Children's entertainer brings warmth to Morinville winter fest
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 06:00 am
Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m.
Morinville Community Cultural Centre
9502 – 100 Ave.
Tickets: $10 Call 780-420-1757 or online at www.tixonthesquare.ca
Since 2005, children’s entertainer Will Stroet has recorded six albums. Now the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter has moved to television.
Stroet just inked a deal with CBC television to deliver 10 DVDs, each about three minutes in length, that will air during children’s morning programming.
“We were always interested in trying to work with television. It’s a great opportunity to reach kids on a large scale. It seemed a more feasible option than doing a pilot. This way we can use the videos in other ways,” Stroet explains.
That’s not to say the pied piper is forgoing live shows. In fact, he’s appearing at the Morinville Winter Festival this coming Saturday. Joining him is The Backyard Band composed of Elliot Langford (bass) and Kevin Romain (drummer).
For Stroet, a former elementary school teacher, it’s been a natural progression from classroom gigs and concert halls to national television.
In a mutual collaboration with Turtlebox Productions, Stroet produced short videos of two original songs – Bike Safety Boogie and I’m Gonna Walk.
“Health is a big theme for me to get out there. It helps that I really enjoy sports. I’m an avid cyclist, and I play Ultimate Frisbee and floor hockey. The milder weather helps,” he laughs.
After producing the two initial DVDs with the end goal of pitching television networks, Stroet hit the jackpot with an enthusiastic response from CBC.
“The hardest part was the investment. We were lucky to team up with Turtlebox. We did everything on a small budget and were fortunate to find people willing to work for less than they would normally receive.”
Much of his songs’ popularity stem from their contemporary vibe which encapsulates rock, folk, blues, reggae and funk.
A young father with young children, Stroet easily relates to kids’ sense of adventure as he sings about topical themes such as hockey, soccer, hygiene, breakfast, animals, colours and the importance of eating vegetables.
“They’re (videos) all live action played in different styles,” he says. “Each video has its own esthetic and feel, its own texture. And I have Turtlebox Productions to thank for that.”
The family-friendly concert mounted at Morinville Community Cultural Centre is designed as a 50-minute interactive fun show of song and storytelling.
“With kids you can go all over the place and I try to do that,” Stroet says. “The great thing about your young audience is that they don’t have preconceptions of music. When you can get kids excited about different styles it’s really cool. As a former teacher I know that if you can keep them interested and engaged, it’s a fun time.”