Born in the 'Steeltown' of Hamilton, Ontario and 'raised up' in the suburban world of Burlington, Ontario Ric has been hanging his hat in the town of Canmore, Alberta for the past 30+ years. What started out as a month of Spring skiing has turned into becoming almost "a local" in this most excellent mountain town.
Over his years in Canmore, Ric’s working life included 24 years as Technical Director for the Banff Television Foundation. Organizing special events, he traveled extensively in North America as well as to Australia, Europe and Japan. Other career stops included landscaper, laborer, carpenter, newspaper reporter, grave digger (yes, grave digger) and event planner. Most recently, Ric worked as a custodian for the Canadian Rockies School Division;
Beginning with his portrayal of Prince Charming at age six (“No one else but me wanted to kiss the Princess!”), Ric has a long history as an actor and public speaker. For over 30 years Ric has acted, directed and produced for The Pine Tree Players Theatre group located in Canmore, Alberta. He is also a Founding Member of the Canmore Folk Festival.
Ric was the Festival Director for Canmore’s artsPeak Arts Festival for 5 years and was the man responsible for the installation of a X-Country Ski Track on Canmore's Main Street the past 3 years. Ric is a member of SOCAN and AMIA
While no stranger to the stage and screen, Ric kept his talents as a singer/songwriter well hidden until the Spring of 2007 when he began playing at local open stages and to work on realizing his life long dream. In June of 2008, his dream came true with the release of his debut album, Since We Were Young. This CD, recorded at Bakerstreet Studios in North Vancouver, contains eight original songs and Ric was blessed to have some of the best studio musicians in Canada contribute to the work.
Since the release of Since We Were Young, Ric has been active promoting that work at various engagements, including the Canmore Folk Festival, the WinterFolk VII Folk Festival, The Cochrane Arts festival and the Beaumont Blues Festival to mention a few.
For the past 2 years, Ric has enjoyed sharing the stage with his partner Joan who provides both lead and back-up vocals on a number of tunes. In addition Ric has done a number of gigs with Ray Redekopp an amazing guitarist and songwriter.
Ric has recently finished 4 new songs in anticipation of a second CD.
Joan Voyce - Vocals
Ray Redekopp - Vocals and Guitars
Debut Release: Since We Were Young - June 28 2008
All Songs written by Ric Proctor - Except
If I Were A Carpenter
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Arrangements by Robbie Steininger
Ric Proctor - Vocals
Produced by Paul Baker
Robbie Steininger - Guitars, Mandolin
Geoff Hicks - Drums
Doug Edwards - Bass.
Rick Hopkins - Piano and Hammond
Finn Manniche – Cello
Oliver Conway - Harmonica
Percussion - Paul Baker
Additional Vocals - Joan Voyce
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Paul Baker at Bakerstreet Studios, North Vancouver
Assisted by David Meszaros
Since We Were Young
All Kinds of Blues
If I Were A Carpenter
When You Are Away
So You Say
Feel No Pain
All Day Lover
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
GEORGE - DEMO March 09
Canmore singer/songwriter builds on dream in Toronto
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Canmore singer/songwriter builds on dream in Toronto By Rob Alexander - Rocky Mountain Outlook ...Canmore singer/songwriter builds on dream in Toronto
By Rob Alexander - Rocky Mountain Outlook
Published: February 26, 2009 11:00 AM
Updated: February 26, 2009 11:40 AM For Canmore singer songwriter Ric Proctor, reality is becoming much better than the dream.
Proctor released his first CD, Since we Were Young, in June of last year, fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming an established musical artist with an album to his credit.
He took another step forward on his dream path earlier this month by participating in Toronto’s Seventh annual Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival as one of the 100 artists performing in six venues over three days from Feb. 8-15.
On the advice of his brother, a Toronto musician and music promoter, Proctor applied for the festival and was accepted, and with five performances under his belt during the festival, Proctor said he came away completely satisfied with the response he received.
“One of the common comments was that I was ‘refreshing’,” he said with a laugh. He added that was a great compliment given that musicians in the West have a different approach than their counterparts in the East.
“In the West, we sing about different things and have a different style,” he said Monday (Feb. 23).
And the songs that got the most attention, such as “Sully’s Garage” and “George”, feature real people and real stories that are part of Canmore’s tapestry.
While the opportunity to take his music to other parts of Canada certainly is satisfying, if not inspiring, Proctor said the highlight of his eastern trip was the opportunity to share his Dreambuilder Show with students at Tecumsheh Public School in Burlington on Feb. 10.
At Tecumsheh, he shared his music and his advice on how to fulfill a dream by building it, he said.
