Featuring many top Southern Gospel-styled musical acts, the annual Canada’s Gospel Music Celebration runs at Westerner Park July 11-13.
Events will be held at the Centrium, kicking off Thursday morning.
Acclaimed groups hitting the stage this year include the Booth Brothers, Triumphant Quartet, Double Portion, Potters Clay, the Young St. Vocal Band, Keepers of the Faith, the Tribute Quartet, The Singing Hills, Roset, The Collingsworth Family, The Watchman Four Quartet and The Browns among others.
All evening performances begin at 6 p.m. There is also much to check out in the exhibitors’ hall where artists set up shop to sell CDs, books and DVDs. The exhibitors’ hall opens at 4 p.m. each day.
Legacy Five, who have been long-time favourites on the festival and touring circuit, are slated to perform at this year’s event. When the Legendary Cathedral Quartet retired in December of 1999, Scott Fowler and Roger Bennett decided to continue the rich musical tradition of Southern Gospel quartet singing.
Legacy Five was organized and had their official debut in January of 2000 in Atlanta.
Matt Fouch sings the bass, Scott Howard sings baritone, Scott Fowler sings lead, Gus Gaches sings tenor and Trey Ivey is the group’s pianist.
Since the start, they have made a major mark on the Southern Gospel music world. Immediately audiences responded to their four-part harmony and their ability to effectively communicate the gospel message.
Year after year they are recognized as one of gospel music’s favourite southern gospel groups. The Southern Gospel Music Association has also honoured Legacy Five with Recording of the Year and they have had two Dove Award nominations.
To top it off, Legacy Five has been featured on video tapings of the Gaither and Friends Homecoming Video series, which has sold millions of copies worldwide.
As for The Collingsworth Family, since their first engagement together as musicians for a church camp in Petersburg, Michigan in 1986 until now, the ministry of Phil and Kim Collingsworth has expanded until it is a full-time livelihood that involves their entire family. Their boundaries of influence have expanded until they have sung and played all over the United States (as well as internationally) into their 27th year of ministry.
Phil is a 1986 graduate of God’s Bible School & College, Cincinnatti. This is the famous college that is well-known within Christian education ranks for having been the American college where Oswald Chambers (My Utmost For His Highest) taught.
Kim attended Union Bible College, Westfield, Indiana where she was instrumental in arranging most of the music that was performed by the college’s music groups. As a family, they performed in Red Deer last year and certainly stood out as one of the most powerful and popular groups to be featured during the event.
Closer to home and known for their close family harmonies, original songs and sense of humor, The Singing Hills aim to inspire audiences through their personal presentation. The group, which consists of Roger and Patti Hill, three of their four daughters, Kari, Kelli and Kim and Kim’s husband Kevin Elias, has recorded over a dozen CDs.
And since beginning full-time ministry in 1990, there have been many opportunities for the members of Double Portion to share the gospel message as well.
They have appeared on the Grand Ol’ Opry stage, were guest artists of the Cash family and the largest county fair in the U.S.A. They have also performed at both the Artist Spotlight Showcase during the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Kentucky and the Canadian Gospel Music Celebration previously.
Another Canadian group featured this year is Potter’s Clay which was launched in the late sixties by two teenage boys. The group went through many phases over time, and in 1986 began singing regularly as a trio named ‘Potter’s Clay’.
Meanwhile, this year marks the 15th year for the Gospel Music Celebration in Red Deer, although for the first seven years it ran under a different name and was put together by a different organization.
Another popular aspect of the event is the daily Showcase Spectacular, which features The Booth Family on July 12 at 1 p.m. On July 13, The Collingsworth Family performs at 1 p.m. as well.
Fans will also want to check out the Canadian Showcase concerts which run July 12-13 at 4:30 p.m. Groups featured at these events include the Blue Collar Harmony Boys, The Banksons, Roset, The Singing Hills and Double Portion.
Chapel will also be held July 12-13 in the Parkland Pavilion starting at 9:30 a.m. with Pastor Leon Throness.
For more information, call 1-800-410-0188 or visit www.gospelmusic.ca. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.ca.