahtahkakoop Cree First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, to the Out Loud Series to share his Cree humour and philosophy.
When performing at the same events as Peekeekoot, Daley said she and the other performers all stop what they’re doing and watch him on stage, no matter how many times they’ve seen him perform.
Daley said his talents fit well with Canada’s 150th birthday and this year’s Out Loud Series theme From Far and Wide, O Canada.
“It’s nice to have Ed here reminding us of a different Canada or a different celebration,” she said. “It’s just going to be a real treat to have him here. He’s someone who can entertain 700 people in a big theatre as well as 100 people in a beautiful setting in front of a fireplace.”
While playing the guitar, fiddle and Native American flute, Peekeekoot sings about stories told by his grandparents, Cree legends and his own experiences growing up, while throwing in some storytelling in between.
“I lived with my grandma and grandpa for a couple of years with my sister,” he said. “They talked about the olden days and how they got by. It was pretty bleak sometimes.”
The song Prairie Indian Way describes Peekeekoot’s childhood experience on a Cree reserve.
“On the reserve there was no power back in the late ’50s,” he said. “My grandma and grandpa taught me how to earn my keep. In the wintertime the days were short and I had to use a lantern and set it beside me while I cut wood. Back in those days it was -25 and -30.”
Peekeekoot’s stories educate the public about the old ways of the First Nations people.
“The only place you see that is in the museums or in the library,” he said. “As an artist I like to put it in words and songs. I’m proud of my heritage. Hopefully it will inspire some young aspiring singer/songwriter to write songs and carry on the stories of long ago.”
In addition to his own songs, Peekeekoot likes to sing songs written by some of his musical influences like Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Don Messer and Ned Landry.
“My first influence was my uncles and my mom,” he said. “She showed me how to play the guitar and my uncles played for dances on the prairies.”
To attend these events, free tickets must be picked up at the Sheep River Library or by calling 403-933-3278.
For more details about the Out Loud Series go to sheepriverlibrary.ca