The Monkey Bunch, a Juno-nominated group of children's entertainers, will kick off their first tour in Western Canada with a concert at the Merritt Civic Centre this Tuesday.
The group's upcoming appearance will be their first in Merritt and in the province, says Felicity Peat, the City of Merritt's recreation programmer.
“They've never actually been in B.C. before. This is their first time.”
After their foray into the Nicola Valley, The Monkey Bunch will give a series of performances in a series of children's festivals in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
The Monkey Bunch was formed in 2006 and consists of band members Shoshana Sperling, Maury LaFoy, Graham Powell, and Lyle Molzan. The group is based in Toronto.
The Monkey Bunch plays mainly rock but its songs are aimed to children and their parents, generally between preschool age up to Grade 4.
The group's website explains, “We wanted to create a musical experience that a child could enjoy with a parent or caregiver. That they could appreciate together.”
To that end, The Monkey Bunch has released two albums, Sho, Mo, and The Monkey Bunch in 2006 and Power to the Little People in 2010.
The first pays tribute to the music of artists as varied as The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, and Shirley Temple.
The second stresses the role that young people can play in changing the world. One track, for example, is “Don't Let Your Cars Idle!”
Asked why the City of Merritt decided to host a children's concert, Peat says, “There isn't a lot offered to children in this town except activities.”
Peat says that the city wanted to expand its entertainment offerings for kids beyond swimming and hockey. Past entertainers, such as a magician at the Canada Day celebration in Rotary Park last year, were hits with local youngsters, she adds.
“We thought, ‘Let's make it a bit bigger.'”
Tickets will be sold at the door and are available in advance at the Merritt Civic Centre and Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre.