The Grand Cariboo Opry took a while to develop and incubate. “My band,” said Barney Bentall, “The Legendary Hearts had been performing each year at the Clinton May Ball – a tradition that goes back to a time when Jesus first put on chaps and tried his best to ride some rank old cayoose to the buzzer.
“We would come to town, stay at my ranch and rock the place in our usual way. We found ourselves bringing a whole bunch of other musicians up for the weekend and this weekend was becoming some kind of unholy midnight ramble where the devil dukes it out with Don Messer. It was becoming more old time and definitely more country & western. When we finally made it and we cranked into the theme song, low and behold what had seemed so chaotic, corny and amateurish a few minutes before settled in to what has become one of my favourite things!”
In the tradition of The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, the Grand Cariboo Opry showcases a variety of young Canadian artists, as well as bringing in special guests of Canadian music fame who bring a new flavor and allure to the show. Past guests include such luminaries as Jim Cuddy, Neil Osborne (54-40), Joel Plaskett, Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings), Romi Mayes, and Leeroy Stagger.
The Sooke Harbour Players and Mel Dobres are proud to present Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry, at the Edward Milne Community Theatre on November 20. A treasured tradition in British Columbia, this fundraiser and one-of-a-kind variety show brings concert goers together to support the Sooke Food Bank Society.
Between songs, Barney and cast blend humorous and sentimental monologues to showcase sponsors amid a heartfelt set of roots, folk and rock favourites. It’s a highly engaging show that celebrates community through music, laughter, and a real hootenanny of a party.
The fundraising premise of the show is similar to that of an old time radio show; “This hour brought to you by…”. Sponsors purchase a song and are spotlighted in the song’s introduction through a humorous monologue, delivered by Barney Bentall himself and the “Master” of Ceremonies, Matt Masters. These clever, heartwarming, and hilarious introductions set the Opry experience apart from other fundraising shows, engaging the audience and getting the sponsor’s message out in a more accessible and unique way than standard advertising.
WHERE: Edward Milne Community Theatre,
6218 Sooke Road
WHEN: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Doors 7 p.m. Show 7:30 p.m.
HOW: Tickets $32, Available online at EventBrite.ca in person at Shoppers Drug Mart, Edward Milne community school and The Stick Coffee Shop in Sooke