About Us (A Brief History)
In 1994, club founder George Bayard began contacting bluegrass musicians, fans and interested parties about forming an organization to play and promote bluegrass music in Edmonton. In December of 1994 he organized the first meeting November 28, 1995 followed by a Jam at the Fiddlers Roost on 99th Street in Edmonton. A small group of dedicated individuals at that first meeting, George Bayard, Willy Arsenault, Carol Newlove, Jim Storey, Windi Scott, Jack Stout, Susan Frank, Don Frank and Ian Van Dusen put up some seed money and the Jam became a weekly event. It was held every Wednesday evening at the Fiddlers Roost.
The Northern Bluegrass Circle Music Society was incorporated on January 25, 1996. Bylaws were set up and an executive was elected. They began a newsletter and started a house band to present bluegrass music to the community with a mission statement to Promote, Present and Preserve Bluegrass Music.
The society continued to grow and began looking for a new location that would facilitate both their concerts and jams. In March of 1999 the Northern Bluegrass Music Circle Society moved to their new location at Pleasantview Community Hall, 10860 – 57 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta. This location offers wheelchair access, ample parking, and a stage.
In October of 2000 the NBCMS organized a weekend workshop. This was held at the Pleasantview Community Hall. Classes were offered in guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro and bass. After the success of this first workshop the society decided to make it an annual event. The following year vocal harmony was included in the courses offered. In the fall of 2002, the workshop was moved to Camp He Ho Ha on Lake Isle, about an hour west of Edmonton. Participants stayed on site. The tranquility of the sight and ample space to facilitate instruction and jamming made for a very enjoyable weekend. The Workshop is still held at this location.
We are a very active club and that is because of our involved membership. Thank you for supporting the NBCMS and Bluegrass Music.
We receive additional funding from: The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta Lotteries and Donations.
1996–1997 George Bayard
1998 Carol Newlove
1999–2002 Willly Arsenault
2003 Dawn Oviatt
2004–2005 Pat Guidera
2006–2011 Carolyn Hotte
2012- Ron Mercer
NBCMS Concert History
The NBCMS promoted their first concert, which featured Edmonton's premiere bluegrass band Jerusalem Ridge in the fall of 1996. This grew into regular series of concerts.
1996 Jerusalem Ridge, High Strung
1997 Warrior River Boys, Dry River Boys, John Reischman, Bailer Strings
1998 Grass Routes, String ‘Em Up, Maple Creek, Chris Jones
1999 Rock Bottom, Blue Lonesome, Nitchi Creek, String ‘Em Up, Grass Routes, Maple Creek
2000 Bluegrass Etc., Lonesome and Then Some, Maple Creek, Rock Bottom, Keystone Bluegrass
2001 Jenny Lester, Lonesome and Then Some, Maple Creek, John Reischman & the Jaybirds, Dry River Boys.
2002 Lynn Morris Band, Lonesome Brothers, Down To The Wood (DTTW), Frankie Rodgers, Vern Charlton & the Charlton Sisters, Canadian Whitewater
2003 Restless Lester, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Frontline, Fret Knot, DTTW
2004 Open Road, Blacklightning, Dale Ann Bradley, Homefire, Lost Highway, Dry River Boys, Riverdale Bluegrass
2005 David Peterson & 1946, The Hotte Family Band, David Parmely & Continental Divide, Northern Bluegrass Band (NBCMS House Band), James King Band, Woodbend, Workshop Concert with Canadian Whitewater, Maple Creek, and DTTW
2006 Mountain Bluebirds, David Davis & The Warrior River Boys, Wildwood Flower, Restless Lester, Four Chords of Wood, Short Grass, The Bix Mix Boys, Northern Bluegrass Band,
Workshop Concert with Roland White Band, Foggy Hog Town Boys, Don Rigsby & Others
2007 Spinney Brothers, The Bix Mix Boys, Woodbend, DTTW, Cabin Fever, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Back Porch Swing, Workshop Concert with Honi Deaton & Dream, Kanes River and DTTW
2008 The Brakemen, The Infamous Stringdusters, High Point, Prairie Sky, The Charlie Sizemore Band, “Bluegrass Circle Showcase” (Blacklightning, Sue Decker, Back Porch Swing, Cindy Pearce, Dicey, Long Way Home, Anna Somerville, High Point, Ida Red, Erin Kushniruk, Cabin Fever, Prairie Sky, Blue Grass Orphans, Carolyn Hotte & Linda Saboe, Alberta Clippers, Rhonda Withnell, The Real Humdingers, Donna Lee Randon, Allen Christie Band, Curtis Appleton, Woodbend), Workshop Concert with Laurie Lewis and The Right Hands, DTTW, Chris Stuart & Back Country, Rebecca Frazier and Hit & Run Bluegrass, Woodbend CD Party
2009 Hungry Hill, Grasstowne, Ida Red, DTTW, Back Porch Swing, DownTown Mountain Boys, Workshop Concert with Brother Mule, The Brakeman, and The Blue Canyon Boys, Dale Ann Bradley
2010 Bix Mix Boys, Lonesome River Band, Cabin Fever, Special Consensus, Blue Grass Orphans, Spinney Brothers, Long Way Home, Four Chords of Wood, Restless Lester and the June Bugs.
