The Venue - Performance and Visual Arts Society
The Venue - Performance and Visual Arts Society is a registered non-profit society run solely by volunteers that love music, performance and art.
My name is Rick Brown. My reason for starting The Venue - Performance and Visual Arts Society goes back to when I was a young lad. My parents enrolled me in accordion school. I was thankful that they did. I remember the recitals, they were terrifying. I was shy and had no self-confidence. As I got older I joined a marching band and played the tenor saxophone. That didn't do much for my self-confidence either and I would rarely play my saxophone outside the confines of the marching band practices. When I got to high school I took up the guitar. One summer, while on a student exchange in Newfoundland, myself and a couple of other friends were at a dance. One of them mentioned to the band playing that he and I played guitar. So at their break they invited us up to play. I think I knew three chords at the time. I didn't want to get up on the stage, I had never been on one before. I was petrified. Well, we got up on the stage and made fools of ourselves. We had no idea what we were doing on the stage, the lights, the P.A.
system, the electric guitars ... I was totally freaked out - and yet this was my dream but it turned out to be my nightmare. I swore that day I would learn how everything worked, get over my fear and get on the stage again and perform.In the '80s I started a rock band with some buddies and finally learned what I needed to know about being on the stage. I played bass guitar and tenor saxophone. I realized that stage presence is a learned art as is overcoming shyness.
Twenty years later, with the rock band nothing more than a memory, I was talking to my work companions and found most of them had guitars and wished they had been in a rock band like I had been. I said why not? So we build a covered deck in my back yard and began practicing. When they were feeling confident we started inviting friends over and had barbecue dance parties. That group of 'ol geezers were acting like teenagers. We ended up doing every second weekend for that whole summer. No one wanted to quit, they were having too much fun. It was then I realized the power of music to revitalize us and connect us as a community so we can tell our stories and make us feel young again.
When I retired to Creston The Snoring Sasquatch had just closed it's doors for the final time and there really was no where for an inexperienced person to perform. Yes there were coffee houses and live music at the bars, but to the uninitiated they can be a terrifying experience. I saw a real need for not just an intimate coffee house venue but more importantly a place that performers could call their own. A place they could "get their chops" so to speak, where they could learn and grow and eventually perform. With that in my mind, In addition there was no community hall in Erickson where I lived. The building we are now in was formerly a church called The Creston Faith Center and little work was needed to convert it to a community hall other than
a coat of paint and replacing the exterior siding. After renting it June of 2018 converting it over for use as a community hall and performance center. Being an artist as well as a musician I wanted to develop the building into a place where music and art could be experimented with and fused together. Until March of 2020 we had a community hall that was available for those that require a professional stage setting for their music, art and performance projects as well as community events. It was a place not only for entertainment but for learning for both young and old. We felt if we could train young artists and let them experience the joy of performing or running a performance then we will have great resources for the future. Unfortunately because of a landlord/tenant dispute, RDCK building code violations and COVID 19 we had to shut down The Venue at the Erickson Road location.
Regardless of this set back we are keen on seeing projects that fuse music, art and performance in ways that may not have been fully explored in the past. Our goal is to let imaginations pave the way to new and innovative art forms that will not only be entertaining but informative as well.
There are many stories to be told by musicians, artisans and performers and yet we are one community. The Venue - Performance and Visual Arts Society has become a valuable asset to the community as we develop our concepts and discover the many ways we can serve the community in the future.
The Venue's new location will be perfectly suited to accomplish these goals at least three seasons of the year and the possibilities are really endless. We are thankful to have made the association of Glendan and Gillian, the new owners of Valley View Motel. They are committed to live music in the valley and are excited to partner with The Venue Performance and Visual Arts Society to continue bringing quality live music performance to the great people of the Creston Valley and surrounding areas.