Pictured: left to right: Rob Hughes, Don Harfield, Darcie Sabados (Chamber of Commerce), Peter Arnold, Jessica Littlewood MLA

Perogies and Jam was very honoured and pleased to accept the 2016 Spirit of Community Award at the Vegreville & Area Annual Awards Gala on October 20, 2016 at the Social Centre. This award was presented by the Vegreville & District Chamber of Commerce, The Town of Vegreville Economic Development & Tourism, and Community Futures Elk Island Region. This award is presented annually to a business / organization that has demonstrated excellence in the Spirit of Community and is based on contribution to the general community and how it encourages its members to contribute & promote Vegreville & Area through community events. This award recognizes the ongoing contribution to the community and as the song lyrics say “the beat goes on….”

Perogies and Jam - 2016 Award TrophyPerogies and Jam are now in their 7th season and as an amateur music organization, continues to encourage and promote local musicians to showcase their talent in events throughout the year.  Perogies and Jam is a not-for-profit organization which focuses on building the skills of local musicians through hosting performance events, conducting workshops, collaborating with music teachers, providing music at local events, and bringing in musicians to encourage and inspire local musical talent.  This is the second year that Perogies and Jam had been nominated for the Spirit of Community award.

Perogies and Jam interfaces with many local organizations on an ongoing basis such as these recent events:

  1. 4th Annual Community Gospel Night, November 21, 2015 at the United Church.
  2. Reindeer Lane, November 28, 2015 at the Public Library.
  3. Year End Celebration, December 12, 2015 at the Vegreville Railway Station.
  4. Vegreville Family Day, February 15, 2016 at the Vegreville Social Centre.
  5. Wendy Brook Festival – Provided Sound System assistance for “live” broadcasting by new Country 106.5 radio station on April 7, 2016 at A. L. Horton School. Perogies and Jam supports the Wendy Brook Festival through the annual donation of a Community Music Award and a Bursary Award to local musicians.
  6. Studio 14 Arts Society Annual Fundraising Event, April 2016 at Holden.
  7. Vegreville Volunteers Appreciation Breakfast, April 16, 2016 at the Social Centre.
  8. Grand Opening of The Garage, June 25, 2016 at The Garage, Vegreville.
  9. Vegreville Elks Park Pysanka Egg Friday Afternoons during the summer, Musicians provided informal “busking” in the Park on many occasions as weather permitted.
  10. Lions Club AGM, June 6, 2015 at the Seniors Sunshine Club
  11. Vegreville Seniors Sunshine Club – Monthly events starting September 17, 2016.

Perogies and Jam has contributes to the Vegreville & Area through:

  • Contribution – There are about 50 amateur musicians from Vegreville, Mundare, Chipman, Holden, Ryley, Lavoy, Viking, Willingdon plus those living on acreages and farms that participate at our events. Bands (Off Ramp Boys, Country Sunshine, Soul Spice), Fiddlers (Fiddlin’ Kiddlins), Dancers (Sopilko, Ukrainian), individual performers, and support volunteers add to these numbers which increase the numbers involved to over 100. When including attendees and families impacted, these numbers increase to over 1000.
  • Level of Involvement – The organization is led by and includes the involvement of amateur musicians in our community including: Don Harfield (Founder), Ralph Lange, Randy Kereliuk, Rob Hughes, Gordon Forbes, Peter Arnold, Timothy Harfield (Website development and maintenance), Anna Tomyn (Wendy Brook Festival representative). Involvement includes 1) semi-annual planning meetings, 2) responding to requests for musicians, 3) inviting and coordinating participants, 4) setting up and operating sound system, 5) arranging for venues, 6) co-ordinating with other community organizers, 7) advertising, 8) informing musicians and attendees by emails, posters, and, 9) networking on social media (Website, Twitter, Facebook). It is estimated that the leadership team alone spends over 700 hours a year in their passion to build and maintain the amateur music community in our area.
  • Commitment Perogies and Jam was conceived for the purpose of embracing local musical talent as part of the Arts Community in Vegreville.  Perogies and Jam is committed to developing an enduring live music scene in Vegreville by cultivating local musical talent. The leadership team members contribute in time (each over 100 hours per year in practicing, performing, planning, coordinating, promoting, financial tracking), money (personal donations, purchase of musical equipment, travel expenses) and the amateur musicians donate their time, provide their equipment and pay their own travel expenses. Now that’s dedication!
  • Nurturing Talent – Through Perogies and Jam events and supporting community organizations, local live music helps young or nervous amateurs gain confidence to perform better and hone their skills behind the microphone. Our community has seen amateur musicians who shyly performed a few years ago at a Perogies and Jam event, can now capture the attention of the audience with confidence and skill that comes from hard work, nurtured talent, and lots of practice. Perogies and Jam has spawned several groups (like the Off-Ramp Boys) and solo performers.

Perogies and Jam is so very proud of our many musicians and community supporters who are committed to building our local music community! This award is in recognition of their tireless dedication and “having fun” together.