Artists’ aid society mounts music fest

For three decades Albert Blain was a bassist, well-known to the Edmonton music scene. Then he suddenly passed away in 2003.

For three decades Albert Blain was a bassist, well-known to the Edmonton music scene. Then he suddenly passed away in 2003.

A brain aneurysm cut his life short, but family and friends decided to keep his name alive in form of a charity. The Albert Blain Performers Aid Society supports artists, who due to an illness or injury can’t perform.

In Blain’s case, it had mainly been the funeral costs that his family could not afford.

“We’re looking to help artists who haven’t had a super-successful life, “ said Lynn Wells, the society’s director of production.

“Artists suffer and struggle all the time, so when something sudden happens to them, usually the financial backing isn’t there.”

To raise funds, the society put in place an annual music festival. This year’s event will mark the 3rd Annual Alexander Keith Celtic Festival.

On Aug. 14, the family friendly event will draw a dozen artists to the Hawrelak Park Amphitheatre. Last year’s event raised $10,000. Since 2004, the charity has been able to help about 25 artists all over Western Canada.

Each year the society is growing, Wells said. Tickets cost $35 in advance and are available at Ticketmaster and Scottish Imports.