This year’s Pemberton WinterFest celebrations includes the unveiling of the new festival anthem This is Pemberton penned by Pembertonian d’Ale Lachance.
“I think the best thing about Pemberton is the people,” Lachance said. “We have such a diverse crowd of people who are outgoing and friendly. It’s small town attitude with a country feel.”
Lachance, along with his band The Coolers and the boisterous voices of the Pembertunes, will share this community spirit song at Artfollies Unlimited at the Pemberton Legion as part of the 2008 Pemberton WinterFest.
Lachance’s song pays tribute to Pemberton’s strawberry fields, mountains and rivers, encouraging people to saddle up to a horse ride, para glide and cast a fishing reel. But of course, he argues, winter’s best.
“For when the snow hits, we have WinterFest where you can watch the sun crawl across the sky in a valley whose beauty will never die,” he wrote.
The song turns to the past when Governor James Douglas decided to build a mining camp on the north end of Lillooet Lake in 1858.
“And it was here that Port Pemberton would first make its stake,” he wrote.
Lachance recorded the new song with the Pemberton children’s choir, headed by Helen Pierce, earlier this year at St. David’s United Church in Pemberton. The track will be included in an album set for release early this summer.
“You hear the youthfulness in the children’s voices which really gives (the song) lots of characteristic,” Lachance said.
Lachance has been strumming in the Sea to Sky for more than a decade. Some might best remember his country rock at the famous Pemberton Barn Dance over the past two years, while others may remember his early incarnation as a member of the former acoustic trio Big Root. He fronts the Pemberton-based D’Ale and The Coolers band made up of guitarist Terry Anderson, bassist Rob Neilson, drummer Steve Ouellet and percussionist Richard Doucet.
Pemberton has always weaved its way into Lachance’s sets with songs such as Dirt on My Carrot paying tribute to Pemberton farms and Roll on Lillooet River, which shares the river’s stories found around each bend.
“There is no place like it,” he said.
As the anthem heralds, like so many others, Lachance’s now ten-year relationship with Pemberton began with a visit.
“Wherever you’re from come be received. This is Pemberton and we do believe that wherever you’re from stop any day. This is Pemberton and we bet you’ll stay.”
For more information on other Pemberton WinterFest events, visit pembertonwinterfest.com.