Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)

VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Harrison Hot Springs country artist Todd Richard said his journey with “Green and Blue” has been “absolutely incredible.”

Though Richard is no longer in the running for the CBC Searchlight, he’s had a rich experience the past number of weeks as he and his tribute ballad to the frontline workers of the pandemic have been on a literal and figurative epic journey.

The CBC Searchlight contest began in spring with 2,500 artists from across Canada, including Richard. It was quickly narrowed down to 100 and then the top 10. This year marked Richard’s third year in the running for the top prize; he competed in 2014 and 2015 as well, making it as far as the semifinals.

“I knew it was a longshot because of the changes they made with the way the voting worked this year, but I’m so thankful to all our ‘Frands’ for sharing and voting day after day,” Richard told The Observer. It was still a win-win with the added exposure to our song ‘Green and Blue,” helping get it out there to more folks that needed to hear that ‘thank you.'”

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For the past 10 weeks, Richard has gone live via social media every night at 7 p.m. in various locations throughout the Lower Mainland to sing “Green and Blue.” The tribute is a nod to the 7 p.m. tradition of making noise for the shift change at hospitals as frontline workers faced down the COVID-19 pandemic.

Richard is retiring the live tributes as summer is getting busier for the musician.

“It’s been absolutely incredible going to different care homes, hospitals RCMP (detachments), fire departments and random roadsides,” he said. “I’ve met so many incredible first responders, nurses and care providers and the message from all of them was the same- thank you for acknowledging us.’ Some nights watching as nurses and care providers heard the song and broke into tears told me just how much they need to hear us all say thank you.”

Richard said some of the first responders couldn’t see their family for a year during the worst of the pandemic, only strengthening their bonds with each other and the residents and patients they cared for.

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“The coolest was doing our acknowledgment in front of Chilliwack Hospital back in early May,” Richard recalled. “Cst. Krista Vrolyk from the Chilliwack RCMP put a call out to all first responders to come at 7 p.m. to salute fellow frontline workers, and it was so awesome! Then afterwards, I was presented with a special RCMP collector Gold Coin, which I will treasure forever.”

As for the future, Richard and TR band are fielding calls for possible live shows this summer as restrictions gradually begin to lift once more. He and the band have also been in the studio, recording a new release for the summer.

“This song is a different kind of ‘true story song,'” Richard hinted. “I think our Frands are going to love this upcoming rockin’ party song!”

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Agassiz-Harrison Observer