After nearly two years live music will be returning to an indoor venue in Stettler.
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world in the spring of 2020, the Stettler Variety Showcase was just preparing for its final show of the 2019/2020 season.
Lingering effects of the pandemic caused the cancellation of the entire 2020/2021 season as well, resulting in many shows that were booked to be rescheduled.
Fortunately, with people getting vaccinated and restrictions beginning to ease off, the 2021/2022 season appears to be going forward with Edmonton singer Martin Kerr set to kick it off.
Kerr, who originally moved to Edmonton from the United Kingdom in 2005, has been a professional singer since he was 13-years-old and since moving to the province has “played a lot of small town theatres” around Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.
“I always love the small-town community spirit,” said Kerr, during a recent interview.
“It’s lovely to play in a place where everyone knows each other.”
According to Kerr, despite the world basically shutting down over the last two years they pretty much have been the busiest years of his musical life.
To help people keep up their morale during the lockdowns, Kerr performed nearly 500 stay-at-home street concerts around Edmonton and surrounding areas.
“I would set up my mic, guitar and speaker in the middle of a block and invite everyone to come out on their front yard and listen,” said Kerr.
In addition to the street concerts, Kerr also collaborated with other Alberta artists on a new album.
“I used the opportunity of having some time on my hands to write and collaborate,” said Kerr.
“It stretched my wings in ways I hadn’t done before.”
Still, Kerr is looking forward to being back on stage and performing in front of a live audience again.
Stettler’s February show is one of two-dozen shows for the performer that have been rescheduled for 2022.
Stettler Variety Showcase is looking forward to getting their programming off the ground again as well, especially since the Jan. 29, 2022, show had to be cancelled due to low ticket sales.
“We sincerely hope that we can go ahead with the season now planned,” wrote Rose Fenske in an email.
“We have done our best to reschedule our shows to avoid losing our deposits and to continue to bring amazing shows to our community with every safety consideration in place.”
Stettler Variety Showcase has been a part of Stettler for over four decades.
Tickets for Kerr’s upcoming show can be purchased at Grate Kitchen or at the Jewel Theatre.