Message from Gary Paradis:
GREAT CANADIAN POLAR BEAR BLUES SHOWCASE 2016
INTERNATIONAL BLUES CHALLENGE
As the saying goes “time flies when you’re having fun” and, with that in mind, the Ottawa Blues Society (OBS) was proud to present the fifth Great Canadian Polar Bear Blues Showcase on January 28, 2016 as part of the International Blues Challenge (IBC) festivities in Memphis, Tennessee.
This annual get-together of the Canadian crowd, as well as blues fans from all around the world, was once again held at the Kooky Canuck on South 2nd Street. Our thanks go to owner Shawn Danko, general manager Terry Trim and the entire staff, for making this event possible and for making everyone feel at home. My favourite this year was the Maple Bacon Burger so, if you are in Memphis, make sure to check it out.
The purpose of the showcase is to provide the Canadian entries in the IBC with another opportunity to play and gain additional exposure while in Memphis, and to show the world blues community the level of talent coming from Canada. It also serves as a great opportunity for all the Canadians attending the IBC, musicians and fans alike, to get together in one venue.
The line-up included 17 Canadian entrants in the IBC consisting of 10 bands and 6 solo/duo acts as well as 1 youth act representing 12 Canadian blues societies and affiliate organizations as follows:
- 519 Band – Canada South Blues Society
- Kim Doolittle & the Wolfgang Brothers – Loyal Blues Fellowship
- Michael Schatte – Toronto Blues Society
- Mark Greene Band / Charlie A’Court – East Coast Blues Society
- Arsen Shomakhov Band / Jesse Roper – White Rock Blues Society
- Rooster Davis Group – Edmonton Blues Society
- Lucas Haneman Express – Ottawa Blues Society
- Steve Pineo Band / Debra Power – Calgary Blues Music Association
- Paul Deslauriers Band – Montreal Blues Society
- Johnny Max Band / Wayne Holden & Mike Ethelston – Great Lakes Blues Society
- Corey Lueck & the Smoke Wagon Band / Jay Pollmann – Grand River Blues Society
- Spencer MacKenzie – Canal Bank Shuffle
This was an exceptional year for the Canadian entries with 9 acts advancing to the semi-finals and especially for Montreal’s Paul Deslauriers Band who went to the finals where they were awarded second place honours in the band category.
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