Join us for Wes Regan’s album release party!
Early Show: Doors 6:30pm
Tickets available at the door
RSVP on Facebook here.
“I've been busy working on an album for the last couple of years and now it's finally done. This collection of songs has been inspired by two decades of living and working in Vancouver and draws heavily from my own personal experiences living, socializing, and working in the Downtown Eastside for the past ten years in particular. In many ways the album became an outlet, as working on things like poverty reduction, economic and social inclusion and facing an everyday onslaught of distressing news about the world in general can just grind you down with emotional and psychological exhaustion. Having toured professionally for several years, music was kind of the whole point of me moving to Vancouver to begin with in 1998.
Music faded from my life for a number of years while I focused on grad school and work, but in 2015 when I was a candidate in the Federal Election for the riding of Vancouver East I recorded a few songs for my campaign and it re-ignited that creative spark, so in 2017 I approached longtime friend and occasional collaborator Jason Corbett (ACTORS) who has a bustling studio called Jacknife Sound, and asked him if he might be able to squeeze in a few songs with me. It took a while between Jason touring around the world and fitting me into the studio, and it also took a crowdfunding campaign with dozens of generous donors, but two years later I'm really proud of the final product and excited to share it.
I'm also thrilled that a few friends performed on this album too, which has made it really special. Adam Fink (Gang Signs, ACTORS) and Rob Chursinoff (Tegan and Sara, Kinnie Starr, Ben Lee) my old neighbour Hilary Frances Tuck (Eastvan Chamber Choir) and one of my oldest friends in the world Darcy Hancock (Ladyhawk, Jon Rae and the River, Navigator Bob) all appear in numerous songs, helping to give this album a great live sound and really bringing exciting dimensions to it with their own style and sound.
I'll be splitting proceeds from the door with the Hendrik Hoekema Legacy Fund and Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society (WAHRS). The Hendrik Hoekema Fund was created to permit vulnerable, low income adults to participate in education and training initiatives, increasing their active participation in the work force and in the community at large. It is a funded administered by the Vancity Community Foundation and was created in honour of Hendrik Hoekema, who was a friend and mentor to me. As someone who loved unconditionally, who did not judge, and who did his work with relentless determination and humility, he was also someone that early on in my career I aspired to carry myself like, he was a role model for me. Hendrik passed away in late 2016 and the album is dedicated both to him and to another community leader who was taken from us far too soon - Tracy Morrison, who was one of the driving forces behind the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. The album makes several references to the overdose crisis, to the powerful work I've witnessed Indigenous peoples in the DTES doing on behalf of all of us. I hope that the album can draw some attention to both these organizations and the incredible people associated with them who I miss seeing in my life.”