The legendary R&B Allstars will be performing during the Harrison Festival Society’s Festival Fundraiser concert on May 26. (Submitted photo)

Harrison Festival presents special fundraiser concert, dance

Eleven-piece R&B Allstars set to bring classic rhythm and blues to Agassiz Agricultural Hall

The Harrison Festival will be holding its Festival Fundraiser concert/dance at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall on Friday, May 26, featuring the legendary R&B Allstars.

If you were a music fan in Vancouver in the late 1980s and 1990s, chances are you are familiar with the R&B Allstars.

A dynamic, 11-piece band performing classic R&B, the Allstars was formed in 1980 and gained popularity at venues like The Town Pump, The Commodore, Richards on Richards and 86th Street. After a decade of recuperation from “groove fatigue” the band reformed in 2013 and has been performing with renewed vigour, winning audiences over with their exciting interpretations of music from classic artists such as Al Green, Sam and Dave, and Aretha Franklin.

The event is a fundraising concert/dance for the Harrison Festival Society, which presents the nine-day Harrison Festival of the Arts in July – an event that includes much programming free to the public.

“While our accessible, low-cost programming is supported through grants at all levels of government, our own ongoing fundraising efforts are essential, especially as costs rise and revenue sources become harder to come by. This includes grants, which are not always predictable,” says artistic director Andy Hillhouse.

However, he believes raising funds is only one of the positive byproducts of the fundraiser, the other being community spirit.

“Putting on an event like this brings the whole community on board to make the festival happen. It increases their ownership of the event.”

The Rhythm and Blues Allstars now includes seven original members and five new additions. Their sound is defined by killer vocals, a high quality brass section, and a grooving rhythm section that will get everyone up dancing. The band is enjoying not only reconnecting with all the people who apparently missed them, but finding new fans along the way.

While the festival’s shows are usually in Memorial Hall, this one will be in Agassiz Agricultural Hall. The event will include a silent auction, raffle prizes, a 50/50 draw and desserts.

Tickets for the Festival Fundraiser, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m., are $45 and can be purchased online at harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604-796-3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Avenue.

 

(Submitted photo)

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