Buddy Wasisname – Alberta 2017

Jeeses, Mary and Joseph! The two frigging weeks we leave NL we go to Alberta where suddenly, as if the weather see’s us coming we were dropped into minus 35. It was a hard struggle to beat against the wind while walking the streets of Fort McMurray or Sherwood Park.

  We had one little window of warmer air (relative term) in Calgary. (We did one show in Calgary at the Stage West Dinner Theatre, a lovely venue. We had a monster crowd out to the meal and show, a great place and a good bargain. Calgary is still there if you’re thinking about going. The river still boasts a great walking trail and the city may be one of the most pedestrian friendly around.)  That was outside. The temperature inside the theatres was way more comfy, given that we had lots of great cheering individuals who came to see us.

   So once again we did our regular four shows at the beautiful and great sounding Festival Place in Sherwood Park where the technical boys, Ronnie and Robbie didn’t fail to regale. If there are two finer technicians on our circuit we’ve yet to find them. Simply catching up with all the staff in all the places we go is like old home week and we’ve been doing this venue continually since the ‘90s and we love playing the place. The city has grown up around it and every visit is seems brings new and interesting sights. Alberta continues to grow.

  Up in Fort McMurray at Keyano College theatre there’s new personnel, and meeting some for the first time is a peach. The old standbys are there, Alan in the office, Pat and Judy doing the front line at ticket sales. The college wasn’t badly damaged from the fire of 2017, that can’t be said for whole subdivisions of the city. Touring the place to see it all, and even flying over on approach when arriving was a shocking sight. We have been going to Fort McMurray since 1992 and have seen this place go from 22,000 to over 75,000. The buildings have multiplied like rabbits and the streets in the new subdivisions continue to expand, up until now. The summer’s fire stopped it all like a hammer. With spirit and loyalty the residents are rebuilding and now there’s a mini-boom as new places go up to replace those erased by disaster.  Having done four shows there we we’re intensely moved by the stories of audience members who cared to remain after the shows each night and share personal tales of tragedy, loss, and sometimes joy.

   All is set for another set of shows when we set out next year on our Best Of tour. See you then.