One of Canada’s favourite female country singers will be in Tillsonburg for A Down Home Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Lions Auditorium, Tillsonburg Community Centre.
The feature artist is Marie Bottrell, who was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
“She was a two-time Canadian Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year (1983 and 1984),” said Bill Carruthers, who is producing the show with Brad Hollister as Carruthers Entertainment Services Ltd.
“I think it’s going to be a great event for local folks to attend, and hopefully we’ll get a good turnout,” said Carruthers, who is looking for an audience ‘in the neighbourhood of 300,’ and says if successful they would like to make it an annual event.
“If we get 300 people in there it will be pretty well filled and lots of folks will be enjoying some great food.”
Over the span of 15 years Bottrell charted 18 country songs in Canada starting with her first in 1978, Just Reach Out and Touch me and Always Havin’ Your Love in 1978, followed by hit singles The Star (1979 – No. 3 in Canada), Flames of Evil Desire (1980 – No. 6 in Canada), The Ballad of Lucy Johnson (1980 – No. 10 in Canada), and Wonderin’ If Willy (1981 – No. 8 in Canada).
Bottrell consistently charted in Canada every year until 1986, then made a comeback in 1991-92 with a pair of charting singles.
“Back in the day (1979-1986) she was a multiple Juno Award nominee as well,” said Carruthers.
“She still does shows and they still play her from time to time on the country radio station here in town. Marie is from London and she has worked various shows in the area.”
A Down Home Christmas Party, presented by the Town of Tillsonburg, will include a seasonal buffet, as well as dancing at 9 p.m. after Bottrell’s show. The buffet will be provided by Simply Delicious Catering from Springfield.
“Marie has a special Christmas show that she’s going to do… and there will be dancing after the show is over. So it will be just a night full of fun and entertainment – fun, food and entertainment.”
Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 at the door. A 19+ event, tickets are available at the Tillsonburg Community Centre or online at www.ticketscene.ca.
Doors open on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m., the buffet begins at 6:30 p.m. and Bottrell’s 90-minute Christmas show starts at 7:30 p.m.
“The music for dancing will be all kinds of genres, types of music, it’s not going to be limited to Christmas stuff,” Carruthers noted. “It’s going to be everything you can imagine.”
Carruthers Entertainment Services will also be doing several other events for the town over the next 12-14 months.
“We’ve got a bunch of dates lined up… we’ve got one scheduled for Valentine’s Day, and we’re going to do another one in May. We’re going to use the outdoor facility, the Kinsmen Bandshell, during the summer months. So we’re going to try to keep things going around-the-year… fairly regular events going on just to try to provide additional art and cultural events for the Town of Tillsonburg.
“We’ve got lots of contacts and we’re going to try to build to some of those bigger names coming to town as well.”
Carruthers Entertainment Services has organized three shows at The Bridges at Tillsonburg.
“We’ve had some fairly good success there so we’re moving indoors for this wintertime and doing events at the Lions Auditorium, and we’re going to carry on and do some additional stuff over the summer months and into fall. Then we’ll build toward some bigger projects as we get closer to the 150th anniversary of the Town of Tillsonburg (2022).”