Community Advocates Plan

  • Dec. 28, 2010 8:00 a.m.

Pipestone Flyer

Vol 14, Issue 51, Leduc-Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer

It will be a different New Years Eve at the Memorial Centre in Wetaskiwin on December 31st. It won’t be a typical New Year’s Eve bash. Oh yes, there will be a great celebration to bring in 2011 but the event being staged by a group of Wetaskiwin ‘community advocates’ will be rewarding the guests with a cultural experience, local food and a chance to give to a charity at New Years Eve 2010.

When Brady Weiler and Randy Bailer were wondering what could be new and different for New Years Eve, they knew they should include local musicians, Meggan Gregg and Dean Pexderic. They first began discussing how they wanted to provide Wetaskiwin with a ‘community owned’ event for New Years Eve. Excitement quickly mounted.  The first decision they made was it had to be affordable. They settled on a bargain price of $49.95 per person or $399.00 for a table of eight agreeing the evening would include an outstanding meal, live music throughout the evening, party favours and champagne. 

They knew they could do it. After all, the ‘community advocates’ could provide great food and music. The Pipestone Food Company was prepared to offer another feast comprised of specially prepared roast beef and locally grown lake trout backed by all the trimmings worthy of a New Years Eve celebration. For music, two local music groups Punch Drunk Cabaret and Meggan Gregg & Dean Pexderic would provide live entertainment throughout the evening. 

But they weren’t content with that. The ‘community advocates’ wanted to make sure this was a special evening, and one to be remembered. Two live acts are a treat at any event. But excellent becomes even more excellent when there are three. They contacted Jay Semko of the Northern Pikes, a musical associate of Randy Bailer to inquire if he would be the highlight act to close the evening. 

“No doubt Jay Semko is a truly Canadian music treasure from Saskatchewan,” stated Randy Bailer who has his own act, Punch Drunk Cabaret. “Most musicians came from Toronto or Vancouver. Although this guy was under the radar he has produced excellent albums and is truly a motivator for prairie musicians such as me.” 

The ‘community advocates’ then thought since this was designed to be a ‘community’ event, it needed to give back to the community and called in Mark McFaul, President of the Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society. Mark was pleased to become a partner, benefactor and service provider for the evening.  “Absolutely,” stated Mark McFaul “We (Wetaskiwin Community Transportation Society) want to join the advocates and provide a service to the community. We will be providing transportation to and from a radius of 5 km. of Wetaskiwin.  If you phone by Wednesday the 29th we will come to your door and pick you up and drop you off at the end of the evening.”

He talked about the fundraising opportunity the New Years event is providing. “We are not charging for the rides but will gratefully accept donations. We are also designated to receive the proceeds from the silent auction to be held that night. We are so pleased with the response and donations of the business community supporting this auction.” 

Quotes from the ‘community advocates’

Brady: “I can sit back and complain about what the City is or isn’t doing but I need to do my part to provide something for the people in this City.”

Randy: “Lets do something for culture and classy. This will be a very different event than most people have experienced on New Years. It’s a classy, cultural event where everyone can wear their finest and enjoy great food and entertainment.”

Mark: “This is just another great and new event being hosted in Wetaskiwin. Everyone says there is nothing to do in Wetaskiwin but there is lots to do in Wetaskiwin. WCTS is pleased to support this event.” 

Meggan: “When I was approached to put an act together I said absolutely. You don’t have to leave Wetaskiwin for a quality event. Some people look at Wetaskiwin and say there is not culture but when I attended the Arts and Cultural Festival I was amazed at the variety of talent.” 

Jay Semko:  “New Year’s Eve is going to be pretty rockin’ – I’ll be playing all the Pikes tunes people know and love, along with some of my solo stuff and maybe a surprise or two…..I’m really looking forward to it.”

The New Year Eve acts

Local music artist, Megan Gregg will be the opening act – Megan delights and draws in her audiences with her unique vocal and emotional interpretation of original songs and those of other artists.  Megan’s fusion of lyrics, vocal and guitar results in an honest performance that lingers long after she exits.

Local artist, Randy Lewis Bailer will be the mid evening act (formerly Screwtape Lewis) – Mixing rockabilly, outlaw country and steampunk swing into a potent musical cocktail, Punch Drunk Cabaret is one of the most refreshing new acts to hail from central Alberta. As ex-patriots of the Edmonton indie-rock scene, singer/ guitarist Randy Lewis Bailer, bassist Dean Doige and drummer Robin Eklund performed with some of Canada’s highest profile acts such as Nickelback, and the Tragically Hip, toured to cities such as Nashville and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Jay Semko (The Northern Pikes) with Punch Drunk Cabaret band – Closing act -Jay will be performing many Pikes songs, as well as some of his solo material and music from "Due South"(the TV series he composed the theme and score for). Jay is looking forward to his trip to Wetaskiwin. “" I have worked with Randy from Punch Drunk Cabaret on a few different projects over the years, and have played in Wetaskiwin and had a blast – the people are great, and I have more fun now performing live than I’ve ever had."

So, get your sparkly jewellery out of storage, go to your closet and pick out your finest clothes (or use it a reason to buy new ones) call the Transportation Society to book a ride and have a great evening at a great event in our community. 

For tickets contact the Pipestone Food Company 780 352-9596 or WCTS for tickets or to book a ride at 780-361-4455