These days, Pat Buckna is spending most of his time at his new recording studio on Texada Island. The musician and his partner Sherry McKnight moved to Powell River in 2010 from the Lower Mainland and began the search for a perfect studio space.
“We have a home in Powell River, but it’s too noisy for recording,” said Buckna.
While performing at Texada Island Blues and Roots Festival a few years ago, Buckna and McKnight discovered a log home in Van Anda that offered an idyllic setting.
“It’s right on a rocky cliff in the middle of the forest,” he said.
Best of all, it is quiet, he added.
“It’s just the ravens, the birds and me, so it’s quite nice.”
Buckna is currently renovating the property and recently bought a wood floor, one of many auction items made available by Town Centre Hotel and sold by the Rotary Club of Powell River at a fundraising event last month.
“It was a parquet dance floor and I couldn’t pass up the bargain,” he said.
After spending 27 years in the Lower Mainland and Yellowknife, NWT, prior to that, Buckna worked as a travelling musician, composer and founded a record label. He and McKnight were managers at the NWT Pavilion at Expo 86. He was artistic director of the Folk on Rocks Festival in Yellowknife, president of the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, and represented the NWT and Yukon as a member of the Canada Council Touring Advisory Board.
After Expo, Buckna quit performing and pursued a career in IT and project management. He spent several years teaching computer and project management courses to students at UBC Robson Square and still teaches online project management courses to students throughout North America.
Since moving to Powell River, Buckna has been active in the music community and brought award-winning musicians to town for concerts at Cranberry Hall. He recently retired as president of the hall, but continues to organize concerts and performs from time to time.
For the past seven years the couple have opened their home to host house concerts through an organization called Home Routes.
“Performers receive 100 per cent of the proceeds and we supply a bed and a meal,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everyone, particularly these days when it’s so difficult to make a living as a musician.”
This year the couple included Texada Island in the Home Routes circuit and recently had a sellout at Mary Mary Cafe in Van Anda with the group Silk Road.
“I’m thrilled to see this level of support already on Texada. Our Powell River shows are well established and we’ve been selling out now for several years.”
Now with the studio in the woods, Buckna said he is focusing on supporting artists who want to record.
“It’s an informal environment, equipped with state-of-the-art digital equipment, the perfect place to record a demo or a full commercial release.”