British Columbia

Folk singer Roy Forbes inducted into the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame

Roy Forbes, a singer-songwriter from Dawson Creek, has performed hundreds of times on concert stages big and small across North America.

The pride of Dawson Creek has been performing for over 45 years

Folk musician Roy Forbes plays at the CBC Musical Nooner stage. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame is welcoming folk icon Roy Forbes — the pride of Dawson Creek — into its membership.

The singer-songwriter will be inducted in a ceremony at his perfomance at the CBC Musical Nooner stage Aug. 24 at noon.

Forbes — also known as "Bim" — has been singing and performing for over 45 years. He says his first memory of music were his sisters bringing home records by Buddy Holly, Elvis and The Everly Brothers.

Roy Forbes at age fifteen, with his band The Crystal Ship at the Pouce Coupe Barbecue on July 1st, 1968. (royforbes.ca)

"That led to getting a guitar at 14. By 15, I had a band called The Crystal Ship ... that would be like 1968," he said.

Forbes took to the road for gigs all over Northern B.C. and Alberta.

"We're playing all the hits of the day, the Who, Jimi Hendrix. People generally supported us and loved us," he said.

"There were some who took exception to our long hair. We were kind of revolutionaries in our way."

Listen to Roy Forbes on CBC's Daybreak North:

Gifted with a distinctive high voice and evocative songwriting ability, Forbes faced a number of challenges during his career.

Forbes decided to walk away from the mainstream music industry, becoming independent in 1980.

"I'm not a fan of the big music business and the way things go. It was more comfortable for me to get back to my guitar and me and crisscross the country," he said. "That really felt more like home to me."

Most recently, Forbes faced a health setback when he became blind. Although he had lost his vision in one eye to glaucoma at age six, he injured his other eye in 2015 leading to total vision loss.

Though it was a struggle to recover from his injury, he slowly started songwriting and performing again.

"What do you do — curl up? No. You move forward," he said.

Other inductees this year include choreographer Valerie Easton, country singer Gary Fjellgaard, the band 54∙40, performer Diane Lines, film producer Kirk Shaw and actor Jerry Wasserman.

With files from Daybreak North

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