The Saskatoon Blues Society promotes, fosters, supports and celebrates Blues music in Saskatoon and throughout our province Saskatchewan, located in Canada. Members receive discounted prices to local SBS sponsored events, receive an irregular newsletter, and have the opportunity to participate as musicians in a variety of events and workshops. We organize an annual mid-winter blues festival, create additional performance opportunities for local musicians, and provide opportunities for listeners and players to share their knowledge and experience in the diversity of the blues with each other and the people of Saskatchewan.
The Blues Society interacts and partners with a variety of blues organizations and associations provincially, nationally and internationally.
It started in the fall of 2000, B.C. Read gathered a few friends at a restaurant to gauge the interest in starting a Blues Festival in Saskatoon to pick up some of the artists who would be at Regina’s ‘Mid-Winter Blues Festival.’ There was general agreement with the idea, but we felt we should get a society organized first.
In January, 2001 the SASKATOON BLUES SOCIETY (SBS) was incorporated with the goal to promote, foster, support, and celebrate Blues music in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. Our objectives were to organize an annual Blues Festival; to create additional performance opportunities for local musicians; to provide opportunities for listeners and players of the blues to share their knowledge and experience with others, educating the people of Saskatchewan about the diversity of the blues; to partner with other organizations and associations to support and further common goals; and to provide opportunities for local and regional musicians to advance their understanding, skills, and enjoyment of blues music.
We were thankful that presenters such as Jim Hodges and Rob Hodgins had a long history of presenting blues artists. As well, clubs such as Buds On Broadway have played an important role over the years. The Saturday Jams there introduced many of our young players to the blues. We wanted to build on that foundation and create even more opportunities for blues music to be enjoyed. We started with a core of eight members and by the end of the first year had 130 members. Over the decade, over 600 people have been members of the SBS. We presented a couple of acoustic blues nights and socials the first year, but it was two successful evenings with Omar & the Howlers at Buds that gave us the encouragement and the means to have our first ‘Blues Meltdown Festival’ in 2003. It has become an annual Festival, growing in success each year.
In addition to the talent at each annual festival, we have presented international and Canadian artists at various venues throughout the first nine years: over 40 presentations with musicians such as David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards, Big Bill Morganfield, Janiva Magness, Guy Davis, Colin Linden, Amos Garrett, Morgan Davis, and Matt Anderson.
As we start our 12th year, we invite you to join us. Membership is still $10.
Saskatoon Blues Society, 2013 Directors
- Al Wood - President
- Jamie Russel - Vice President
- Bob Reid - Secretary/Treasurer
- Stan Budgell - Artistic Director
- Debra MacDougall
- Linda McFaul
- Derwyn Powell
- Janet Wiens
- Evert Van Olst
- John Zuck
2013 Festival Chair
- Debra MacDougall
2013 BITS Chair