Amigos already pondering next Music in the Park season

Music in the Park gave everyone a reason to dance — including its 'Three Amigo' organizers

A second season of Music in the Park wrapped up Friday evening — perhaps a little sooner than some might have desired, but still a resounding success.

With larger audiences than in its inaugural season, the summer series of concerts has given event organizers Alan Bleiken, Janis St. Louis and Rusty Copeland lots to think about as they look ahead to next year.

The Three Amigos, as they call themselves, have taken it upon themselves to bring quality performers to Gyro Park every Friday evening through the summer months. They’re also responsible for the placement of a Piano in the Park that keeps the music going through the rest of the week.

“The season went well,” says Alan, looking back over nine concerts that featured 12 musical acts. “We had a good selection of music and for the most part high quality performers.”

07_01_harminder_01The variety of entertainers delivered to the Gyro Park bandshell was not a fluke, explained Janis.

“We purposefully choose different genres of music so to provide something for everybody,” she said. “And we will do this again when planning next year.”

“We were pleased with the turnout this year. Our audience attendance was more than double from last year. We spent more money on advertising this year and expanded our marketing strategy.  This paid off.

“We were luckier with the weather this year; no smoke to bother us and so we were able to hold all events at the Park.”

The concert series wrapped up Friday evening with the Royal Canadian Navy’s Naden Band. The event drew about 400 folks who brought along lawn chairs, picnic lunches and tapping toes.

After the 35 members of the military band left the stage, Rusty Copeland wrapped up the season with guitar in hand.

“Since this is only our second summer, we were amazed by the sizes of the audiences that attended each Friday evening,” he said.

“I’m already looking forward to start putting together next year’s shows.”

As a team, the Amigos are a complement bent on compliments.

“Cooperation is paramount in any group. And we have it,” explained Janet.

Rusty agrees — although he sees things a little differently.

“I can’t think of anything to fault the organization because working with Janis and Allan is a joy,” he said. “I think we do complement each other — that is, Allan and I listen to Janis and do as she asks.”

Asked to name a particular success, the trio seems unanimous on the addition of a piano placed in the park for visitor use.

“The piano has been a success, so for me, that being the newest thing we did, I think was the highlight,” said Alan.

“Our addition of Piano in the Park was a resounding success,” added Janis. “We received complete support in getting the piano ready and installed. We’ve taken great care in looking after it, taking turns closing it up for the night, and opening it in the a.m.

“We saw many happy faces at the keyboard.”

Music in the Park increased its stature among the Arts community, securing Osoyoos and District Arts Council membership.

“As a member, we were then able to obtain liability insurance and do our banking as a non-profit group, rather than as individuals,” said Janis. “This made it less personally risky for us as volunteers.”

Looking ahead, the Amigos says they want to build on this year’s success.

“We did have an increase from last year that was appreciable, but as a percentage of the population in town, with the tourists and locals, we are really only looking at possibly one percent of the available folks showing up,” said Alan.

“A larger crowd always adds to an event like this, but I’m not sure how we will achieve that. Maybe that is good anyway as there are so many things that go on all summer.”

“I would like some more feedback from our audience members, although repeat attendance does speak for itself, I guess,” added Janis.

If you’d like to contribute to that feedback, visit the Music in the Park Osoyoos Facebook page. Or you can comment below.

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