“That was the highlight for me. It was a motivational presentation. I was just telling my story using my songs as a point of reference,” Proctor said. “I got swamped by kids asking for my autograph. It was great. When they ask for your autograph, you know you’ve reached them.”
It’s also a message Proctor has delivered to students at Exshaw School and it is one he wants to share more.
His advice, which applies to adults as well – especially given that Proctor didn’t achieve his dream until he was 56 years old – is that “you have to get out there. One of my comments to the kids is that you do have to work hard and you have to work smart too and have to be willing to take chances.”
He admitted that climbing on a plane bound for Toronto knowing he had five shows to do was intimidating and scary.
But, he added, dreams don’t fall out of the sky.
“You have to get after it and that’s what I am doing … and that’s wrapped up in the story of the CD. Now I am a singer songwriter.”
The response to his CD and his performances has given him, he said, a quiet confidence and he hopes through his success.
Since We Were Young Review
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'Since We Were Young' -review by Gary 17 By turns tender and tough, spirited and soulful, Since W...'Since We Were Young' -review by Gary 17
By turns tender and tough, spirited and soulful, Since We Were Young is
not just a landmark in the life of singer-songwriter Ric Proctor, it
should also serve as an inspiration for other songwriters no longer wet
behind the ears who have always wondered "what if." they'd
stuck with their music. He has revived a lifelong ambition and
demonstrated that with talent as a base and effort and determination
added to the mix, it is possible to make dreams come true.
(Just so you know, this particular singer-songwriter also happens to be
my brother, younger than me by 14 months -and I'm both
exceptionally proud of what he's produced and also quite jealous.)
At 56, Proctor is no kid, yet the eight originals here (accompanied by
two unexpectedly wonderful covers of offbeat classics) resonate with
youth and vibrancy, as well as with a more mature sensibility. Perhaps
that's so in part because some of the tunes have their origins
nearly 40 years ago when Proctor, along with countless other 60s era
youths, took up guitar and learned to play.
As with many gifted players from that era, eventually life's
survival demands, then marriage and children and a career, had a way of
shuffling the guitars off into the closets and rec rooms of busy lives.
Until, that is, that busy life was brought to a screaming halt by a
heart attack a few years ago, which led Proctor to re-evaluate what his
life was all about and revisit the questions of who he is.
"I always enjoyed music and had written some songs when I was young,
but I just never thought I was good enough to declare myself a
songwriter," he recalled in a recent conversation.
But after leaving his high-profile high-stress position as technical
director (for nearly 20 years) of the prestigious Banff Television
Festival and exchanging world travel for the simpler demands of keeping
schools clean in Canmore, Alberta, where he's lived since the 70s,
Proctor found himself, for the first time in decades, with time of his
own following his working day, and picked up the six-string again.
The time and space, and the deepening of the love between him and his
mate, Joan Voyce, allowed him to get back into the musical stream at an
unhurried, measured pace that produced a gradual increase of confidence
and evolution of songwriting skills buried but still alive beneath the
clamour of a demanding career.
"I started to think `what if' and reworked a few of the old
tunes and started to want to write again, then I played them for Joan
and she really liked them and encouraged me to play them for others.
That was the big thing. Then I went to a couple of local open stages,
where I was pretty surprised at how positive the reaction was. So I
started to think maybe I was good enough to stand up and say
`I'm a songwriter' and once I made that decision things just
started to fall into place."
Recorded over a period of several months with production veteran Paul
Baker (of BakerStreet Studios in B.C., whose other clients have included
Chilliwack and The Payolas) and a clutch of top flight studio musicians
who became excited by the material, the cd gradually took shape. What
emerged was a butterfly of a disc that ranges from Blues-Country through
Pop-Rock with an Adult Contemporary gloss, capturing the wistful,
bittersweet, yet proud quality of Ric Proctor's songs and voice.
There's plenty of Blues. "All Kinds Of Blues", "Feel No
Pain", "Sully's Song" All Day Lover" (superb Blues
harp on the latter by Oliver Conway) and his cover of "Don't Let
Me Be Misunderstood" will all find favour with even the most devoted
and discriminating fan of the genre. "All Kinds Of Blues" is a
bright, lively jump Blues ditty that's uncomplicated, fun and rock
solid. Oliver Conway adds some superb harp on "All Day Lover".
"Sully's Song" is a stirring, vivid portrait of a miner.
"Feel No Pain" is a somber, spooky, hurtin' Blues ballad.
