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Local Talent

Posted on 21 July 2011

This morning on Daybreak North we played an interview and live performance from the Arbitrarys. This is a band I’ve been covering back since my days at Over the Edge, but it’s the first time we’ve had them on CBC. It could be the last, too, since they’re about to relocate to eastern Canada. They’ve been such an important part of the Prince George music scene over the last little while that we felt it was important to get them on.

We still have to get the Concerns of Royalty. They’ve played countless shows over the last few years, but we haven’t yet grabbed them. Hopefully we do before their current drummer leaves town. He’s a talented solo musician, too. We also could have done the Delightful Gang, since they are playing their last show this Saturday before various members scatter. Off the top of my head glaring oversights so far also include Cera, Foam Mesh Press and Ceremony, not to mention up-and-comers like Canadian Waste and Wisconsin Dream Guitar. And that’s just in Prince George. There’s a whole stack of artists scattered in Terrace, Quesnel, Fort St John, Smithers and beyond that we simply haven’t managed to get on yet.

Did I mention we feature a musical guest at least once a week?

It’s the same with authors. Every Wednesday, we talk to someone who’s either writing in northern BC or about northern BC. When I found out about this, I thought, “There’s no way there’s enough writing going on here to make this sustainable.” I now have a stack of books by authors that we want to feature but simply haven’t managed to get to yet. It grows every week. Don’t even get me started on poets, short stories, and extended essays. Not to mention musicians and authors who are simply touring through town.

We had to change the way people submit events for our arts announcements so that they would automatically be sorted by date because otherwise there was no way we could properly streamline the process of sorting them. There’s simply too much stuff going on. There are so many interesting stories, people and ideas that we want to get to but have difficulty doing with a mere two-and-half hours a day five days a week to do it in.

I used to hear people say there’s nothing to do in Prince George and get annoyed because if there was nothing to do, why didn’t they go out and make something to do? Now it’s even worse because I see that they don’t even have to make something to do. There’s tons of it. One of the hardest parts of my job is whittling everything there is to do into a few key points to announce on the radio. I almost always feel bad because there’s something I didn’t get to.

Once you scratch the surface you uncover a goldmine of interesting things. Not just here, but anywhere. If a region as sparsely populated as ours can produce this amount of talent I have a hard time believing the rest of the world doesn’t have at least as many stories and subjects to explore. It’s a good problem to have. Certainly better than “There’s nothing to do!”

Filed under: Prince George

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