The core values of the Old Type Music Society are to bring acoustic, bluegrass, and old-time music to the Elk Valley, while supporting traveling musicians with living wage artist fees, competent sound reinforcement, and personal connections to the community through live music performance and learning.

Scott Nygaard teaches a guitar workshop • November 2014

The Old Type Music Society was born of a small community of people who love bluegrass, old-time, and acoustic music. Mike and Anie Hepher of Clawhammer Press in Fernie, BC. started hosting concerts in their retail gallery in 2011. Both musicians themselves, they used their connections to the bluegrass scene to lure people to the valley to perform. As the concerts series became more popular with performers and audiences alike, the Hephers made a decision to turn the operating group into a formal not-for-profit and in February 2015 the Old Type Music Society was born. Many of the regular audience members became volunteers, and many have picked up instruments themselves.

The core values of the OTMS are that music is to be shared. Bluegrass and old-time music have a community element built into them, with strong roots in community dances, jams, and informal teaching. Caring for those traditions is an important part of the Society, and the kinds of events we put on reflect those core values. Over the past  years we have put on concerts, workshops, community dances, and fundraisers for good causes. Many our regular society meetings include eating and singing together, and many of our volunteers have gone from listeners to players to promoters.

Pharis & Jason Romero perform at the Clawhammer Gallery • March 2016
Pharis & Jason Romero perform at the Clawhammer Gallery • March 2016

We also believe that music and culture are critical elements to the greater community, and entertainers should be reasonably paid for their work. As such we continually work with musicians to make sure our artist fees are competitive, and with funding sources to make sure we continue to offer competitive guarantees to musicians.

After the move of the Clawhammer Gallery to a new location, the OTMS will continue to host concerts and events at a variety of locations including house concerts, community halls, barn dances, and concert halls.

For more information about the Old Type Music Society, or to inquire about volunteering or bookings, please contact us directly.