Eddie deSouza Moves to Quesnel
When Touring, 1989 in a Duo Called “Eddie & Julia” I noticed the prices of houses in Quesnel was at least
30% below the rest of the province of BC. This along with central location, we could get to Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Calgary,
Fort St John, Edmonton, the Okanogan & the Kootenays all within a 500 mile radius, I decided to buy a house here. After
looking at 10 houses the only one that was offering Vender Financing was a diamond in the rough & the present location
of the Cool Cat Recording Studio. ( It Still Is a Diamond In the Rough! )
In June of 1990
I moved to Quesnel & took possession of my house, while doing the very last performance with Julia Bambrough at the Billy
Barker Hotel. Julia did not share my vision of making a home here & decided to stay in Vancouver where she has done
well for herself, with a full time job in the respite industry as well as continuing to play and sing.
It was a challenge going from a full sounding Duo to a Solo act but the work was there so I continued touring Alberta &
BC . In the Summer of ’91 I had a 8 week whole in my touring dates & decided to head up to the Yukon, on my Wild
& Crazy tour, Managed to land a gig in Fort Nelson at Trappers for two week & I was half way to White Horse.
Anna Mea at the Capitol Hotel gave me an audition although she was booked till October. She gave me the booking in October
& suggested that I take the Stuart/ Cassia HWY back & see some more of the Wild West.
On the drive I stopped at the Glacier Inn in Hyder Alaska &
Big Jim Hired me for the 5 weeks, playing for the late crowd that came over from Stuart because of the laws that pubs could
stay open till 4 am. I also did a Matinée on Sundays for the Children who were allowed into the pub for the show.
This is where I wrote my first two Children’s songs. Then my tour of BC & Alberta continued.
Lethbridge, Mackenzie, Prince Rupert, Spirit River, Napa, White Court, Golden, Pentiction, Prince George,
Williams Lake, 100 mile, Lilloett, Dawson Creek, Beaver Lodge, High Level, Huston, Smithers & Quesnel are
a few of the Towns & Cities that I got to play in.
for a Month at the Capital in White Horse I needed a break so headed home to Quesnel. I was asked to play for the CDC telethon
in 91 & while looking for props came across a wig… which turned me into Eddie Spaghetti & I created
a musical review and 13 characters & performed for at least 15 years. With 4 CD releases.
Also in 91 I wrote a song called “Steal the Thunder” which lead to touring BC doing multicultural workshops
with the BCTF. The song was later adopted as the Multicultural Theme song of the Quesnel Multicultural Society and
adopted as one of the official Canada Day Celebration songs by the Kiwanis Club in 93.
In 1992 I was asked by the Dene Voyageur Heritage Society to write
a song for the Voyageur Festival to be held July 1 1993. I wrote the song called “The Alexander Mackenzie Bicentennial
Voyageur Festival Song” which featured Frank Garden for the Europeian, our MLA at the time, Bob Pinchbeck
sang for the natives & Victor Cronley as the voice for the young Canadians. They were joined by a choir of the
best Men Singers in Quesnel as well as the Correlieu
Secondary School choir and Vicki Nelsons class from Baker Elementary School for a total of over 70 people lending their voice.
On Lebourdais stage we had over 100 people singing for a crowd of 5,000.
Roy Carson the Musical Director at Correlieu
Secondary School asked me to write a song for his choir. I asked the Youth two Questions, and wrote “We have a Dream
to Share With You” from their responses. Roy & I had a lot of fun working together & he asked me
to join him on a project he was working on, a tribute to the Cariboo called the Skedaddlers. We worked on recording
about 11 songs, 7 from the gold rush era, three of mine & one of his original songs.
In ’92 I wrote a song for safe streets called “Take Back The Night” and performed it an many TBTN rally’s
and in ’95 I played it at Roxanne Thiara’s funeral. The same night I was on stage at the Legion in Quesnel
& my Duo partner got called to the Hospital, his mom had passed away. That night is when I decided to not play in bars
anymore, so while honoring any work we had, I did not book any more bar gigs, Choosing to focus on building a better world
with songs like “Set Them Free” ( Amnesty International ) “Be Smoke Free” ( Cancer Society)
The Lions Lead the Way ( Quesnel Lions Club) “Fly on Your Own” (Quesnel Elks Club) “Walk For
Peace & Back to The Family” for world peace.
1996 was the
year that “The Billy Barker Days Festival Song” was written and recorded with the top musicians in Quesnel and
an adult Choir joined by Mrs. Sison’s grade 3 class.
We Forget” was recorded on November 11 after the performance at the Legion. Bill Higgens Thought it would make
a good Bag Pipe tune & he wrote an arrangement and together with Al Piette we re-recorded the song in 1998.
2000 a song called Asking
Questions was written & I asked people from 9 different cultures to translate “How Can We Fill the World With Love?”
into their languages. We Recorded it on September 8 2001.
Eddie deSouza Moves to Quesnel page 2
2000 I was asked to work with the Youth of Nazko & Started the “School of Joy & Self Esteem with Music,
Games & Sports” We did Karaoke, had health seminars & toured the Police Station, as well as lots of Pot luck
Dinners, concerts & learned lots together. This is when I wrote “Nazko Valley Carrier” “Be
Proud of Who You Are” & “Mirror Man” to name a few. Aboriginal Education in Quesnel has
been using “Nazko Valley Carrier” for the past 10 years in their teaching Carrier courses.
After 9 11 I took a break from writing for a while but in 2003 wrote “Quesnel My Home” just before going
on the road with Bobby Cole doing a variety act around the province of BC. Stopping in Quesnel long enough to help
with the Tsunami relief dinner which raised over $3,000 for the Salvation Army.
In 2006 I was hired to teach music to the Takla Youth at the Nuswadeezulh Community School in Takla Landing. I was also
asked to teach the youth about the value of water & what Kemmes mines wanted to do to Dunkley Lake ( Turn it into a
tailings dump ) I wrote a song Called “Water” & got the Youth to help sing it. Before we could finish the
recording the school year ended & fate would have it that the new band government chose not to renew my teachers contract.
2008-09 I was working at Quesnel Music, while making a living the amount of students left very little for creative work.
In the Fall of 2009 I started a show on Shaw Cable called “Be a Cool Cat” which Steve at Shaw said he got
a lot of good comments about & he asked me to do some more, in November 2009 I Created “You’re the
Star!” which as of November 13, 2011 we have done 48 Episodes featuring local and passing through Songwriters &
Musicians. We released a DVD release called “The Best Of You’re The Star!” & we have
started an internet on demand TV Station called Quesnel Community Access TV.
2011 I became
a director for the west side business association & signed on for my second term as director in 2012,
2011 I also took on the role of Entertainment coordinator for our Canada day Celebrations in partnership with the City of
Quesnel, & raised funds to pay the musicians & sound system. I am hoping to do the same in 2012.
Future plans? While attending
a revitalization of the gold rush trail seminar hosted by The Cariboo Chilcoltin Coast Tourism Tourism Association
& the Quesnel Chamber of Commerce, I got inspired to create a Musical Review, focusing on the History of
Quesnel From the Past to the Present. We will need lots of musicians & lots of Dancing Girls!
Get as many groups as possible on YTS! Encourage our Youth & Local Bands to write songs, or find songwriters
who can write songs for their groups.
Continue to work on getting local media for local musicians.