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May 19, 2024 May 19, 2024

Blues at the Bow tuning up for 31st season in historic venue

Posted on April 25, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman
Commentator/Courier File Photo

By Heather Cameron
Commentator/Courier

Blues at the Bow is a non-profit organization that puts on an annual live concert series at the historic Bow Theatre, which is over 100 years old.

“Not only do we bring in live music acts, we own, operate and maintain the theatre,” said Jason Riddell, president of Blues at the Bow. “It may come as a surprise to many that the theatre is also available for rent at a very affordable price, and we can also manage the bar to ease your event. Birthdays, grad parties, bachelor, and bachelorette parties. We’ve also had groups rent the theatre for meetings.”

The theatre itself, Riddell says, has garnered the distinction of being a listener’s venue as well as a dance party haven, as it combines the fantastic sound of a concert venue and dance benefits of a bar in Bow Island. Ridell says that the history of blues in the area extends back to the late 80’s and early 90’s when the late Stuart Couillard and friends were hosting shows at local halls. In 1993, Riddell says, they purchased and renovated the Bow Theatre where the “Blues at the Bow” concert series has been ever since. 

“Why blues music?” said Riddell. “Stuart loved blues music and wanted to share the genre with everyone to ensure blues music thrived for future generations. He definitely succeeded as here we are, 30 years later, continuing his legacy. Many high caliber artists have left their mark at the theatre, signing the walls on the infamous ‘green room’ and entertaining the young as well as seasoned music lovers. If you look closely, you’ll find names like Colin James, The Legendary Downchild Blues Band, Harrison Kennedy, Monkey Junk, and Roy Rogers, to name a few!”

This year marks the 31st season for Blues at the Bow and Riddell says that ‘The Perpetrators’ will be kicking off the season on May 11.

“You can expect a tight, raw, and intense blues experience that will be sure to get you up and shake it,” said Riddell. 

As for the rest of the season, Riddell says that the dates and artists are still being finalized, but it will not disappoint. 

Tickets for ‘The Perpetrators,’ Riddell says, are $40 per ticket and can be purchased at Eventbrite or at https://www.bluesatthebow.com/. 

“We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to attend a show, therefore we keep our concert prices very reasonable and low at $40 a ticket,” said Riddell. “A season pass is the most economical, at $200 a season. It’s also the only way to be guaranteed a ticket for all six shows of the season with no worries that you won’t get a ticket when we sell out. Did you want to bring a group of friends or co-workers? We have you covered there as well with our corporate memberships. This gives you 12 tickets that you can use when you want to. At $500, you’ll receive $100 tax donation receipt, and recognition on our slide show.”

Riddell says that people can also get involved with Blues at the Bow by volunteering their time.

“We are always looking for and welcoming new people to join our board/volunteer group!” said Riddell. 

“Our board is a group of easygoing, laid-back music lovers, even if your jam isn’t specifically blues. Send us a message so we can let you know when our meetings are. Our volunteers are passionate about making sure that live music is available for everyone. Endless phone calls and emails with booking agents, artists, and everything else can be busy at times, especially days leading up to a concert. When our doors open and everyone comes in, our slide show is going, people are getting drinks and chatting to others – it’s a vibe that you can’t replicate. When the band comes on stage, and plays their first note, it makes all the work worthwhile.”

Riddell says if an artist is interested in connecting with Blues at the Bow, on the other hand, he urges them to connect with us via all major socials: Facebook and Instagram or connect with them at bluesatthebow.com.

“The theatre is readily available for rentals, and easier than worrying about fitting everyone into your house,” said Riddell. “You also won’t find a better sound system for your event.”

Riddell emphasizes that very few venues are this comfortable and casual. 

“Rural towns rarely have venues or events like the Blues at the Bow has to offer,” said Riddell. “Many people attend as you don’t need to travel to the city to get city life events. We offer a full-service bar, top of the line sound and light system. You can even bring your own snacks or appetizers to munch on. Even if Blues music isn’t your thing, nothing compares to a live music event at the Bow Theatre. You won’t be disappointed!”

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