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Alberta Spotlight offers struggling musicians financial relief

The virtual concert series kicks off Thursday, June 11, at 4:30 p.m.
1106 Virtual Concert
Indie pop-rock-soul singer Nuela Charles kicks off the Alberta Spotlight virtual concert series on Thursday, June 11 through CKUA. She is joined by Ariane Mahryke Lemire and Tim Williams.

Musicians, backed into a tight corner by being unable to earn a living during COVID-19, are being thrown a lifeline.

The Government of Alberta, Alberta Music, the National Music Centre, CKUA and Stagehand are partnering on the Alberta Spotlight series. Its intent is to present a weekly online concert, giving musicians a platform as well as much-needed relief from financial pressures.

The provincial government will pick up the tab from a $125,000 government fund allocated to support Alberta artists affected by the pandemic.

“Alberta Spotlight online concerts will certainly bring moments of joy as we relaunch. This is a prime opportunity for us to show our support for rising music stars in our province,” stated Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, in a press release.

The virtual concert series kicks off Thursday, June 11, at 4:30 p.m. It features the soulful singer-songwriter Nuela Charles, bilingual folk musician Ariane Mahrÿke Lemire, blues artist Tim Williams and folk-rock outfit Reuben and the Dark.

CKUA will host the concerts on its website and they will also be promoted across each collaborator’s social media platforms.

Applications are now open for musicians to produce and submit a video performance. Select artists will receive a $1,000 grant to create a three-song, pre-recorded, high-quality video as part of the online series. Applications are available at

The concert series also includes the option for artists to accept tips through Viewers can tip the artist directly or the artist can donate their tips to an Alberta Music venue hit hard by COVID-19.

CKUA CEO Mark Carnes said, “Artists are the heart and soul of our province, and this showcase of diverse Alberta music will help demonstrate just how vital they are to our community.”

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