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Castlegar family reunion event to raise money for musicians

Former resident Gab Padilla hopes to see friends and family at benefit concert

Many families just hope everyone will get along during family reunions. A Castlegar family plans to do some good as they get together for the first time in years.

The Fortin-Padilla family — who have members in Quebec and in Castlegar — plan to use the occasion to hold a benefit concert to raise money for a local studio — while helping one of the family members, Gab Padilla, launch his career.

“We’re a musical family, so we thought why not give something to the community, and also try to see everybody at the same time,” says Gab’s mother Chantal Fortin. “We turned it into a celebration instead of going to coffee with one person, and lunch with another, etc.

“[Gab] spent his teenage years here learning about music because he had a lot of free time. Now he wants to do a benefit to give back to the community.”

Both Fortin and Gab moved back to Quebec a few years ago, after a decade or so in Castlegar.

She comes back regularly to see children and grandkids. But while Gab spent his teenage years here, he hasn’t been back since.

“I am excited to see the mountains,” says Padilla. “I grew up partially in Castlegar, have a love for nature, and am really looking forward to that, and maybe get a few lines of skiing in.”

But there’s going to be more to his trip than that.

At this stage in his career, getting a recording made is an important step for his musical development, says Padilla. It will allow him to present his work to music festivals organizers and other promoters. But that costs money.

“I like to do stuff where ever I go,” Padilla said in a phone interview from Montreal. “But I really didn’t want to do a show just to fund my own project. So I decided off the bat to donate half the proceeds to Supercat Studios.”

So he’s going to hold a benefit concert at Tailout Brewing (next to the Shell gas station on Columbia, off 8th Avenue). The money he raises will help him buy studio time for his first recordings, as well as raise money for the Supercat Studio.

Padilla says the Kootenays helped him start a career in music, and it feels good to be giving back.

“Having been a youth in Castlegar, I surely enjoyed my music lessons, which landed me a career down the road,” he says. “So this came about sort of naturally.”

Fortin, his mom, agrees Supercat Studios is a worthy recipient of support.

“I know [the owner] has been doing benefit concerts for the food bank, he’s a good guy, and he does a lot good work in the community and certainly a lot of good work teaching music to kids,” she says. “So we want to support his efforts in the community.”

Padilla will be joined on backup by some of his former college instructors, and the show will also feature performances by Blackout Summer and Reiss Zibin.

The show will be held Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. It’s a family-friendly, all-ages event.