For those who can’t get enough of the talent tour de Fort brings to town year after year, vouchers for its inaugural “Encore” series will be on sale again Saturday (Sept. 8) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fort Frances Public Library.
“We’re really excited about the ‘Encore’ series. It’s something new and we’re getting a great response,” said Wanda Botsford, director of publicity for tour de Fort.
While the tour de Fort passport series sold out quickly once again this season, Botsford noted the “Encore” series differs in that concert-goers purchase vouchers—a set of three for $40—and therefore are transferable among friends.
First up in the series is “The Waifs,” a band from Down Under making a stop here on their North American tour on Sunday, Sept. 30.
“The Waifs are Australia’s best known acoustic band and it is easy to see why,” said Botsford. “A group of us heard them at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and we were very impressed.
“They have a very unique Australian sound that doesn’t really fit into any category as we know it,” she enthused.
“They will appeal to high school students as well as our senior audience,” Botsford added. “We are very fortunate they were doing a North American and European tour. We’re catching [them] in-between Winnipeg and London, Ont.”
Jim Avis, director of programming for tour de Fort, said The Waifs’ sound is infectious.
“[Their] CD has been playing in our van since the Winnipeg Folk Festival. It’s almost worn out—and it’s not because the CD player is broken,” he remarked.
“I think they’re cute,” Avis added about the trio. “There is just something different about them.
The Waifs have been together since 1992, and have recorded four albums.
Next in the line-up is the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, which will perform here Feb. 7.
“The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra impresses me,” Avis said. “That many instruments coming together with the conductor drawing the best out of each musician—it’s pretty cool.
“We’re really, really lucky to have the Townshend Theatre. It’s a wonderful place to showcase the TBSO,” he added.
Botsford noted the TBSO should be a great draw as they’ve proven to have a following in Northwestern Ontario and northern Minnesota.
The third performer will be Amanda Stott, a highly-acclaimed young country singer. “One tour de Fort passport holder mentioned he had seen a Kenny Rogers concert with Amanda Stott opening for Kenny,” said Botsford.
“He thought that it should have been reversed, with Kenny opening for Amanda. She is that good,” she added.
Stott, who will perform here March 3, also has shared the stage with the likes of Chantal Kreviazuk, Burton Cummings, Prairie Oyster, Lisa Brokop, Patricia Conroy, Big Sugar, Randy Bachman, George Fox, Natalie MacMaster, Paul Brandt, and Jason McCoy.
She’s also performed at the Canadian Country Music Awards, has music videos on Country Music Television, and has a multi-album deal with Warner.
The cost for the three concerts, all of which will be staged at the Townshend Theatre, is $40. If there’s any vouchers left after Saturday, they’ll go on sale again next Wednesday (Sept. 12) from 4-7 p.m. at the library.
For more information, call Gary Rogozinski at 274-3704 or check the tour de Fort Web site at www.tourdefort.com