Even as the world opens up, a grassroots music event borne out of last year’s COVID restrictions will return again.
The Okotoks Musical Drive, which featured local musicians holding informal concerts on their driveway for the community to enjoy, will take place starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 11.
“It’s really to have a day of music and build community—why not raise funds at the same time?” said Andrea Siqueira, who co-organized the event with Okotoks musician Wes Hall. “You can play your music for the whole afternoon, and whoever liked that genre could stay there, or they could go to another location.
“The big thing of why I’m doing this is to build community. We did that during COVID, nobody had music, nobody could go out, so that was a safe way of getting people together.
“Last year did really good, because everybody had their own stage and it wasn’t just one location, and there were different genres of music."
Not wanting to leave the event as a one-off, Siqueira decided to organize one for this year.
“I want to make it a yearly thing, why not do this as a community and keep the same format?” Siqueira said. “There’s so many good things that come about just by getting outside, and this year if people want to have a barbecue, they can.”
Co-organizing the event is Hall, who was a participant the previous year.
“Last year COVID shut down my band and I was unable to play for a long period of time,” said Hall, who was also an organizer of the Okotoks Music Festival. “Having been unable to do that, (the Musical Drive) was a chance to play. It felt great.”
Hoping to build on the great model, Hall came on board to help plan the event.
“The response we got last year was so surprising, I don’t think we expected to see that kind of response, and then the donations started moving in,” Hall said.
“It was really more than we expected the first time out, so we’re hoping to repeat that again this year.
“It’s an opportunity for everyone to play, and the advantage with people playing in their own driveways or neighbourhoods is we’re not confined to one place.”
Siqueira expects the town’s wealth of musical talent will provide a great show for those touring.
“There’s such great musicians in Okotoks," she said. "And why not share the talent, share the love, and spread it?”
The event will be accepting donations to both the Okotoks Food Bank Association and It Takes a Village, charities in the community that help the less fortunate.
The Town of Okotoks will also assist in promoting the event.
It will be dedicated, Siqueira said, to the late Bill Robertson, who was the mayor of Okotoks until he passed away in July after a battle with cancer.
Should inclement weather threaten to rain on the parade, Siqueira said the event will be moved to Sept. 18.
A map of the locations around Okotoks where concerts will be performed can be found here.
For more information visit the Okotoks Music Drive 2021 Facebook page.