Going through my “musicians” photo album, it occurred to me just how many of the musicians I have photographed during the past years have come from the Semiahmoo Peninsula.
That made me wonder just why that is, but it didn’t take long to find the answer. The Peninsula is a treasure trove of mentors to the young.
For as long as I have lived here – about 27 years – I remember Dave Proznick and Kevin Lee teaching and mentoring Semiahmoo Secondary’s jazz band.
It wasn’t just a job for them, it was a calling. It was the love of music that drove them. Proznick would yell at them. He made the reason clear. He cared.
I didn’t get to know the music teachers from Elgin Park or Earl Marriot secondaries, but I’m sure they mentored as much as they taught.
Many of the students in the high school music program went on to win music scholarships, and many of them returned to the Peninsula once they completed their studies to help mentor others.
You get the feeling of community amongst the musicians of the Peninsula. There has always been music here.
For years we had the Kwomais Music Festival, which was successful due in part to Pat Proznick, Dave’s wife. It gave the young upcoming musicians a chance to show of their chops. You have the Sea Festival providing music by local musicians. Jim Black has co-ordinated this event after completing his study of music in Nelson and then returning.
There are the musical events during Canada Day. You have TD Concerts At the Pier, brought to you by the White Rock Business Improvement Association. You also have Dennis Peterson and Dennis Pook. Peterson hosts a youth talent contest at the Road House Cafe and also co-ordinated an open night evening at the Good Day Sunshine Cafe, which is now co-ordinated by Pook. Last but not least, you have Philip Q Davey, who brought Blues By The Sea to the Peninsula. This venue brings out the best local bluesmen and women
It seems that every year, with each musical venue, music appreciation and talent grows exponentially on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. For that we are truly fortunate, and for that I thank all of those who have so willingly and unselfishly made this possible.
W. Al Riede, Surrey