June 22nd, 2024

Local promoter Ron Sakamoto honoured with dedication wall

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 9, 2022.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke Ron Sakamoto points out the timeline on a new mural marking highlights from when he launched his company Gold and Gold Productions, during an unveiling ceremony Tuesday at the Enmax Centre.

When it comes to promoting and securing a rockin’ concert for Lethbridge at the Enmax Centre there is one name you should know, and that’s Ron Sakamoto.

Founder of the Sakamoto Agency, Sakamoto has become a staple advocate for bringing the best and brightest to this city for all to enjoy. Inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014, his love for Canadian artists has earned him the spotlight for all his work.

Adding to that spotlight, the City of Lethbridge and Enmax Centre honoured Sakamoto on Monday evening, unveiling a new dedication wall. Sak’s Honourary Wall is located in the west lower level at the Centre, highlighting the impact of Sakamoto with his history and the contributions he has made to the community locally, nationally, and internationally.

Accomplishments were highlighted from his early days in 1964, when he opened his first nightclub in the city, Honeycomb A Go Go, through to 2019 when he became a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.

“Normally you would have it upstairs,” said Kim Gallucci, general manager for the Enmax Centre, commenting on the placement of the dedication wall. “But this is (Sakamoto’s) home, where all events start. This is where the stars come, this is where the promoters are, they all work here. Everything goes out onto the stage from here. So we spent around six to eight months developing and making it happen.”

Surprised and overwhelmed with joy, Sakamoto was happy to see the mural.

“Nobody told me anything. I got a letter from the mayor saying they were doing a presentation,” said Sakamoto. “It is almost my life story, I can’t believe this. I am so proud of being here building my company from across Canada, and building it to be one the biggest independent companies.”

With over 50 years in his career, Sakamoto has a love for Lethbridge that wants to see the city grow and thrive, bringing talented artists here for all to see.

“Fortunately for me I had a lot of great people that work with me and helped me build a strong foundation,” said Sakamoto. “I wake up every day so blessed to have a lot of artists that come to Lethbridge. Tomorrow (Nov. 8) we are going to have a sold-out show with Bryan Adams, and then in March we will have one of the biggest country bands in the world coming here, Old Dominion.”

Not just a promoter, but a supporter for all things happening in Lethbridge, everyone that passes through that hallway will know Sakamoto’s name.

“He is an innovator, a leader, a community person,” said Gallucci. “He is extremely well known throughout North America and the world in the concert music industry, and he is right down the street. We find him to be a mentor, and we appreciate having him here all the time.”

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