Cianna Pawluk/Smithers Interior News
This year, two-time Juno award winner Oscar Lopez makes his second appearance at the Midsummer Music Festival.
Originally from Chile, Lopez came to Canada in 1979 and is now a Canadian citizen.
“It was a very strong wind that brought the plane this way” he joked about why he emigrated from Chile.
Lopez, 59, has been playing music since he was nine years old.
“I’m very lucky to have this gift, this tool of communication,” he said.
“Playing music all over the world has been fantastic.”
Music has always come very naturally to Lopez who comes from a musical family, with his father playing the accordion and his mother and sisters all playing the guitar.
While he was young they often played music together at home and at church.
“I always think I was chosen to be a guitarist, I didn’t choose to be a guitar player or a musician” Lopez said.
Lopez recalls his first performance, in fourth or fifth grade, when he played his violin in front of all the students in his school.
“It was scary because it was all my friends watching me play the violin,” he said.
Lopez said he found it hard at first to follow his dream especially because it didn’t pay well to be a musician.
Initially he couldn’t play music full time, only part time with some recording.
In 1973 Lopez recorded his first album with five other musicians.
Although the album, he described as kind of metal rock, did well on the radio, the band didn’t play any concerts.
It wasn’t until Lopez came to Canada that he began performing regularly and was able to play music full time.
“Canada gave me the opportunity to do what I love to do and what I was born to do,” Lopez said.
He claims to represent Chile, his roots and Canada, his home, when performing around the world.
“I call myself a Chilean-Canadian,” Lopez explained.
When asked if he had a favourite song to play, Lopez said he loves music in general and professes not to have a favourite song to play.
“It’s like if you have children, you can’t have a favourite, you love them all so much,” he said.
“Every song gives me an incredible satisfaction.”
Lopez said he had a tremendous time the last time he played at the Midsummer Music Festival, but admits he hopes the rain and humongous mosquitoes stay away.
Nonetheless, Lopez described an outdoor concert as being something so much more casual and personal.
“I can tell you this time is going to be an even better time,” Lopez said of this year’s appearance at the Midsummer Music Festival.
“We’re living our lives with so much stuff going on, wars, fighting, crimes and killing and negative actions from every corner,” he said.
“But a few days in a beautiful festival will make you forget the news and will make you concentrate on something so amazingly clear and that’s music.
“It will cleanse your soul and make you believe again in human beings.”
The Midsummer Music Festival runs from July 5 – 7. Tickets and passes are available at Mountain Eagle Books.