After hearing his grandfather playing the box-shaped, bellowed instrument, Scott Heatcoat fell in love with the accordion at five years of age. Scott often travelled to polka fests with his grandfather, Edgar Heatcoat. Through his grandfather, the young musician met the American polka legend, Frankie Yankovic at a polka fest. Heatcoat also played with Walter Ostanek – Canada’s Polka King from St. Catharines Ontario.
At home, Heatcoat didn’t listen to pop, metal or hip-hop. “Modern music never captured my attention, but I see the craft,” Heatcoat acknowledged.
This summer, the musician who grew up near Wood Mountain on Pickthall Road, travelled throughout Saskatchewan and performed at various festivals and other venues, where he played the accordion with his band.
Heatcoat performed twice this year at the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park on July 20 and August 22. “It was a neat gig, playing at the park,” Heatcoat said. The performance in Cypress Hills on August 22 was described by the Park as a mix of accordion, guitar and a side of comedy.
The musician’s favourite overall venue is the Berry Jam Festival at Bouvier’s Berry Basket – a regular event happening on the well-known berry farm near Kincaid in early July. “That’s one festival I never hope to miss. The people who help organize it are like a family.” Heatcoat also showcased his accordion talents at Concerts in the Park in Moose Jaw on August 7. The concert was a fundraiser for the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital. This year, the Concerts in the Park organization were raising money for a new digital mammography unit to aid in early detection of breast cancer.
Heatcoat revels in playing the accordion, which he defines as “joyful, therapeutic music.” In particular, the musician likes to click with the younger members of his audience whenever he performs. “I like seeing children connect with accordion music. Children have this natural movement with polka – it makes children dance.”
Aside from playing the accordion, Heatcoat always looks forward to planning another European journey. He often travels throughout the Continent, sometimes going on Catholic pilgrimages. “I try to get to Europe every two years. I’ve got friends over there and some amazing contacts in France, Germany and Italy. I’ve pretty much travelled all of Europe.”