There's also some real pretty moments on this album. The title track
and the lovely "Spotlight" are both beautiful, wry tunes that
will help keep Kleenex brand in business. Likewise, his cover of "If
I Were A Carpenter" resonates with new life and purpose as filtered
through the lens of the grandson of a carpenter who's actually lived
the song and got the answer he wanted. "So You Say" is a sweet
soulful Pop Jazz number with lovely guitar work.
The musicality and performances by veteran musicians, while never
boastful or awe-inspiring, are very satisfying and totally appropriate
to the material, showcasing rather than eclipsing it. And there are some
shining musical moments, many on piano or Hammond by Rick Hopkins and
the mandolin on the title track by Robbie Steininger, who's also the
superb guitarist and arranger of the album. Working with engineer (and
mixer/masterer) Baker, the pair have truly captured the varying aspects
and moods of this songwriter.
As Ric so ably demonstrates, for anyone with talent and drive it's
never too late to step up and step into the spotlight. Though he
hadn't done so `since we were young', he has now stridden
forth with both feet on Since We Were Young. He's living the dream
and pointing the way for others to do the same.
A Night of Music at The Union Hall
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It was a “dark night” for the Pine Tree Players on Monday at the Miners’ Union Hall. “When we ar...It was a “dark night” for the Pine Tree Players on Monday at the Miners’ Union Hall.
“When we are not playing it’s called a dark night,” Bob Snape, president of the Pine Tree Players, explained. “We had a performance last night (Sunday) and we start our run again on Wednesday, so Monday and Tuesday are dark.”
Except not on this night.
The hall was filled with laughter and music on the first night of the Pine Tree Players singer/songwriter series Monday.
Larry Whan came up with the idea of filling in the dark night with the talents of local musicians.
“There is just so much talent in this valley it’s just such a shame not to utilize this space and show people’s talents, because there are a lot of singer/songwriters that people just have never even heard of,” he said.
Donations were collected at the door as the event was a fundraiser for the recently created Pine Tree Players Education and Training Fund.
“It’s a new initiative for 2009 and this is kind of kicking it off,” Snape said. “When Larry came to me with this idea of doing this while we are doing the play, the two just meshed together perfectly.”
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“The people that are involved have been involved for a long time and we’re getting older,” Whan said with a laugh. The idea
Anybody with a keen interst to be involved in Pine Tree’s productions, Snape said, would have their learning subsidized.
Lori Reid, who was front and centre on the singer/songwriter stage said that her hopes for the night were just that people had an enjoyable night and felt good about supporting arts in the valley.
“It’s been proven that people have been inspired by the environment here and I’m no different,” she said. “Whether it’s music, or dance, or whatever your medium is, I think it’s just a very inspiring place to be.”
Reid who moved back to Canmore this year from B.C., has lived in the Bow Valley for 11 years, coming here originally in the 1990s.
“I’ve played the Union Hall many, many, many times for all sorts of different things: for women’s events, for children’s events and I’m obviously a supporter of the arts, so it was just sort of a no-brainer,” she said of her decision to get involved when Whan asked her to participate.
Proctor, a member of the Pine Tree Players for nearly 30 years, said he met Whan through “jam sessions” around town. And also did not hesitate when he was asked to take part.
“It was a great idea Larry came up with,” Proctor said.
“Quite often people join volunteer groups and they get the experience but they don’t get the opportunity to train, so this is really important,” he said. “It’s fundamental because people who want to learn about make-up or wardrobe or lighting can go to those courses.
“I’m really pleased to be a part of it. It’s great.”
Proctor, who is also the coordinator for the Art Speak festival, said that he is sure that this inaugural event will develop into the series that Whan has envisioned. “This is just the beginning of what’s in town,” he said. ““I can tell you there is just no end of talent in Canmore.”
The following original tunes and 2 covers from my CD, plus whatever other cover tunes I happen to like at the time
From my CD
SINCE WE WERE YOUNG (4:35)
ALL KINDS OF BLUES (3:55)
SULLY’S SONG (3:59)
IF I WERE A CARPENTER (3:51) -Tim Hardin
WHEN YOU ARE AWAY (3:38)
SO YOU SAY (3:43)
FEEL NO PAIN (4:22)
ALL DAY LOVER (3:14)
DON’T LET ME BE MISUNDERSTOOD (3:35)
Writers:Benjamin, Caldwell and Marcus
How Many More Summers
Cocaine Bill Blues
Why You'd Pick Me
Covers I like
Reason to Believe
She Don't Like Roses
Four Strong Winds
Stand By Me
Good Old Hockey Game
Just Like Tom Thumb Blues
Riders on the Storm
you get the idea!
There are no upcoming dates at this time.