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Variety of musical entertainment at Agrifair

Dallas Smith, Jars of Clay and the Valley Voices Vocal Competition will dazzle the stages at Agrifair
Saturday was multicultural day at the fair. JOHN MORROW
There will be a variety of entertainment at Agrifair in Abbotsford.

Hot B.C.-born country artist headlining Saturday night on the Agrifair concert stage – Dallas Smith

Abbotsford will be rockin’ country-style at the Agrifair on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 3, with Langley-born rocker-turned-country Dallas Smith. Agrifair grounds will be brimming with onlookers as this Juno-nominated country singer-songwriter takes the stage at 9:30 p.m.

Dallas Smith is new to the country scene, but no stranger to success in the music business. Formerly the lead vocalist of alternative rock band Default, Smith released four albums, selling over a million copies. Success has stuck with Smith as he jumped right in to the country music scene. The natural twang in his voice made an easy transition from alternative rock to country.

“I am having the time of my life to be honest,” says Smith, as he describes how blessed he feels having made the transition.

“The support from the country community has been mind-blowing. Also, I'm in the driver’s seat with this project and that helps me create a good balance in my life.”

When asked how he feels about performing locally at Agrifair, Smith says, “It's great to be able to see so many familiar faces. It's not very often I can get all my friends and family together in one place.”

Dallas has teamed up with Rodney Clawson, a Grammy-nominated songwriter, and Chris Tompkins (Carrie Underwood) to create a new album which is expected to be released in early 2014.

“With this record I tried to put together a collection of the best songs I could get my hands on. There are some outside songs from writers I am a huge fan of and also co-writes I had with them. The Nashville style of writing was very foreign to me compared to my past. With Default it would just be the guys and I hanging out and hopefully we'd have ideas. With this record I was sitting down with guys who do this as a nine-to-five job. It is quite different from what I was used to.”

Eager fans may have an opportunity to hear material from the new album Saturday evening.

“We actually might be trying out one or two new songs. I am excited for that as well. I love watching the reaction of fans to new material. Crowds don't lie,” said Smith.

His latest single, Nothing But Summer, released just in time for a promising summer, is all about enjoying carefree summer days and evenings. Come out to Abbotsford Agrifair to do just that! Enjoy a full carefree summer day, snag your spot in the beer gardens early and kick back for a rockin’ country-style summer evening.

Opening for Smith will be the winner of Friday’s Valley Voices competition. The new-found star will perform three or four songs starting at approximately 7:30 p.m., followed by The Johnson Brothers. Raised in Maple Ridge, The Johnson Brothers (Brett and Trent) have proven to be one of the hardest working bands in the province. Born the grandsons of CCMA Hall of Fame member, Elmer Tippe, and nephews to CCMA and BCCMA award-winner Rick Tippe, the brothers were destined to tackle the country music industry. Their passion for music and high-energy stage show have caught the attention of music lovers and helped set the brothers apart from other acts in the province.


Grammy award-winning Christian rock band perform at Abbotsford Agrifair – Jars of Clay

Abbotsford onlookers will be all ears as chart-topping, three-time Grammy award-winning Christian rock band Jars of Clay take the stage under the night sky at the Abbotsford Agrifair on Aug. 4. Bring your family, friends and blanket and find a spot in the stands or on the grass early. This concert is going to draw many!

Inspired by musical artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Sarah McLachlan, Brent Bourgeois, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Seal, the Jars of Clay sound is a blend of alternative rock, folk, acoustic and R&B that is enjoyed by both the secular world and Christian community.  Lyrics based on the personal beliefs of the band members inspire without being overly laden with Biblical scripture.

“This is big for the Agrifair,” says Pamela Brenner, Agrifair general manager. “We expect Agrifair grounds will be packed Sunday evening.”

Don’t let this worry you. There is an opportunity to snag a priority entry to see this highly acclaimed band up close. Just show up at the free pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. Sunday. One thousand priority tickets are set to be dished out to hungry fans!

The generosity of Agrifair’s major partners is what ultimately put Jars of Clay on the program.

“We are extremely grateful to Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd. and Fraserway RV for their very generous donation which has made this Jars of Clay concert possible,” said Brenner.

Agrifair president, Ernie Silveri, added, “Meyers Norris Penny, Clearway Car and Truck Rental, and Praise 106.5 also contributed...”

After the pancake breakfast, round the family up and attend church "cowboy, cowgirl or little wrangler" style with Jack Jackson at his evangelistic cowboy church service.


Celebrity judges seek “Valley Voice” at Abbotsford Agrifair

A sing-off to a professional live band will set the stage as five celebrity judges crown this year’s winner of the Valley Voices Vocal Competition at the Abbotsford Agrifair on the evening of Friday, Aug. 2.

“The winner of this competition will be a star for a year," said Darcy D, co-founder of the Valley Voices Vocal Competition (VVVC), which has helped facilitate the development of numerous music careers.

“The grand prize winner will receive voice sessions with world famous voice coaches such as Dave Stroud (Natasha Beddingfield, Cee Lo Green and Adam Lambert) and Raab Stevenson (Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Kelly Rowland).”

Young amateur voice talent from all over B.C. have been busy honing their vocal techniques in hopes of becoming one of 15 finalists in the Valley Voice Vocal Competition and ultimately being crowned the Valley Voice of 2013. Fifteen finalists have been selected from two categories, junior (seven to 12 years) and senior (13 to 18 years).

All finalists are showcased on Facebook where fans can view video performances and cast their vote by 'Liking' their favourite artist.

“Contestants will gather Likes which will become part of the voting statistics,” explained Darcy. “The live audience (at Agrifair on Aug. 2) can also vote. All of the votes will be added to the panel votes.”

This will be the fifth season Valley Voices has entertained at Agrifair.

“The entertainment and showcase of talent Valley Voices brings to our community's fair is absolutely amazing! We are looking forward to another great year,” said Ernie Silveri, Agrifair president.

The 15 aspiring finalists will contend for the title of Valley Voice 2013 throughout the day Aug. 2 beginning at 11 a.m. on Agrifair’s community stage until the top three finalists from each category are selected at 6:30 p.m.

A special performance by last year’s winner, Bailey Alexis, will kick off the final show at 8:30 p.m. on the concert stage where the remaining contenders will sing off to a live band to win their category. Out of these only one will be crowned 2013’s Valley Voice. The winner will be announced at 10:15 p.m.

The five celebrity judges include Kenny Jones of SONiC Nation; Troy Samson, producer of Snoop Dog and Canadian Idol; Tara Lett, co-founder and creative director of AMP Records, The Future Label; Phil Lehmann, co- founder of AMP Records, The Future Label and sought-after songwriter, producer, and mixer; and Kylee Epp, country pop artist, nominated for four BCCMA awards in 2012.