2011 Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, The Kayla & Erin Show, Curtis Appleton & Friends (AGM), John Rieschman & the Jaybirds, Lost and Found, Anna Somerville and Marc Ladouceur “Bluegrass Circle Showcase II”, (Here Again, Jeff Reiter,Meridian Line,Linda Saboe, IGP Stringband, Sue Decker, Up The Creek, Rhonda Withnell Hotte Family, Prarie Sky, Still Crooked, The Kayla & Erin Show, Braden Gates, Cabin Fever, Justin Whaling, Back In Black, New Fire Express, Blaine MacINtyre, Plain James, Ian Johnston, Crooked Creek, Kayla Hotte, Woodbend, Anna Somerville, Long Way Home, Erin Kushniruk, Back Porch Swing) IGP Stringband (SAGM), Bill Monroe Tribute Band, Dan Crary and Thunderation and High Country.
The NBCMS has spawned many bluegrass bands. Such as Maple Creek, Grass Routes, Lonesome and Then Some, Critical Grass, Sweet Grass, Down To The Wood, Fret Knot, Homefire, Blacklightning, Wildwood Flower, High Point, Short Grass, Riverdale, Woodbend, The Bix Mix Boys, Cabin Fever, Prairie Sky, Ida Red, Barley Bluegrass, Long Way Home, Page in Time, IGP String Band, Meridian Line, Curtis Appleton & Friends and Crooked Creek.
Concert: November 1996 (Jerusalem Ridge)
Summer Solstice: June 1997 (Devon)
Guitar Raffle: August 1997 (1993 Martin D-28)
AFA Grant: October 1997 ($1,500.00)
Casino: 1998 ($30,871.42)
Moved to Pleasantview Community Hall 1999 (from Fiddler’s Roost)
Scholarship Award: August 2000 (BCBW Carol Newlove & Willy Arsenault)
Weekend Workshop: October 2000 at Pleasantview Community Hall.
Workshop moved to Camp He Ho Ha in October 2002
Bluegrass Alliance: 2002 the purpose of this alliance is to provide a forum for promoting bluegrass and to encourage collective efforts with the Bluegrass community.
Concert Royal Alberta Museum Theatre February 2002 (Lynn Morris Band)
Blueberry’s Kids Tent: August 2003 (Sponsored and hired Aaron Burnett to teach a kids workshop)
Slow-Pitch Jam: September 2003
Semi Annual General meeting: October 2003
Christmas Party: December 2003
Winter Jam Camp: February 2004 (Camp He Ho Ha)
Band Workshop: January 2005 (David Peterson & 1946)
Biggest Donation: August 2005 $20,000.00 (Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Festival)
Workshop Concert: October 2005 (Canadian Whitewater, Maple Creek and DTTW)
IBMA Lifetime Membership: 2006 (member #33541)
Member & Volunteer Appreciation BBQ: May 2006 (celebrating 10 years of jamming)
Library: May 2006 (Grand Opening)
Music Merit Award: January 2007
Biggest Concert: April 2007 (Rhonda Vincent & the Rage) 571 Attending
“Bluegrass Circle Showcase”: June 2008 (to highlight members’ bands, 13 bands & 9 tweener acts)
Highest Membership: 2008 (395 members)
Jamming Song Book: First printing January 2009 (composed by Carolyn Hotte)
Face Book Page: 2009
Partnered with the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) Ambassador Program May 2010
Received a grant ($200.) from The Foundation For Bluegrass Music in Nashville December 2010 for presenting “Bluegrass in Schools” (Special Consensus)
15th Anniversary (Crystal) of Promoting Presenting and Preserving Bluegrass Music January 2011
Color Bluegrass Bulletin “Souvenir Booklet”: highlighting the past 15 years. January 2011
Entertainment at the AGM: February 2011 Curtis Appleton & Friends, Marc Ladouceur, Glen Hoffart, Byron Myhre and Matt Hotte.
Partnered with Grant MacEwan University to present a Masters Workshop: for the Music Students with Special Consensus. March 2011
Homecoming Jam: June 2011 (at the Fiddlers Roost the place where we began)
Bill Monroe “the Father of Bluegrass” 100th birthday (September 13, 1911) celebration September 14, 2011 and Bluegrass Museum with artefacts from club members collections Rob Baker, Ron Mercer, Matt Hotte and the Hotte Family.