Students join Simple Plan on stage in Penticton

Simple Plan performs at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Feb. 9. - Submitted photo
Simple Plan performs at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Feb. 9.
— image credit: Submitted photo

When Simple Plan arrives in Penticton for their Feb. 9 concert, there are going to be a lot of excited teens at the show.

Some, however, are going to be more excited than others — especially the 20 choral students who will be joining the band on stage at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Then, too, there will be another dozen that will be riding complimentary tickets into the concert.

It’s all due to an unusual pair of promotions organized by the SOEC along with Penticton and Princess Margaret secondary schools. To further community involvement, the SOEC has offered up a dozen tickets for air band contests at the schools, as well as arranging for some students to be a part of the show.

“There is a song that Simple Plan sings called This Song Saved My Life and there is a choir component to it. We asked if there was a possibility of a choir in the community being a part and going up on stage and singing this song with Simple Plan,” said Carla Seddon, marketing manager for the events centre.

Originally, Simple Plan wanted to have the schools compete to see whose choir would join them on stage. But Don Grant, the music director for both schools, asked if it could be done as a group effort, with 10 students from each school.

“I explained how this will work in our community; our community really gets behind things that our people are a part of. They finally, just yesterday (Jan. 18) said, ‘Let’s go with it,’” said Seddon. “They are not doing it at any other stop, so it is unique for Penticton.”

Grant said it’s a great opportunity for the students to get a first-hand look at what happens in the entertainment industry.

“For teenage kids to have the chance to be on the big stage with internationally acclaimed artists is remarkable.  How many other communities of this size in Canada could offer kids this experience?” said Grant. “The kids are very excited about this event. Feb. 9 cannot come soon enough.”

“We always try to connect our community with our events and our events with our community and this incredible opportunity meets that criteria perfectly,” said Dean Clarke, general manager of the SOEC. “These are the moments when we are most proud of what we are accomplishing at the events centre.  To be able to offer this level of experience to members in our community is what it’s all about.”

In addition to the choir being invited up on stage at the SOEC concert, the high schools will also be hosting karaoke/air band lunchtime contests at their respective schools in the coming weeks.

“They’ve really jumped on board with this,” said Seddon. Not only are both high schools involved, but their leadership classes are taking the contest to KVR and Skaha Lake middle schools.

Getting the younger members of the community involved was especially important for the Simple Plan concert, Seddon said, since the band appeals to a younger demographic.

“We pitched a couple of different ideas to Simple Plan and they were resistant until we really explained how our town works,” said Seddon. “The schools just want to be involved and we’re trying to provide a link between the community and the SOEC. It’s community building and that is really what I strive for; I grew up here so I want to make sure there are these opportunities.”

Simple Plan, along with Marianas Trench, All Time Low and These Kids Wear Crowns are set to perform at the SOEC on Feb. 9. Tickets are available at the SOEC Box Office, the Wine Country Visitor Centre, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or online at www.valleyfirsttix.com.


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