By Lawrence Powell
When Albertan country singer Aaron Lines takes to the John Longley Memorial Riverside Stage Saturday night at the Annapolis Valley Exhibition, the crowd should be all warmed up and wanting more. Enter Katrina Gillis.
The 16-year-old West Dalhousie singer has been wowing crowds at benefit concerts for some time now, and most recently won the Middleton Farm Market Idol Contest with her rich, pure voice that had market-goers amazed at not just her talent and her ability, but her professionalism.
Exhibition manager Rachel Taylor confirm Tuesday that Gillis will be opening for Lines, and she’s excited about getting local talent up front at the annual agricultural fair in Lawrencetown.
Gillis will take to the stage at 7:15 p.m. Saturday and perform for 45 minutes, give sound and lighting crews half an hour to get things set up for the Aaron Lines show.
Gillis won’t be the only local act opening at the Valley Ex. A newly minted local band named Forty Shades will fill the same time slot Friday evening before the Honeymoon Suite concert.
Carol Ann Brewster of Nictaux takes on lead vocals; Dana Perry paces things on bass; Warren Taylor plays lead guitar; Rob Donnelly is on second guitar; and Derek Trefry rounds out the band.
Thursday night’s act at 8:30 p.m. is Nova Scotia bluesman Charlie A’Court who has vowed to rock the Riverside Stage. As of today, exhibition organizers didn’t have an opening act for A’Court.
After the over-the-top success of the Trooper concert, conversation concerning Valley Ex entertainment revolved around providing more opportunity for local acts. Rachel Taylor said the exhibition committee took that to heart and believes this year’s opening acts are a move in the right direction.
Entry to the exhibition grounds -- $8 on Thursday and $12 on Friday and Saturday – covers the costs of the concerts so there is no additional cost once you get there.