Long-standing Weyburn Concert Series member Lynn Kot recently retired from the group. Having volunteered for 46 years, Lynn shared ample memories of the beloved group and how it has evolved over time.
Lynn explained part of the pride of belonging to the Concert Series was bringing Weyburn audiences, high-quality performers, at affordable prices. She made a particular note of John Denver’s performance, where ticket prices in Weyburn were $80 cheaper compared to a competing venue in Regina.
While providing concertgoers with significant price drops at the box office is a cause for celebration, Lynn also celebrated the Cugnet Centre for helping Weyburn to host higher-quality shows.
“It really makes a big difference being able to be elevated so that we all aren’t sitting on the floor like we used to when we were in the school cafetorium,” said Lynn. “The sound is so much better; the stage is bigger, the pianist from the other night wanted to fold up the piano and take it home, he said he couldn’t believe he was going to play a Steinway in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, and that’s part of the legacy of Isabelle Butters and her family.”
Before the Weyburn Concert Series was born, Lynn was part of a woman's group called Beta Sigma Phi whose mandate was to enrich the community. What we know now as the Concert Series was once called Overture. The members of the Overture group sent out a plea to the community for volunteers to take over and manage the organization; because Overture fit with Beta Sigma Phi’s community enrichment mandate, the women embraced the challenge.
“Overture is classical, and you had to buy season tickets before the season or you didn’t go to any of the performances and they didn’t sell at the door which we thought was a drawback,” explained Lynn. “The Beta Sigma Phi girls volunteered for a very long period of time, we’re getting older and some of the girls felt like they wanted to move on to some other things, so I started looking at people in the community that might be interested in continuing with Weyburn Concert series. Linda Aitken was the first one and then Judy Van Betuw, just really good people who have lots of energy, it worked really well.”
Through her 46 years of service, Lynn made many memories, we asked her to share some of her fondest memories.
“The concert that meant the most to me was the Vienna Boys Choir. I had been listening to them since I was 10 years old, they came and did one of the first performances in the Cugnet Centre and the 20 little boys did it acapella, to me they were fabulous,” Lynn continued, “I was at a Canadian Tenor performance in Moose Jaw, and they mentioned that they got their start in Weyburn.”
While Lynn is saying farewell to her duties with Weyburn Concert Series, she will not be saying goodbye to the performances as she still plans to attend the shows.
We asked Lynn what she was going to miss most, and while she couldn’t point to one thing, she did emphasize she is going to miss all the connections and relationships she’s made throughout the years.