Canyon Lake Fine Arts Guild begins 18th season


The Canyon Lake Fine Arts Guild begins its 18th year of service. Selling out each event over the past two years and sponsoring another free summer concert at Holiday Harbor, the Fine Arts Guild is preparing for an even more exciting year.

The Fine Arts Guild traces its beginnings to January 2001 when the Canyon Lake Woman’s Club sponsored an event to raise money for a baby grand piano. The audience, dressed in gowns, jewelry, furs and tuxedos, enjoyed classical music performed by the Inland Valley Symphony. Club President Mavis Schaffner was so inspired that she proposed the formalization of the Fine Arts Guild. Since then, offerings have evolved from classical and opera to Broadway, jazz, swing, country and rock.

The Fine Arts Guild is driven by a team of volunteers. Originally, there were Mavis and Marlo Schaffner, Art Zasio, Ken and Dorothy Cable, Audrey Barrows, Shirley Beauttas and Carol Vaughn. Since then, dozens have contributed their creative talents to its program. This year’s Board of Directors are Ron Martel, Dee Zasio, Sue Bonner, Bert Barbay, Orlando Lopez, Bonnie Dubbs, Corrie Tutt and Larry Garland.

With changing demographics, music styles change and the Fine Arts Guild has evolved accordingly. The 2018 season will include tribute bands for the following performers: Billy Joel (Mar. 3), Bee Gees (May 19), Chicago (Aug. 25), and Rod Stewart (Nov. 3). This year’s free summer concert on July 21 at Holiday Harbor will feature a tribute to Jimmy Buffet.

The Fine Arts Guild’s next annual musical survey will be taken at the Billy Joel Tribute Concert on Mar. 3. The Fine Arts Guild depends on this input in selecting its program. President Ron Martel said, “People come to our events for memorable music they know and love. They just want to have some fun for the evening, so we treat them as our very special guests.”

The Fine Arts Guild offers each event for the same low price of $25 for General Admission tickets and $45 for VIP Reserved seating. Although the events routinely sell out, Treasurer Dee Zasio insists that prices will remain the same.

Membership in the Fine Arts Guild is not required to attend its events. However, membership allows access to events for discounted prices, preferred seating and hosted pre-concert receptions that include complimentary appetizers and adult beverages. According to Membership Director Sue Bonner, the Fine Arts Guild membership has increased over 50 percent in the past two years.

The Fine Arts Guild searches the nation for the most talented tribute performers. Tribute bands look and sound like the originals did in their prime. By creating this magical “time machine,” local audiences can relive their youth in their own backyard for a fraction of the price of the original chartbusters, of which many are long past their prime, or not together anymore. “These bands are playing the music of our lives and are a lot of fun to sing along with,” said Operations Director Bert Barbay.

“The Fine Arts Guild thanks Canyon Lake for the opportunity to provide quality music at a fair price,” said Ron. “Canyon Lake is fortunate to have so many options for live music in the community.”

For more information about the Fine Arts Guild or to purchase concert tickets, visit General Admission tickets can be purchased at the POA office.