‘Christmas Carol Project’ set for Dec. 18

Featuring a range of talented musicians sure to boost the seasonal spirit, the Christmas Carol Project runs Dec. 18 on the Arts Centre mainstage.

Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Set to perform are Bill Bourne, Al Brant, Dave Clarke, Kevin Cook, Maria Dunn, Bill Hobson, Dale Ladouceur, Terry Morrison and Tom Roschkov.

The concept for project surfaced back in the 1980s. John Armstrong wanted to showcase many of the diverse talents of Edmonton’s music scene and decided that Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was the perfect vehicle.

“From the time that I became involved with Edmonton’s music scene, I marveled at the quality, diversity and cross-genre cooperation of the artists. I began thinking about trying to showcase these characteristics within a multi-artist show. This was around Christmastime and seeing the Alaistar Sim Christmas Carol movie provided the idea of a perfect vehicle for such a showcase. It has so many strong character parts and it’s such a great story,” he said.

“It was several years later when I related the idea to Tom Roschkov, who immediately encouraged me to pursue. Tom signed on as Bob Cratchit and I eventually recruited the rest of the cast. The musicians then wrote the songs and we tied the story together by adding a narrator and using portions of Dickens actual text.”

Since its inception, the Christmas Carol Project has seen more than 90 performances, three tours, a CD and an award-winning television special which really helped to bolster awareness of the production.

Incredibly, the only cast changes have been with the narrators. The original cast of songwriters has remained the same for 17 years.

“There was a year that we added a few new songs, bringing the total up to 23. Occasionally an artist will suggest a change in feel to one of their songs. Better Way used to be a blues song and now it has more of a reggae feel. When There’s Nothing At All has taken on a bit of a hip hop groove in the past couple of years,” said Armstrong. “It’s funny that I don’t get bored of the show. We’ve had 90 performances and quite a few rehearsals. But, the songs are great and the performers find new ways to give them life. Most of the cast come from a roots music background so the arrangements can be flexible and solos can be extended. And as a result, every show is unique in some way or another.”

He added the production has special meaning for the cast.

“After 18 years, the Carol has become a tradition for all of us. Everyone in the cast keeps busy with their own careers and families. So, unless some of us end up at the same summer festival or event, we don’t really see all of the cast together except for this time of the year – I guess that’s the way it is for large families. We’re like that.”

The production also has special meaning to those who have seen it and who make it an annual tradition in their lives.

“I think one of the best compliments that I hear fairly often is that ‘Christmas’ doesn’t really begin for some people until they’ve come to the Christmas Carol Project, so it’s good that all of our shows happen before December 25th this year,” said Armstrong.

He added he enjoys connecting with the audience as well.

“I’m often at the merch table and always have interesting conversations with fans wanting to know about new releases and such and at the end of the show the cast come out to chat and sign CDs and it’s very cool how the audience enjoy speaking with them.”

For tickets, call the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre at 403-755-6626 or check out www.bkticketcentre.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Vigil held for hundreds of transgender victims killed in 2018

Nov. 20th marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Red Deer City Council approved approves $121 million capital budget this evening

Budget focuses on sustainability and preparing for future growth

Code of conduct needed after Curling Classic debacle, says Red Deer Curling Manager

Wade Thurber says code of conduct will help organizers in the future if another incident occurs

Notre Dame students wear blue to support National Child Day

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre chosen as recipient of monies raised for Grad Service Project

Red Deer’s next winter celebration is just around the corner

Snow and Ice Celebration runs Dec. 1st at Red Deer Civic Yards

VIDEO: Shoppers like self-checkout lanes at the grocery store, survey suggests

Grocery Experience National Survey Report suggests most grocery shoppers spend 32 minutes per visit

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

The latest advent calendar trend: Holiday cannabis

A Canadian company is giving people from coast to coast a new way to celebrate the Christmas countdown.

Ponoka’s Caleb Shimwell arrested after pursuit

Police allege that Shimwell rammed a police cruiser

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Most Read