Westlock Centennial project being produced in Morinville

by Morinville News Staff

The Town of Westlock will celebrate its centennial in 2016, but preparations for that 100th-anniversary celebration are already well on the away. Part of those plans include a centennial celebration song and accompanying music video, being produced by Morinville’s Smith Music and PMPI, the latter the owner of The Morinville News. The song, written by Smith with some assistance from the committee is called Community With Spirit.

Smith Music owner Paul Smith said he was approached by Westlock Centennial Committee member Summer Halliday after she saw the work Smith Music and PMPI did on last winter’s Morinville for Hockeyville song and video.

“It’s been so cool because in Westlock I don’t have my usual stable of players that I can just call, so when the vocalists came in on the day to record, we’d never heard anyone sing before,” Smith said of working with the Westlock talent used in the song. “It was high energy figuring out where everyone fits. Everybody was nice about the song and wanting to be a team player. It made it easy where we could use people’s strong points.”

Although the vocalists, including Westlock Mayor Ralph Leriger, were all recorded in Westlock, two of those singers — Mina Kwan and Jadeene Wolfe were in Morinville last week to rerecord a segment of the song. They have enjoyed being part of the project.

“This is a great opportunity,” said 17-year-old Mina Kwan (photo right). “I’ve never really worked with a group like that, so just hearing the tracks and hearing it come together is great.”

Kwan, an R.F. Staples student, said she has been in two choirs and the school’s last three musicals.
A friend and first time singer Jadeene Wolfe also enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a song that captures her community’s spirit and history.

“It was so much fun doing this,” she said. “I enjoyed doing it. I found that I kind of like singing.”
While both women liked being part of the project, they also enjoyed the opportunity to do a retake on one of their segments in Smith’s Morinville studio. Initial audio and video recordings were conducted in Westlock Council Chambers.

“It was cool,” Kwan said. “I’ve always wanted to see the equipment, see how it’s set up, and hear it played back. I don’t have any of that tech, but I like to start to do covers and get my music out there. This is cool. It’s a taste of where I want to be.”

Accompanying the song is a music video, produced by PMPI. The video includes both the talent singing the song and views of Westlock, its history and community spirit.

“It is always interesting to capture the essential elements of a community’s story in images, whether they are stills or video,” said PMPI owner Stephen Dafoe. “The process is similar to what we do with news each week, just with a snappier tempo.”

Smith and Dafoe both see more work down the road for audio/video projects, both individually and collectively.
“ People have taken notice of the impact and the power that audio/video can have on marketing and town spirit,” Smith said. “Hockeyville proved that without a doubt.”

The $25,000 Morinville received for finishing in the top 10 in this year’s Kraft Hockeyville event gets presented at the Ray McDonald Sports Center in a special ceremony Aug. 29.

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