Sharon and Bram add show dates after troubled B.C. leg of farewell tour

The team behind children's entertainers Sharon and Bram are making plans to extend a farewell tour they say was bungled by a B.C. tour promoter.

New promoter expects to add at least 12 more shows coast-to-coast

The team behind celebrated children's entertainers Sharon Hampson, left, and Bram Morrison are making plans to extend the duo's farewell tour after a west coast leg was bungled by a B.C. tour promoter. (Jason Vermes/CBC)

The team behind children's entertainers Sharon and Bram are making plans to extend a farewell tour they say was bungled by a B.C. tour promoter.

The duo's new promoter Jeff Parry says he's looking into more dates in British Columbia, including Vancouver and Victoria, which were skipped when they hit the province in October.

Sharon Hampson's daughter Randi, who also manages the duo, says the Skinnamarink and The Muffin Man performers are owed thousands of dollars for that leg by Pangburn Philosophy, which is headed by Travis Pangburn.

Multiple attempts to reach Pangburn this week by email, on Facebook and at a registered address were unsuccessful. A phone number associated with Pangburn was out of service and the website for his Vancouver-based company appeared to be down. 

In a story published earlier this week, he told CBC the Sharon and Bram shows "didn't bring in enough to cover their full fee."

The duo's agent Jeff Andrusyk says signed contracts for each of the four shows require Pangburn to pay a specified amount regardless of ticket sales.

Andrusyk provided The Canadian Press with two redacted documents he said were the contracts with the promoter. Those documents contain a provision stipulating that Pangburn cover costs including accommodations, flights and ground transportation. Deposits were due Aug. 10, with the balance due the day of each show, according to the documents.

Andrusyk says all four deposits were paid Sept. 7.

Former B.C. promoter Travis Pangburn folded his company Pangburn Philosophy on Nov. 13th, one month after the west coast leg of the Sharon and Bram tour concluded. (Pangburn Philosophy/Twitter)

This was a sticking point for Randi Hampson, who characterized the deposits, worth thousands of dollars, as "very, very late."

"We actually weren't sure if the shows were even going to happen and we were concerned because we didn't feel like there was sufficient time to properly promote them the closer it got to the date," says Hampson, speaking on behalf of her 75-year-old mother and 78-year-old Morrison.

Hampson says the four shows were well attended, but could have drawn more fans.

She complained that a show in Nanaimo on Wednesday, Oct. 10 was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., instead of 7 p.m. as stated in the contract. Hampson says they felt 7 p.m. was already a late start for a school night, and they would not have agreed to anything later.

Hampson also says another show in New Westminster on Friday, Oct. 12 started at 2 p.m. on a school day instead of the agreed-upon time of 7 p.m. It was also advertised as two hours long instead of the more family-friendly one-hour length, typical of their shows.

Copies of redacted contracts provided by Andrusyk seemed to verify those terms.

At least 12 more shows to be added

Parry says he expects to add at least 12 more shows coast-to-coast, and possibly return to communities Sharon and Bram have already hit on their farewell tour.

After the shows kicked off in Ontario in September, the performers gushed about a strong multi-generational turnout in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Parry then handled the Calgary stop in November, which he says was so popular they added a second date.

"We sold tickets by the boatload," says Parry.

"It was all younger people with young kids and they all were singing all the songs.... They found a new generation."

The beloved kids' entertainers bring CBC's Tashauna Reid on a trip down memory lane. 2:08

Things went sour in British Columbia, says Andrusyk.

He says he's been chasing Pangburn for owed payments, to no avail. Andrusyk provided email exchanges in which he demands payment Nov. 9 and Nov. 14 and Pangburn replies Nov. 14: "I did my best to get the wire to you."

Andrusyk says the funds never landed.

"We don't foresee getting that money anytime soon," says Andrusyk, who wouldn't say how much the duo is owed.

We're more than happy to take this on and finish off and let them end the right way.- Jeff Parry, promoter

Another show associated with Pangburn Philosophy went awry this year. In November, a statement on Twitter said Pangburn Philosophy, which also organized high-profile debates, was cancelling an event in New York City called "Day of Reflection" and that the company would be "folding" as a result.

Randi Hampson says they first met Pangburn about three years ago when he promoted successful shows in Vancouver and Victoria. They worked with him again a year later in the same cities with no problems.

And despite losing money in B.C., Randi Hampson says the overall tour has been profitable.

"We see comments like people wanting to start a Kickstarter [online fundraiser], which is heartwarming but completely unnecessary," she says.

Parry, who used to work with Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison in the early '90s, says the duo just want to have the chance to say farewell as they wished.

"We're more than happy to take this on and finish off and let them end the right way."

Sharon and Bram are already set to play several dates in April through July, with stops including Saskatoon; North Battleford, Sask.; Pictou, N.S.; Riverview, N.B.; Saint John, N.B.; Fredericton; and the Ontario communities of Peterborough, Oshawa, Picton and Orillia.