The third annual Red Deer Entertainment Awards takes place Jan. 12th with a couple of new elements making the evening celebrating local entertainment even more exciting than the last.
Local musician and organizer Jesse Roads said the location for the awards has changed to a bigger venue, Bo’s Bar and Grill on 50th Ave.
This will allow for nearly 400 people to attend.
“What’s cool this year is we are actually able to open up on a larger level to the general public,” Roads said. “Typically, with the nominees and their plus one, we would already be at about 130 people who would be just attending who are directly involved.”
The awards night now has the Red Deer Arts Council onboard.
“They’ll have an award that they present every year,” Roads said. “We are also going to recognize them this year and present them with an award for their achievements and all their support for the arts over the years.”
The Central Alberta Film Festival (CAFF) will also be recognized.
Going forward, CAFF will present its own awards as well, Roads said, adding that both the Arts Council and CAFF will diversify the award categories going forward.
Other categories include Promoter of the Year, a Venue Recognition Award, an Open Stage Award, Group of the Year, New Group of the Year, Cover Band of the Year, Singer/Songwriter of the Year and Achievement Award, the Red Deer Scene Award, the Comedy Achievement Award, the Comedy Recognition Award and the Social Contribution Award.
During the show Jan. 12th, local performances from Wiklund vs. Wiklund and the gripping vocals of Emily Vay will take place, among others.
The band for the after party is Slappy Pappy.
“They do the eighties, nineties, really fun music – just the kind of music you would throw on to have a couple drinks to,” Roads said. “They are a really good high energy band.”
The inspiration for the awards arose two years ago because Red Deer has such an excellent music and entertainment scene, he said.
“You look at Edmonton and Calgary and they’ve got their own music awards and stuff,” he said. “It just seemed like musically Red Deer, although it has an amazing music scene, it felt like it would be cool to include the whole entertainment community somehow.”
The idea for the night was also to get Red Deer entertainers and musicians in the same room to celebrate their achievements.
“Most of the people in the Red Deer entertainment scene are close and get along quite well.”
Roads also said that the Red Deer scene is well-known beyond the City, and he thought it would be worth celebrating each year.
“It’s very obvious that Red Deer has something different and some sort of special connection with entertainment. It’s really a great community of artists and entertainers.”