Joe Hill Coffeehouse in Rossland still needs a hero

With the current organizer retiring from the voluntary position and no one to take his place, the future of Joe Hill is uncertain.

The prospect of the end of the Joe Hill Coffeehouse is not good news for Rossland, but it is a very real possibility given that there is still no one to fill the boots of the current organizer Michael Gifford.

Gifford has been the force behind the monthly talent showcases since they began four years ago, but announced his intention to retire from the voluntary gig late least year. Since then, no one has stepped up to take the reins, and with only three more shows planned, in March, April and May, it may be the last of the coffeehouses.

Gifford hopes that there will still be a person or group who will take on the responsibilities of setting the show up.

The retired music teacher said he has enjoyed his time as organizer.

“It’s been fantastic, beyond my wildest dreams,” he said. “I took it upon myself to do it and got the volunteers to help and the whole idea, the principal of the thing, is to give people a place to perform.”

He said in that respect it worked, with some astonishing talent coming through the doors to play.

The problem he has is that there is always another show on the horizon.

“So I had to draw a line, and that line was that this is my fourth and last year,” he said, adding that he couldn’t be around for the planned June show, so May would be the last show. The coffeehouse takes a break usually for July and August.

“Representatives form the Rossland Radio Co-op met with me and said that they’d take it over,” he said, but added that they later changed their minds due to various reasons. “So I was back to square one.”

Gifford said he always thought it would run more smoothly with a group of people rather than a single person.

“That’s the weak link in the whole chain in all these things that happen, one person is overworked,” he said. “I’ve done it, but I’m so passionate about music so I’ve been able to push on.”

So he hopes that a group of people will come forward to continue the shows. He said what he does is simply receiving emails, phone calls, printing out the show sequence and organizing volunteers.

“It’s just contacting,” he said. “You don’t have to be a musician or booking agent or a manager, you don’t have to be good in math, you just have to stay at it.”

This month’s show is on March 18. Here is the line up:

Michael Gifford – tropical ukulele; Laela, a 15 yr. old song writer/singer/guitarist; Kerry Kean – songs and poetry; Les Carter – fingerpicking your favorites; Stew & Newt – keyboard & guitar rock/pop;  Motes & Oats – great original songs with harmonies, guitar, ukulele, flute; Janet Marshall’s Irish Party – Janet & friends; The Vaughans – Cranbrook rock family-style!

Show starts at 7 p.m.

 

Just Posted

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Contempt charge against Balfour logging protesters dropped on technicality

A B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled Cooper Creek Cedar failed to file a contempt application

Jail time for driver involved in Castlegar road rampage

Sean Patrick Byrne caused havoc on Castlegar roads in November

Update: 75th annual Rossland-Trail Open crowns three-time champion

Kevin Hogg wins the Birchbank Golf Course’s 75th Rossland-Trail Open … again

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Most Read