A massive cabaret with Southeast Saskatchewan’s Jess Moskaluke will break in Rocanville’s new community hall as the first major public event in the new building.
The Ugly Christmas Sweater themed cabaret is set for Saturday, December 17. The cabaret is a fundraiser for the new hall and the Rocanville Fire Department.
Owen Wilson of the Rocanville hall committee said the group thought Jess Moskaluke would be the perfect performer for the first big event in the new hall.
“We have a great new facility and we wanted to start off with a bang. Everyone around here really like Jess, and she hasn’t performed in the area in quite a while, since she’s hit it really big. She opened for Paul Brandt on a tour and lots of people went to Regina to see her there, that’s about as close as she’s been.”
Jess Moskaluke grew up in Langenburg and now lives on a farm outside Rocanville. Her music career has taken off over the last few years. She has been named the CCMA female artist of the year each year for the last three years.
“She is fairly popular around the area, so we are hoping she will get a lot of people in,” said Wilson. “She’s a popular singer and there are local roots, so it’s just a bit more of a draw.”
The committee hopes to sell 700 tickets for the Dec. 17 cabaret.
“Our hall is around the 700 person capacity so we are hoping to sell out,” said Wilson. “We’ll set it up cabaret style. There will just be a few tables around the outside and an open floor—it’s basically a party, not a sit down concert.”
Wilson said the singer was happy to help out with the cabaret.
“We were setting up for a cabaret and that got the wheels turning and I sent her a message the next day,” he says. “She said she would absolutely love to do that. As a board we know we have to do some big fundraisers, so this fits in with some of what we want to do with the hall.”
He said the people he has spoken with about the cabaret are excited.
“They’re pretty pumped about it,” he said. “People are really looking forward to seeing her perform back here in Rocanville.”
If the fundraiser is a success, it will help with the cost of the new hall. The $2.4 million hall is being built with a $800,000 contribution from PotashCorp, $400,000 from each of the Town and RM of Rocanville, and $800,000 to be raised in the community through fundraising and donations.
“If we get a big turnout here that definitely could help with our payments on that,” said Wilson.
The cabaret will also support the Rocanville Fire Department—75 per cent of proceeds will go to the hall and 25 per cent to the Fire Department.
“We want to put some money away for the future, for when we do need a new truck. It would be nice to have a new water tanker down the road. When the day does come when we do need something we want to have some money put aside so we don’t have to make a mad dash and scramble for money.”
There have been some events at the hall already, and the grand opening will be held Oct. 29, but the Jess Moskaluke Fundraiser will be the first major event in the new hall.
How will organizers determine if it’s a success?
“If it’s a complete sellout and everyone has a good time, that’s kind of the key thing,” says Wilson. “Then maybe we can attract more things like that.”
Jess Moskaluke says she knew right away that she wanted to do the concert when she was asked.
“My first thought is that I haven’t played in Rocanville forever. I think the last time was a wedding maybe, so I was obviously really excited to play right at home,” she says.
“Owen contacted me and I just knew it was something I wanted to be a part of and this was a way I could help. I thought let’s do it.
“Aside from all of that it’s going to be a really fun night. It’s right around Christmas time. I was just in the hall a couple weeks ago for a wedding and it looks gorgeous and I wanted to come and check it out. There wasn’t really a very good reason for me not to do it and it was something I wanted to do.”
Moskaluke is donating her time for the concert, and says it feels good to be helping out, but that she’s no different than anyone else who wants to contribute to her community.
“It feels great, but everyone can help out the hall committee and the fire department, it’s not just me,” she says. “Everyone who attends the show and buys tickets, they can help out their community, or can donate as well. It feels just as good as anyone else who has been helping out over the past couple of years to make this all happen.”
How does she feel to be the person chosen for the first big event in the hall?
“It’s such an honor. It’s so nice to be able to be home and play. We’ve had a whirlwind couple of years so it’s really, really nice and exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking to be able to come home and show everyone what I’ve been working on for the past couple of years.
“Usually when I come home it’s not with my whole band because the logistics are kind of a nightmare to make that happen all the time. So this will really be the first full band show that I’ve ever played at home. I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know what my favorite part will be but I’m sure I will enjoy it.”
What is she looking forward to the most?
“All of it. Every part of it will be really great. It’s going to be so nice to play a show and do something I love and then go home and sleep in my own bed and have my best friends there and my family and community. It will be a really, really different show for me. I’m preparing as best I can to try and make it all work.”
Moskaluke says it will also be nice for family, friends and acquaintances see her perform without having to travel.
“My family and my close friends have seen me perform a lot over the years,” she says. “They come out as much as they can, but I’m not always performing close, so a lot of acquaintances or people from the community can’t always come and see me. So I think it will be a unique opportunity for a lot of people just because I’m not always right here in Saskatchewan where I’m easily accessible.”
Tickets for the concert are available at the Rocanville town office and Decker’s H20 in Rocanville, at The World-Spectator in Moosomin, or by calling Owen Wilson at 306-435-9596, Steve Fortney at 306-435-7703 or Kevin Kingdon at 306-434-7252.