Amidst the arrival of the dreaded spring melt, a collective sigh of relief was felt across the city as dry conditions remained and the iconic JUNO Awards made their way into town. This major event in our city’s history would not only help bring such notable stars such as Michael Buble, K.D. Lang and Tom Cochrane to Regina’s mighty shores - it would also help cast a shining light on an already vibrant and outstanding music scene! With the media frenzy in full swing, it was the fine folks of CBC Music who turned the camera away from these mega stars and placed it directly on the talent in our backyards by referring to Regina as ‘Canada’s Next Music Capital’. Sure, we’re very proud of the fact that Colin James just came back to (his hometown of Regina) to say good-bye and that 80s heavy metal band Kick Axe would have never done the heavy metal shuffle had it not been for the Queen City.  We’re probably even more proud that we still have JUNO Award winners Jason Plumb, Jack Semple and Stacey Hoskins calling Regina home to this day, and that the Regina Symphony Orchestra is Canada’s longest continuously performing Orchestra. But it was this single CBC Music story that would help give the extremely talented musicians on the other side of the album, the B-side their due. Musicians who have made waves and achieved success here at home (and abroad) yet still work hard every day towards finding themselves with a reserved seat next to Serena Ryder before making their acceptance speech. In the next few blog posts, I’d love to showcase a few of these artists and let you know why they’re so integral to the success and growth of our local music industry. For today, let’s place the focus on just one ... Ryan Hicks Ryan Hicks 2 A proud father and definitive staple in the Regina music scene, Ryan Hicks seems to have done it all. A vocalist, bassist,occasional harmonica player and self proclaimed Beatle-maniac for over 15 years, Ryan Hicks has been a member of popular Celtic band Squeeze of Scotch since 2005 and was a founding member of Fab Four cover band The Nowhere Men and 60s-70s inspired cover band Leland. In 2010, he wrote, directed and scored a hit ’60s folk revue, The Times They Are A-Changing for the Regina Lyric Theatre and is currently a well-respected high school music teacher, member of cover band Sundog and released his roots pop debut album, Prairie Ocean in 2014 to critical acclaim. A concept album telling the tale of growing up in California and Regina, Prairie Ocean is a wonderful collection of heartfelt melodies and memorable harmonies paying tribute to surf rock and Canadiana. A love letter to California and Regina, it provides the perfect soundtrack to a sunny Saskatchewan day or a relaxing afternoon at Newport Beach. Ryan Hicks cover art Further showcasing Ryan’s creativity and commitment to his family, local videographer Brian Ganong made a powerfully touching video for his song, “Every Step”. The birth of this video would also spark an idea to have every single song on the album receive its own video, along with the creation of a special edition DVD filmed on location at the sold-out album release show at culturally historic venue, The Artesian last July. With a city featuring over 250 bands and musicians covering almost every genre imaginable, there has never been a time when our music scene was more vibrant and we have citizens such as Ryan Hicks to thank for this success. Countless live shows across Regina at several well established venues (every night!) and the continued success of musicians and their music here at home are strong indicators that Regina always has and always will continue to be ‘Canada’s Music Capital’!