Annual Alberta Men and Women of Country Music show another success

The 9th annual Alberta Men and Women of Country Music was held last month at the Hoadley Community Hall and in addition to many fine performances

The 9th annual Alberta Men and Women of Country Music was held last month at the Hoadley Community Hall and in addition to many fine performances

Staff

There’s a bit of a tradition growing in Hoadley where just last month, the members of the Hoadley Hall Association held their 9th annual Alberta Men and Women of Country Music gala, and by all indications, there’ll be plenty more to come.

“The interest has really grown. We get people from Saskatchewan, B.C. and all over Alberta, so it’s an event people really look forward to,” said event coordinator Shirley Hartman. “We were very happy with the attendance. If it was more than last year, it was just a bit more. It’s hard to tell because people come and go but we fed about 140 people for supper. But of course, some people could have been here earlier but left before supper.”

As was the case in previous years, the event presents lifetime achievement awards and 2009 was no exception as performers Pat Hatherly and Al Owchar – both of Calgary, received the recognition for 30-plus years in the music industry.

“He’s performed before for many people. He, at one time, sang with Ray Griff. He was a local man when he was younger and you can hear him on the radio,” Hartman said of Griff. “He has a song out called Last of the Winfield Amateurs, so he’s local talent and was originally from around Winfield and has been back there a number of times for concerts.”

Also in attendance at this year’s event were representatives from the Canadian Country Music News and the Alberta Cowboy Poetry Association.

Now that the stage has been cleared and the tables and chairs put away, Hartman said plans are underway for the 10th anniversary of the show next year with plenty of groundwork already completed.

“It’s always held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day and we’ve already started contacting people and trying to get confirmations,” she said. “It’s the 10th anniversary next year and we want to make it special. It’s always an excellent show and it’ll be no exception next year and we’re going to try and take it up a notch.”

As an added bonus for those in attendance, Owchar brought a selection of his spectacular homemade instruments that were on display.

All proceeds from the show go directly to the maintenance and improvement of the Hoadley Community Hall.

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