As this weekend’s annual Kinsmen Telemiracle telethon draws closer, two local musical acts are busy preparing for their opportunity to shine on the stage.
The 20-hour event, now in its 42nd year, originates from Regina and raised more than $116 million to help purchase equipment and provide medical treatment for those with special needs.
For guitarist Lance Whitecalf and his band Midnite Luv, being selected to play at Telemiracle was a special feeling but then to find out the group was one of just two acts from the Battlefords area to be asked to perform makes it even more so.
“We are all very excited and honoured to be part of Telemiracle for sure,” Whitecalf said. “It makes you hold your shoulders a little higher and puff your chest out a little more with pride.”
Whitecalf once toured with the late Lorrie Church in the mid-90s. He and his friend Lance Campeau have played together for better part of 20 years with Midnite Luv being formed about 18 years ago. While it has had several members over that span, the current formation of the act includes drummer Earl Arcand, bassist Audi Atcheynum and vocalist Kriss Atcheynum.
The popular five piece country-rock band auditioned for Telemiracle in November of last year and found out they were selected in December.
“It was quite a surprise and even to get the audition was a surprise,” he laughed. “Our singer Kriss (Atcheynum) sent in the registration without us knowing, and then in the fall she told us 'Oh by the way we have an audition for Telemiracle.'”
The group performed the Hank Williams classic Jambalaya during the audition and will be performing the same song when they appear on the Telemiracle on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.
“We do the John Fogerty version when he was a member of the Blue Ridge Rangers,” Whitecalf added. “He was one of my musical influences along with Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson as well.”
The other Battlefords act to be selected for Telemiracle is Bianca St. Martin, a well-known soprano who incidentally is also Whitecalf’s niece. She will be performing on Saturday night at 10:45 p.m.
On Twitter: @RJWtheReporter
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