Central Alberta will have some very talented shoes to fill after rock pianist Curtis Labelle announced that he and his husband Jared will be moving to Ontario in June.

When asked why the move? Labelle says its for a couple reasons:

“Red Deer has been our home and we absolutely love it. It's been our safe place and the community's been super supportive and I've been a part of it. I have connected with family I've never met in 40 years on the eastern part of Canada that has just embraced us with open arms” 

The other factor is making a career move to an area that may be more open to a rock pianist genre of performer. 

“It’s been quite a challenge to put myself out there and get noticed. Being in a country, folk and pop area of Canada has been a bit of a challenge pushing the boulder up a hill and getting to a point where I want someone to notice me as an artist. I’m going to continue as an independent artist, pushing myself forward and making sure that I create my outcome rather than follow it.” 

As a performer and music teacher in Central Alberta, Labelle has also made a name for himself as an ambassador and spokesperson for Central Alberta Pride. He talks about how things have changed in Central Alberta for the community. 

“Last year I did a 2 1/2-month tour across Canada called the High On Pride Tour which had a lot of weight to it and different ideas of pride and what is it as an artist, as a proud gay man, for Central Alberta and for the community. It’s been a real eye opener that we've come a long way, but we still have a long way to go with inclusion and education.” 

Labelle talked about support from the community. “As an ambassador for the PRIDE community and for the City of Red Deer, which I've received from the Honourable Mayor Ken Johnson here, it has really made a difference for me to know that I've been making a difference and will continue to do that.” 

You will have one more chance to check out Curtis Labelle performing as he is planning a Farewell Solo concert on March 18th at the Baymont Inn and Suites. Labelle says it will be a show like no other. 

“It is going to be an intimate experience where the audience will feel like they are the only person. Each individual will feel like they're the only person having this moment with me, and I'm really looking forward to it.” 

You can purchase your tickets for the March 18th show here.