Canberra Blues Society Annual Report 2016-17
This has been another successful year with the primary focus on providing and promoting quality blues music for our members and other patrons.
Membership of the CBS continued to grow, culminating in another record membership of 347. This is again a remarkable achievement and reflects that the CBS is heading in the right direction.
Our monthly jams continued to be well patronised throughout the year and were consistently in the mid to high 100s with a record audience of 249 for the November jam hosted by the Marji Curran Band. The CBS continued the theme of promoting youth in blues for its August jam. As for the previous three years the 2016 jam was hosted by students from Narrabundah College, The Bundah Blues Band who were superbly tutored by John Black. For the first time the CBS introduced a closing youth act with Bailey Judd’s Room 15 Band from Goulburn.
For various reasons the CBS suspended its workshop program this financial year. However, Geoff Achison conducted a guitar workshop in the Keller on 23 September 2016 which was well patronised with very favourable feedback by participants.
The CBS ran the Knuckles outlet at the Harmonie German Club’s Oktoberfest for the third successive year raising $1 500 for the Society.
The CBS donated a cash prize of $200 for the best blues act at the National Busking Championships held in Cooma on 5 November 2016 which was won by Canberra band Don Carlo. A special thank you is extended to Steve Hartnett for volunteering to be a judge for this event.
The CBS’s Christmas jam again supported local charity Marymead by providing a giving tree. Patrons generously donated children’s presents which were greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a certificate from Marymead.
The CBS continued the theme of showcasing an interstate band to host our first jam of the 2017 calendar year in February with the stellar blues band, Chase the Sun to a very appreciative crowd. The remainder of the year saw the CBS jams being hosted with our own high calibre member bands.
On 6 August 2016 the CBS celebrated International Blues Music Day for the third year with a mini Blues Festival at the Harmonie German Club. A good mix of quality local and regional artists headlined by Continental Blues Party was well received by an audience of over 400.
For the third successive year the Goulburn Club invited the CBS to host the open mic jam at the Australian Blues Music Festival in February 2017. Canberra blues bands, The Johnny Reynolds Band & The Blue Tone Specials hosted the open mic jams on Friday and Saturday nights respectively. As for previous years this was again one of the highlights of the Festival.
The CBS again participated in the Canberra Connect and Participate Expo at the Bus Depot Markets 25 March 2017 with an information stall and the Monica Moore Blues Band performing on stage. Community interest was very encouraging with many signing up for CBS information.
The CBS volunteers program continued for the second year. Our volunteers have helped with a multitude of tasks during the year at CBS jams and other events.
Our partnership with Artsound FM has continued; media coverage has been broadened with monthly advertising in BMA magazine and special events in the City News, and more activity on social media. 12 issues of Blues News were produced. On behalf of the CBS I extend a special thank you to K2 for her professionalism in producing this high quality publication.
The CBS has continued to extensively promote blues music events throughout Canberra and the region with both a comprehensive website “What’s On” calendar and an email gig guide.
During the year the CBS purchased a camera for photography at events, mics, speakers and PA for use as required. The CBS plans to purchase drums and a keyboard in 2017-18.
The co-hosted events with Lone Wolf Productions and the Harmonie German Club continued successfully during 2016-17.
In winding up this committee report I take the opportunity to thank all the jammers who have performed during the year, our PA operators, Bucky and Jeffro and Bryan Williams for providing quality sound at our jams and other events, our major sponsor – the Harmonie German Club for use of the its facilities and grant under the community support program, our other sponsors Artsound FM, Better Music, Rockstar Music, Mojo Guitars, Rhythms Magazine, Beyond Q Bookshop and Johnno’s Tyres.
I thank the outgoing committee K1, K2 and Ross for their support and contribution during 2016-17. The good work they put in enables for the successful operation of the CBS. Last but not least I extend a big thank you to our volunteers.