Friday, October 9, 2009


Newell Overture Association was formed in 1974 to provide a variety of cultural entertainment not normally available in the community. The Overture Society out of British Columbia and under the leadership of George Zukerman presented the idea of forming a concert series to a meeting of 50 people in Brooks. The first series offered four concerts to a membership of approximately 250 people.
The local society was affiliated with Zukerman's organization and booked all their concerts with him annually. The first Showcase attended was in Edmonton in 1976 and from this several concerts other than classical were booked.
The concert series was held in the Brooks Composite High School gymnasium until 1982 when a theatre with fixed seating as well as sound and light, was made available. Newell Concert Association worked tirelessly to encourage the inclusion of this theatre in the new school.

The original board consisted of : President : Albert Zagorsky
VPresident: Wally Friesen
Secretary: Evelyn Ellerman
Treasurer: Keith Boquist
Directors: Doris Cairns, Doug Ingram, Bob and Helen Baxter. Dennis Petersen, Joan Lester, Helen Kraus, Wes Hutton

There was representation on the board from the town of Brooks as well as surrounding area.
One of the first priorities of the board after finding a home for the series in the new theatre in Griffin Park School was to purchase a grand piano in 1983 for $13,000.
Throughout the years the concert series continues to thrive and has been successful in acquiring an annual grant from the Alberta Arts Foundation . This funding along with ticket sales has enabled the organization to present an average of nine concerts per season, offering a wide variety of entertainment ranging from comedy to classical.