A Chilliwack born-and-raised country music band who will be performing during the Rotary Christmas Show picked up a provincial award recently.
The Tanner Olsen Band won the Ray McAuley Emerging Artist of the Year award at the 44th annual British Columbia Country Music Association (BCCMA) awards show on Sunday, Nov. 29.
“Receiving that award is our first award we’ve gotten as a group together,” said lead singer Tanner Olsen. “It’s surreal that our peers and fans have started to notice us. Getting recognition and validation is absolutely crazy.”
The award came just days after the band finished recording their newest song Neon Mistletoe for the Rotary Christmas Show on Dec. 5 (which is replacing the Rotary Christmas Parade this year). Organizers of the event approached the band in November asking if they wanted to be part of the online show.
“‘OK. We will write an original song and do a video in five days,’” Olsen recalled saying.
So, on Nov. 20 they wrote the song Neon Mistletoe. The next day each member recorded his part from his own home, and it was then sent to their guitar player in Armenia who put all the pieces together.
On Sunday, Nov. 22 they were out at the Chilliwack Corn Maze filming the video and by Nov. 25, the final edited video was complete.
It all happened in just five days.
“We were very shocked,” Olsen said.
The song is about the “ever so popular 23 party at Major League Pub,” he added. It’s pronounced the “two-three” party which takes place every year on Dec. 23 at the pub and attracts a huge crowd of younger folks.
The members of the band (who currently live in Chilliwack, Vancouver and Armenia) have been to the 23 party many times over the years. They wanted Neon Mistletoe to be about their experience at Christmastime while in Chilliwack.
The song is about “getting back to your roots and being around family and friends at Christmas,” he said.
The video will be released during the Rotary Christmas Show which will be broadcast at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 on ChillTV.ca.
Neon Mistletoe will also be released on the Tanner Olsen Band YouTube channel, plus the song will be available on all streaming platforms at the same time.
The original members of the Tanner Olsen Band are alumni of Sardis Secondary. They reconnected in 2017 after years of university and have been playing more than 100 shows a year ever since. The band includes Tanner Olsen (lead vocals/guitar), Graeme Fugger (drums/vocals), Andrew Clarke (lead guitar/vocals) and Kevin Castro (piano/vocals).
“We are proud to be from Chilliwack,” Olsen said. “Our roots and love for our hometown really helped our evolution into a rising country band.”