County couple bringing music to the park

From left: Jim and Jan Baker pose with Ken Skjersven of the Morinville food Bank Society prior to Thursday night’s cancelled concert. The event has been tentatively set for July 30 at 7 p.m.

– Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

The late afternoon storm that blew through Morinville Thursday cancelled the first of three Music in the Park events. Jan and Jim Baker were to bring the first of their Summer Music in the Park events to Town July 23; however, the event has been tentatively rescheduled for July 30. The event will feature singer/songwriter Jan Baker and Canadiana singer/songwriter John Spearn beneath the clock tower for 90 minutes of music. In addition to providing an evening of summer entertainment, the free concerts are in aid of the Morinville Food Bank Society.

Although Jan Baker has been singing professionally since the age of 16, it was about 10 years ago that Jim and Jan began working on music together. Putting their family first, the couple now fit the music in where they can, including the series of three concerts they have planned for the park this summer.

“I’ve had this idea for music in the park ever since Jan and I played music in the park for the Lions Club in Camrose a few years ago,” Jim Baker said. “It was a wonderful event. I’ve had a bug in my bonnet ever since.”

The Bakers tossed the idea around for a few years and were recently able to secure the space from the St. Jean Baptiste Church Parish. The summer’s performers were willing to volunteer their time for the idea.

“The easiest way for the community to add something is to bring an item for the food bank,” Baker said. “The timing is perfect for that. We’ve been listening on the radio all week that the food banks are in dire straits.”

The couple has two more events planned, one on Aug. 6 and one on Aug. 20, both running from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the park. The first will feature Edmonton songwriter Rob Heath and Bill Wortman, owner/operator of the Northern Lights Folk Club. The Aug. 20 event will feature performers Jessica Heine, Laura Bachynski, Mary Kieftenbeld, and Tim Chesterton.

All concerts are free, but attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Morinville Food Bank For more information visit

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