As you walk into the Clarke Theatre, you’ll hear a children’s choir singing Christmas carols in the lobby as families and friends gather to get into the Christmas spirit.
On Wednesday, Dec. 14, the 17th annual Christmas at the Clarke Benefit Concert will take place. Doors open at 6 p.m. and seating starts at 6:30 p.m.
Kenny Hess is coming back from Phoenix to headline this year’s concert.
The winner of countless music awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year several times, and a recent inductee into the Music Hall of Fame, Hess is going to entertain the audience as only he can.
His rich voice will resonate throughout the theatre, as he sings old Christmas favourites, as well as many of his own Christmas songs.
As popular a singer as he is, and as busy as he is producing one of the best music festivals in the country – Rockin’ River – Hess wouldn’t miss performing at Christmas at the Clarke.
“I love doing this show,” he said. “Every year I try to schedule my time so that I can be here. It’s a great night and, more importantly, a great cause.”
Other performers include 1066, the Fraser Valley’s favourite Celtic band with an attitude. A favourite everywhere they play, these talented musicians – Phil Aldridge, Jim Wilding, Julie Aldridge and brothers Dave and Colin Thomson – play the type of music that gets the audience laughing, singing and tapping their feet in no time.
This year, rumour has it that they are bringing a special guest who is really going to shake up the place.
The lineup continues with two popular local musicians in the duo Boilie’s Goat. Jennie Bice and Tony Ivan O’Hara, play a wide mix of blues, jazz, ballads, rock and roll and folk.
Last year they made their first appearance at the benefit as the duo.
One of the valley’s best bands, Horizon, will be returning this year.
This extremely talented group of musicians – Rick Noel, Warren Grosland, Asger Hansen and Fred Schmidt, along with their fabulous vocalist, Crystal Hicks – will be playing the type of blues, jazz, and rock and roll Christmas favourites that make them in high demand throughout the valley. Horizon has become one of the cornerstones of this benefit over the years.
This concert began in 2000 and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support two worthwhile community organizations – the Christmas Bureau and the Transition Houses operated by the Women’s Resource Society of the Fraser Valley, which provide assistance to women and children who are victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $10 for children 12 and under.
Tickets are available in Mission at London Drugs, Rex Cox Men’s Wear, Shoppers Drug Mart, local credit unions and Fraser Valley/Rona.
For more information, call the Clarke Foundation Theatre at 604-820-3961.