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Downtown Squamish gets hip

Entertainment

The town is buzzing with special events, attractions, and growth - and the Squamish Town Centre Association (STCA) is throwing itself into the action.

First, the STCA added to the Wild at Art Festival's events by organizing musical performances and an open-air business fair on Cleveland Avenue and the Women's Centre parking lot. Now dozens of performers are gathering at the association's behest for the first Summer Jam series. The series is intended to amplify the existing attraction of the Farmers Market.

"Things are really starting to happen downtown and it's really exciting to see," said Carolyn Grass, Special Events Committee & Secretary. "The spirit is coming back and I feel Squamish percolating with all the new and exciting things that are in the wind."

The first Saturday of every month, performers will play at the pavilion adjacent to the Farmer's Market. On Saturday (Aug. 6), seven performers will take the stage from 10 a.m. starting with Tyrone Critchley, followed by Perry Beckham, VONITO, Black Suede, Jocelyn Pettit, My Poor Brain and Jeffrey James and the Bootleggers.

Locals will recognize some performers - such as bluegrass regular Perry Beckham, whose guitar virtuosity has wowed audiences. Other performers are new to the area, such as singer and guitarist Tyrone Critchley, who was well-received during the July Summer Jam.

VONITO includes members of local band Rhythm Method and Black Suede is made up of grade 8 students. Jocelyn Pettit is a 10-year old fiddle player who has created a following in her brief performing career. My Poor Brain is a teen band featuring Jake Lutje, whom the STCA discovered during Wild at Art and encouraged to join the jam.

Finally, Jeffrey James & the Bootleggers is a local band that has put out a CD and had everyone dancing as the closing act of the Wild at Art at the Women's Centre Stage.

The STCA has received great support and hope to make the jam an annual event, said Grass.

"It appears to be bringing a fresh spirit and renewed interest in the downtown. People are commenting that it's about time something was happening," she said. "We have had great support both in spirit and financially. Yes but we will need to find some festival funding for next year."

Grass said the association is hoping to get ideas and comments from locals. Anyone interested in helping out or performing can contact Grass at 604-898-9689 or cggrass@shaw.ca.

spaillard@squamishchef.com

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