Ian Tyson sings the praises of Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove
‘Great sightlines and good sound’: Venue celebrates 35 years as hub for arts and culture
At 84, cowboy troubadour Ian Tyson doesn't pull any punches.
So when he tells you something is "great" you believe him.
Great is his take on the Horizon Stage in Spruce Grove west of Edmonton.
Last month the singer songwriter, who penned classics like Four Strong Winds and Someday Soon, played the opening concerts of the 35th anniversary season of the Horizon Stage.
Designed by famed Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal and opened in 1983 the biggest selling feature for this 318 seats venue, is its intimacy, according to theatre manger Brandi Wurtz.
The list includes artists like Tom Jackson, Tommy Banks, Michael Kaeshammer, Charlie A'Court and Ian Tyson, who's graced the Horizon Stage a total of 48 times over the years, Wurtz said.
"It's a place that grew from grassroots people who wanted to enrich the lives of the community and here we are 35 years later and still going strong."
Don Waddle calls the venue a "gem in the community" which showcases 200 events every year.
Some of Waddle's favourite memories are of helping artists like Ian Tyson and his crew through audio checks, to spotlight cues, even unloading equipment.
"Tyson was traveling with the bigger band and he would always show up here with all his gear in the back of a cattle trailer," recalls Waddle.
The care and attention left an impression on the cowboy crooner.
"I've played all these halls, small, medium and large. Don Waddle is a real professional and a detail guy," Tyson said.
"I've always like the Horizon Stage."