Juno-winning trumpet player and singer-songwriter Bria Skonberg is heading home for what’s being described as her “homecoming” performance next month.
“We’re so excited about being able to bring Bria back for her first real homecoming concert,” says Michael Cade, artistic and managing director of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. “We don’t have a lot of Juno winners from Chilliwack.”
The concert will be part of a larger event on Oct. 5 celebrating the Cultural Centre’s 10th season of performances and classes.
Skonberg, who’s been living in New York for nearly a decade, and her quartet will be performing that Saturday evening following the centre’s annual Cultural Collaboration event.
“I’m so excited,” says Skonberg. “This is the first time performing in Chilliwack for quite a while.”
Skonberg grew up in Chilliwack and graduated from Chilliwack secondary. She won a Juno for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year in 2017, and was nominated again for the same award in 2018.
She says she’s looking forward to seeing her family and friends and sharing music from her soon-to-be-released album.
“My music is like a collection of stories at this point — sounds and stories — so I’m looking forward to sharing the experiences that I’ve had since I saw everybody last.”
Her newest album is called Nothing Never Happens and its official release is on Nov. 1, but she will have some copies for sale Oct. 5 for her hometown fans.
The album diverts attention from the overload of social media, breaking news, political bickering and negative energy.
She says the title of the album is “kind of a comment on what it feels like these days because it’s just a barrage of information all the time. For me, in the last few years, I had to really pull myself out of that and start writing music to be able to process my feelings on everything that’s happening.
“I think the music itself is a little bit more dense… it’s got some bluesy elements, some real deep energy behind it. It has negative aspects, but it’s still hopeful at the same time.”
Bria Skonberg will be performing with her New York quartet on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. She will also be performing a morning concert on Friday, Oct. 4 for Chilliwack students, plus her band will be leading some workshops at local high schools that same day in the afternoon.
“It’s a great chance for, especially high schoolers who might be thinking about going into arts, to interact with some professionals with a bunch of different experiences.”
In between her performances will be the centre’s annual Cultural Collaboration, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 5.
“Cultural Collaboration is an opportunity for all of the arts groups in the community to be able to come together in one place and showcase what they do. It’s sort of like an arts trade fair of people who might be interested in joining a group or volunteering for one,” says Cade. “It’s a chance to meet all of the arts groups in one shot.”
There will be an artists’ village where local artists will be creating and selling work, live performances such as theatre and music in the Rotary Hall Studio Theatre, demonstrations of various arts including wood turning and glass bead-making, plus Art from the Heart — an art show of work by students who have taken classes at the Cultural Centre.
Items like pottery, paintings and jewelry that the students have created during classes, or pieces made based on what they’ve learned from the classes, will be for sale as part of Art from the Heart.
“Having a showcase for our students to sell their work is an integral piece of offering art classes at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre,” says arts and crafts co-ordinator Trischa Buhler. “Sharing with the community what they have accomplished as artists adds a level of confidence and pride that translates into a desire to keep making art. The Art from the Heart student art sale exists because we are proud of our artists, too.”
The kid favourite annual scavenger hunt also makes a return, giving your kid a chance to explore the centre and learn more about the space they’re in.
Plus, there will be a cake cutting with Mayor Ken Popove and hot dogs for sale. All proceeds from the hot dog sale will go toward the Cultural Centre’s Angel Fund which provides free classes at the centre to youth whose families cannot afford the costs.
Cultural Collaboration runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5. This is a free event.
Trumpet player Bria Skonberg performs Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cultural Centre. Tickets are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and $35 for youth, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).