River Street Promotions is bringing a taste of Music City to Moose Jaw.

There are still a few tickets remaining for 'A Nashville Christmas' taking place at the Mae Wilson Theatre on Dec. 8.

The concert, which is being hosted by Joel Stewart, is being put on by River Street Promotions with proceeds going to support youth mental wellness initiatives in Saskatchewan.

The event will feature five award-winning Nashville songwriters, including Emily Shackelton, Jenn Bostic, Jonny Mo, Sarah Darling, and Lindsay Ell. The artists have performed on the stages of the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, and The Bluebird Café. 

"It's going to be a few Christmas songs that they've written, probably a few classics, but then it will also be like our normal Nashville night, In The Round, Bluebird Café, the listening room type of event," explained Jared Mathieson with River Street Promotions.

The concert will be in the format of a Writers Round, which provides a more intimate listening experience for the audience.

"The thing you will see is them all collaborating on the songs together and telling the stories behind it," continued Mathieson. "I think it will be really neat in the fact that Emily and Jenn are both going to be on the grand pianos at the Mae Wilson. Jonny is going to be on the violin and the guitar for when he does some of his own stuff and then you're going to have Sarah and Lindsay on guitar. Lindsay's probably the best guitarist in Canada for country music. She's unbelievable."

Ell says that Moose Jaw is near and dear to her heart. Her parents were born in Regina and she lived in Calgary growing up and always remembered stopping in Moose Jaw during her cross-country travels. She shared her fondness for the 'In The Round' music format.

"They're really commonplace where I live in Nashville," she said. "It's sort of where you go around in a circle and you hear stories and you hear really where a song came from and how it came to be. I remember one of the first times coming down to Nashville, I would specifically go out and see writers In The Rounds because you just get to learn so much more about the music."

River Street Promotions is hoping to follow up on the success of the Homestand '23 concert held Sept. 9 which raised $130,000 for youth mental wellness initiatives in Prairie South School Division and Holy Trinity Catholic School Division. An additional $20,000 was donated to Ross Wells Park to help fund improvements to the ballpark.

"Like Homestand, this is a community event and the reason why Emily asked all our friends to come is because when she comes here she says it feels like home. Whether it's the restaurants, the hotels, the people on the street. We have quite the awesome little community, and awesome little downtown," noted Mathieson. "River Street Promotions is all about the community and helping youth. We're doing our best."

In addition to being one of country music's most celebrated female voices, Ell is also the TV host of Canada's Got Talent. She says the focus on mental health is something she's 100 per cent behind.

"I think that having an openness and bringing it to the forefront and just making everybody feel comfortable to talk about things is always the first step," added Ell. "When it's normalized we can talk about our feelings and it can be considered cool in terms of your friends group or it can be considered okay in everyday life. I love that it's becoming more normalized and more commonplace. Anything that I can play in terms of raising money or raising awareness for mental health, I will always be there."

On Dec. 7 there will be a couple of private shows for local and rural high schools that will focus on mental wellness and chasing the dream.

There will also be a fundraising auction at the show on Dec. 8 featuring items from the Chicago Blackhawks, a signed Austin Matthews jersey, and plenty of memorabilia from the artists.

"You can be ready for such a good night of music, you definitely want to grab your ticket and come down and hang out with us," concluded Ell. "Not only will you be helping raise money for such an important cause, but you're going to be able to hear some stories that you will not hear anywhere else. You just never know what's going to happen in the middle of a Writers Round. You know so many things just happen off the cuff and with all of us songwriters and musicians on stage, it just is going to be a one night only that you're not going to want to miss."

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Mae Wilson Theatre on Dec. 8 with the show starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for 'A Nashville Christmas' can be purchased at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre box office or by CLICKING HERE

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