As restrictions on gatherings are being eased, live music is returning to downtown Nanaimo.
This past weekend On Live Support: A Van Isle Concert Series kicked off at the Queen’s. The four-week series features local and Island performers, with both in-person and online viewing.
The series is the work of local singer Elise Boulanger and concert promoter Andrew Roberts of Got Pop? Concerts. Boulanger said she was in “grant-writing mode” when she learned about SoundON, a grant for music presenters funded by the province and Creative B.C. She reached out to Roberts and he was able to secure a $5,000 grant to put on the series.
“It’s really a great feeling to be able to be in the Queen’s again and watch musicians do their thing,” Roberts said.
Boulanger and Roberts encouraged artists in the region to sign up online and they made their selections based on the artists’ professionalism, musicianship and how active and serious they seemed. It was also important that they were all based on Vancouver Island.
“We were trying to keep it within the health district and also to celebrate the community that is closest to us…” Boulanger said, later adding, “a lot of the responses included that people had material and they just really wanted to share it with people. That they were excited to give.”
She said musicians were “definitely excited” to play for an audience, and Boulanger herself will perform on July 3.
“I’m most excited just to see the other performers and celebrate them,” she said.
WHAT’S ON … On Live Support: A Van Isle Concert Series comes to the Queen’s, 34 Victoria Cres., on June 26, July 3 and 10 a 6 p.m. $20 for in-person tickets (limit 50), $10 for live stream, available here or from Lucid.