Cultivating Creativity

Get Ready to be Hip for the Holidays

Cultivating Creativity

Kodie Trahan-Guay

Get Ready to be Hip for the Holidays

Shaer Productions is getting ready to help the Quinte region do the Jingle Bell Rock. Their latest production Bellevegas VI – Hip for the Holidays with The Dan Shaer Big Band  is on Saturday December 2nd starting at 7:00 pm at Maranatha Church. Tickets are $25 available on eventbrite and at Maranatha Church. Celebrate the season with Master of Ceremony Rick Zimmerman, The Dan Shaer Big Band, vocalists Leni Stewart, Jeanette Arsenault, Wendy Shaer, Sonya Zaback, AJ Stewart, and Sam Brady. The event will help raise funds for Gleaners Food Bank and Grace Inn Shelter.

Shaer Productions was started by Dan and Wendy Shaer in 2004 after they purchased a church in Millbrook, Ontario to convert into The King Street Centre for the Arts. Their goal was to create a venue space where rehearsals and performances could take place. They also wanted to create opportunities for performers from amateur to professional.

“To achieve this goal, the King Street Arts Council was formed along with a community theatre group called The King Street Players,” says Dan Shaer. “The theatre company along with a band, morphed into different sizes and configurations based on the needs of production.”

They produced musicals and began staging their own original productions, including I’ve Heard That Song Before. Taking the show on the road Shaer Productions toured around central Ontario. Always busy they’ve had several shows and bands running at the same time. Their time in Millbrook came to an end in 2012 when they moved to Trenton. 

“We have continued with Shaer Productions and focused on the bands including Variety and produced The Summer of 67, a sequel to I’ve Heard That Song Before,” says Shaer. “We have also produced and staged five Bellevegas concerts featuring one of our three bands and usually up to ten guest vocalists. The concerts have raised thousands of dollars for The Quinte Arts Council and other local charities.”

Shaer Productions was started in part as a way to create opportunities for themselves and other artists. 

“I learned back in the 1970’s as a touring professional musician that it was important to our survival as musicians to create our own opportunities instead of sitting back and waiting for others to hire you,” says Shaer. “By taking control of our own destiny and creating these shows and musicals and booking theatres for our shows, we have provided opportunities for performers for over 40 years and have entertained thousands of people and been able to help a lot of worthy causes. It’s a win/win scenario.”

Shaer Productions is working on a musical variety show to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RCAF On A Wing and a Prayer which will be touring across Ontario and is a fundraiser for The Canadian National Air Force Museum. But next up is their big holiday extravaganza. After taking a long break due to the pandemic, Bellevegas Hip for the Holidays is back.  Featuring The Dan Shaer Big Band and special guest vocalists – Lenni Stewart, Jeanette Arsenault, Wendy Shaer, Sonya Zaback, Sam Brady, and AJ Stewart. Emceed by Rick Zimmerman, this show is full of talented local performers who are excited to be celebrating onstage. 

“We have had a tremendous response from our past Bellevegas concerts and are constantly getting requests to put on another show,” says Shaer. “It’s going to be a great night featuring some very hip charts that have not been heard performed anywhere around here. The band is hot and the vocalists are awesome.”

The show is full of local talent and sponsored by local companies including Wilkinson & Company, Stormy’s Auto Group, Dr. Jim’s Computer Repair, Quinte Broadcasting, Starboard Cares, and The Belleville Downtown Blues Festival. Working with and for the community is a passion of Shaer Productions.

“We have worked with professional entertainers throughout Canada and the US and could have included them in the show, but we like to promote the terrific talent both professional and semi-professional in our area,” says Shaer. 

Bellevegas VI – Hip for the Holidays with The Dan Shaer Big Band  takes place Saturday December 2nd starting at 7:00 pm at Maranatha Church, 100 College Street West, Belleville, ON. Tickets are $25 available on eventbrite and at Maranatha Church.

Click here for tickets.

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