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Canadian Country Weekend returns

Corb Lund

Corb Lund will perform at the 2012 Canadian Country Weekend


Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will headline the 2012 Canadian Country Weekend

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Corb Lund and Doc Walker will headline the 2012 Canadian Country Weekend in Fort Macleod.
After a successful first year in 2011, organizers decided to return to Fort Macleod Fish and Game Park on the Heritage Day long weekend Aug. 3-5.
“We made a big splash in our first year, and this year is not going to be disappointing,” Oldman Entertainment Inc. general manager Broc Higginson said.
Higginson was guest speaker Thursday at the Fort Macleod Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting at the Rural Business Development Centre.
It was the enthusiastic response from Fort Macleod residents that convinced Higginson and his partners to return to Fish and Game Park.
“We can’t thank the community enough,” Higginson said. “We had literally hundreds and hundreds of e-mails and Facebook messages just thanking us.”
The organizers have also been inundated recently with queries from people wanting to know the 2012 line-up, which includes Charlie Major and Aaron Pritchett.
“We’ll also have a whole bunch of locals and up-and-coming rising talent,” Higginson added.
In 2011 Terri Clark, George Canyon, Gord Bamford and Canadian legend Ian Tyson headlined the two-day festival at the Fish and Game Park.
Jaydee Bixby, Tim Hus, Trevor Panczak and Rough Stock, Craig Moritz, One More Girl, Shane Chisolm and Craig Moritz also performed.
The first Canadian Country Weekend attracted about 1,800 fans on opening night and about 2,400 the following night.
“For my first festival it was incredibly well-received,” Higginson said. “We’re excited about trying to grow that.”
Higginson told Chamber members putting on a weekend of country music continues to be a learning experience.
“This is not something I’ve been doing for a long time,” Higginson said.
Higginson is a school principal who likes the challenge of organizing events.
“I found it really rewarding to do this,” Higginson said, who had experience organizing school events for fund-raisers before tackling the Canadian Country Weekend.
Higginson is from Fort Macleod and graduated from F.P. Walshe school. His ties to the community led him to put on the first Canadian Country Weekend in Fort Macleod, rather than the city.
“The atmosphere we were able to create last year was exactly what we wanted to create,” Higginson said. “A family atmosphere for kids to come into and for people of all ages. We were pretty proud of that.”
Higginson said the reception the fans gave the performers last year helped in attracting big names to the 2012 event.
“They made those performers feel like gold,” Higginson said. “It was great. It went incredibly well.”
Higginson and his partners appreciated the support they got in Fort Macleod last, including a sponsorship from the Chamber of Commerce and participation from the Fort Macleod Royals who sold 50-50 tickets and helped with clean-up.
Higginson said there will be more opportunities for sponsorship and support from community groups in 2012.
“We’ll be flexible to try to create something that will work for you,” Higginson said.
Tickets are available at www.canadiancountryweekend.com.

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