More and more focus on the local music scene developed through hosting events, live sound gigs, and shows with my own bands, The Dirt and Relics Jetboat. After streaming a Barney Bentall live to air show for the kick-off of Chilliwack’s new radio station 89.5 The Hawk, a new partnership was created. Tractorgrease hosted and organized the Music 101 program for emerging artists. Thanks to funding and support from the radio station, over 100 musicians attended over 8 years of the program. Guest appearances from The Odds, 5440, John Bottomley, Steve Dawson, members of Mother Mother, Said the Whale, We are the City happened on that stage. They mentored the local artists and discussed the ins and outs of the music business. We had some sweet local talent kickin’ around and I always felt proud showing them off. Kyle Schick and his band The Stirs, Harma White, Quinn Patterson, Nick Colebrook, These Kids Wear Crowns, Rags to Radio (Little Wild), Tri 5, Doja to name a few.
I learned so much from that experience. It went from my basement to a tour of Canada and a new outlook on life. I was packing up my van and filming/recording shows in Vancouver regularly. The 5440 show at the Commodore in 2005 led to a DVD release and another feather in my cap. I started to receive lots of interest in capturing shows. While working on the documentary "The Grand Cariboo Opry" with Barney Bentall, I fell in love with the Ashcroft Operahouse. What could I do with a venue like this? It got creative juices flowing that I did not know existed. I decided to sell my house and invest in my new career. While editing the project with Barney, a call came in with an offer on my house. The stipulation? "We want the house in 3 weeks". Barney looked at me and said, “You can move into my ranch house in the Cariboo?”. And just like that, it was a done deal
I now had some freedom to pursue my artistic endeavors. After a few months of finishing projects, I decided to build a studio with a stage and lighting like a venue. The idea was to film, record, and live stream shows. This new streaming technology was the future, and I was on top of it! It was January 2008 when myself and fellow Great Creators Jim “Shaggy” Erickson, Jason Kleiss, and Tim Croiter started building the studio on Alexander Ave in Chilliwack. I recorded and filmed so many amazing acts there: Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie & Rodeo Kings), Mother Mother, The Deep Dark Woods, Jim Byrnes, The Sojourners, and many more. The streaming idea was too soon, the technology was too new, no one watched the streams but lots of great shows were hosted at the studio. But more importantly it was providing me with a footpath for what was to come.