Royal fundraiser for Kootenay music

Proceeds from August 6 concert will go to support Trafalgar and L.V. Roger’s music programs.

Education minister Mike Bernier is seen outside Trafalgar Middle School

Who says nobody cares about Trafalgar Middle School?

The embattled, historic school nestled in Nelson’s downtown is slated for closure as part of the recently released SD8 facilities plan, but that doesn’t mean parents are any less invested in their kids’ creative futures. That’s why they’ve come together to offer a blues concert at the Royal with all proceeds going to local music on Aug. 6.

“When I was a youngster in secondary school, in Detroit, we had an outstanding fine arts program,” organizer Stelio Calagias told the Star. “All of my skills in terms of developing myself as an artist were all rooted in that ground floor, in having that opportunity to participate in the arts.”

He collaborated with music teacher Lisa Backus and musician Phil Birks, who helped him put together a lineup of local talent that includes Anna Katarina, Charlie Jacobsen Band, Frank Brooke from White Lightning, Big Momma Blue, and others.

And many of those musicians came up through Nelson’s music departments at L.V. Rogers or Trafalgar, both of which will receive funds from the evening. The money will be used to buy and repair instruments.

“I’ve seen per capita, this community probably has the most concentrated variety of people who are artists, musicians,” said Calagias. “As soon as I moved to Nelson from Toronto that struck me in a big way.”

And that’s what they’re hoping to maintain with the event.

“We want to be able to hold on to the music departments, to all those aspects of a young child’s education that we think are just as critical as the more technical stuff. The arts always seem to be the last to get priority and appreciation.”

Not from them, though.

“We think the arts are a vital part of our youngsters’ education.”

 

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