It will be as he wished it.
The 50th anniversary of the Brackendale Art Gallery series of concerts will be as the late Thor Froslev planned.
Froslev, the builder and face of the BAG, died on Sept. 12, but he had been thinking and planning the anniversary for years.
Originally, his idea was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of building the gallery, but then COVID-19 hit, and the plan changed to a concert series this year, the 50th anniversary of the BAG's opening, according to his widow, Dorte Froslev.
The doors of the gallery flew open in October of 1972.
"People say he'll be there in spirit. So I hope he will," Dorte said of Thor, adding that a memorial for him is in the works for January.
The hope is this anniversary concert series will bring everyone together to celebrate.
Dorte said that the free concerts held throughout the pandemic in the BAG’s parking lot, combined with the Constellation Festival Little Dipper series and the events put on by local Alex Badger, mean there are old and new timers who are drawn to the gallery.
A series of gifted musicians who are old friends
"This is Thor's wishes," said local musician Norman Foote, who has been friends with the Froslevs for years and is producing the series.
Foote, who will host and also play at the shows on Nov. 5, 12, and 19, said talk of the anniversary would perk Froslev up in his final weeks.
He would get excited talking about the acts that were to perform and would not hear of any deviation from the plan, Foote noted with a chuckle.
The four Saturday concerts feature folks who played at the gallery many times over the years and were special to the place and Froslev.
"These are the artists that all these young people are really trying to emulate. They kind of laid down a foundation of music. And they're still strong as ever," Foote said of some of the veteran musicians on the roster.
"Music is not really a career; it's a passion, and we are following that passion, right? So when you see the lineup that we've put together for the celebration, [it] is just so full of passion and experience and all those wonderful things that come with our era."
The first show on Nov. 5 stars Valdy, with hometown singer and songwriter Alex Badger opening for him.
"The guy gets better and better. Like, he really is unbelievable," said Foote, who saw Valdy perform recently. "Nobody plays guitar like him, and the stories and the content. I mean, my God, if you haven't seen Valdy. I just saw him in a little concert, and you know, he just blew me away. Really, really, really good. Just the way he approaches music, and his dedication to being a storyteller and being a very good guitarist and he's got all these classic songs."
Valdy has made the BAG a second home of sorts, having played countless times, including nearly every Brackendale Bald Eagle Festival for 30 years.
Canadian favourites celebrating a quarter century of music, The Paperboys, take to the stage for the second concert on Nov. 12.
"They are very popular," said Foote, of the Juno-award winners, who always draw a big crowd in Squamish and beyond. They play a variety of styles that has been labelled Cajun slamgrass to worldbeat.
"They're going to sell out. Remember, there are only 125 seats,” Foote said.
On Nov. 19, Shari Ulrich and Rick Scott return to the Brackendale stage.
"Those two were part of Pied Pumkin," recalled Foote.
"They really kind of originated an old style of music of their very own with the musicality and their comedy and their instrumentation. They really were unique."
This time the pair will play some songs together and some separately. Ulrich is bringing her piano player with her and will play some of her vast repertoire.
Scott plays the dulcimer, Foote noted.
"He gets so much out of that ... He's never changed his energy level. And he just really delivers. I mean, he works an audience."
Bluesman and actor Jim Byrnes performs with Simon Kendall on piano for the final concert in the series on Nov. 26.
Byrnes is legendary, said Foote.
"Those two are really quite a pair," he said. "There's nobody like Jim Byrnes. There is something about him that people can never get enough of — it's his passion. And I don't really know how to explain him except that I'm a huge fan of Jim. I'm a huge fan of all these artists."
Foote added that Kendall, keyboard player for Doug and the Slugs, who has also played with Cowboy Junkies, Colin James, Barney Bentall, among others, "has a wonderful feel on piano."
"That's such an interesting pairing — those two — and they've played together for quite a while now."
Foote also noted that Byrnes and Valdy are both Order of Canada recipients.
Foote has written a song for the BAG's anniversary, which he will reveal at the concerts, he said, adding how strange it will be to introduce the acts, something Foslev used to do.
"He would collect the money at the door ... introduce the acts and then watch every note. Pretty big shoes to fill," Foote said.
Doors for each show will open at 7 p.m. shows start at 8 p.m.
All tickets are $32.84 on Eventbrite: