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There’s nearly a decade’s worth of memories to celebrate for Barney Bentall & The Grand Cariboo Opry (GCO), the annual
variety show has become a favorite event in BC and beyond, building a tradition and warming the hearts of all ages of
audiences. It conjures feelings of a simpler, down-home good time, and celebrates community and music while contributing
to worthwhile causes and charities.
A variety of Canadian musicians grace the GCO stage each year, and each song is performed by a different lead or
collaboration; introduced with a unique and humorous monologue scripted by Bentall and co-host Matt Masters. The cast of popular musicians from the Canadian indie scene also features special guests of Canadian musical fame in each different locale.
The Gold Rush Allstars make up the backing band for the whole event, and are a tight team of renowned players.
The Grand Cariboo Opry began during a time when Barney Bentall and The Legendary Hearts would head the Cariboo
region of BC for their annual performance at the May Ball in Clinton, rocking the place in their usual way. The Cariboo is a powerful land, and the spirits of old mixed blood fiddle players and banjo pickers started to send messages to the band from their sage covered graves. Before Bentall and the boys knew it, the stage was full of friends pickin’ and singin’, marking it as some kind of unholy midnight ramble, and conjuring up the spirit of the hootenanny that has resulted in the GCO.
In 2006, Barney Bentall decided to bring the magic of the Cariboo-spirited show to the big city of Vancouver, donating
proceeds to the Potluck Café Society to assist in their mission in providing healthy meals to the residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The show was such a success that Potluck continues to present the GCO annually and has become the charitable organization’s #1 funding source. Over the years, the show has offered the same fundraising opportunities to other communities throughout Western Canada and in 2013, the tour raised a total of $95,000 to charities who provide nutritious food and food education to those in need.
The GCO tours a world-class group of musicians, cast and special guests who collaborate and work together to bring the
show to life. It has been presented to thousands of people in theatres, community halls and performance halls in churches
bringing warmth and a real good time to everyone.
Barney Bentall and Matt Masters
Barney Bentall, Wendy Bird, Matt Masters, Ridley Bent, Angela Harris, Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson
THE GOLD RUSH ALLSTARS:
Geoff Hicks (drums), Rob Becker (bass), Kendel Carson (fiddle), Scott Smith (pedal steel, electric guitar), and
Eric Reed (acoustic/electric guitar, mandolin, banjo)
PREVIOUS CAST AND MUSICIANS:
John Ellis (pedal steel, guitar, mandolin, piano), Leslie Alexander (banjo), Mark Crozier (electric guitar), Adam Dobres (electric & acoustic
guitar), Jack Guppy (drums), Steve Dawson (pedal steel), Adrian Dolan (fiddle), Daniel Lapp (fiddle, horns), Dave Reimer (bass), Shari
PREVIOUS SPECIAL GUESTS:
Jim Cuddy, The High Bar Gang, Cathy Jones, Geoffrey Kelly, Adam Kreek, Cameron Latimer, Romi Mayes, Neil Osborne (54-40), Jeffery Hatcher, Joel Plaskett, Leeroy Stagger, Tom Taylor and Tom Wilson
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