Contenders to perform at Okanagan venues

This year, musicians Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard will be joined by Blu and Kelly Hopkins

Valdy

For the 16th consecutive year, the Contenders — musicians Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard — will perform in various Okanagan communities, but this year the two will be joined by country folk performers Blu and Kelly Hopkins.

Valdy explained that Blu and Kelly Hopkins will not serve as an opening act. Instead, the four musicians will all perform together for a portion of the show.

“It will be a bigger sound on occasion,” he said.

The bigger presence also means a change in the instruments used at times. Valdy said he is looking forward to using his banjo in some of the songs, and bassist Kelly Hopkins will also play the mandolin for some songs.

Valdy, Fjellgaard and the Hopkins will each perform some songs in a solo portion, and the Contenders will perform some songs together, as they have done in past years.

Each of the musicians will have some new music for this year’s tour.

Valdy said some of his songs are about loss and love. Other music is about hope.

“The cloud of political discontent is gathering now,” he said. “I think we need hope.”

Some of his new songs are about looking forward to better times to come, rather than mourning what had been in the past.

Earlier this year, during a referendum affecting his home on Vancouver Island, Valdy tried to look ahead 20 years, at the effects the decision could have in the future.

“Looking ahead is not as easy as looking back,” he said.

The concert tour begins on Tuesday, Oct. 31 in Ashton Creek. Other concerts are in Lake Country on Nov. 1, Tappen on Nov. 2, Kamloops on Nov. 3, Summerland on Nov. 4 and Oliver on Nov. 5.

The Summerland concert will be at Centre Stage Theatre.

Tickets are available at Martin’s Flowers, 250-494-5342.

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