Typically Jordan Janzen leads the Christian band The Color but this week he's the front man of JJ and the Ringers, singing country music in the Northwest Territories with the Billy Graham Association.
"We've been working together with the Billy Graham Association (BGA) since 2015," says Janzen. "They try to connect with communities that don't have as many people coming through and therefore not as many opportunities to experience live music and events like this celebration."
This week Janzen and the band are playing in front of audiences in Fort Chipewyan in northern Alberta, as well as Fort Smith and Hay River, in the Northwest Territories. In December BGA will be throwing an event in the same locations with George Canyon and Brooke Nicholls.
"They wanted us to provide something that would feel familiar. A lot of people up north here listen to country music, that's the radio stations they get. It's been pretty cool."
JJ and the Ringers perform country cover songs from the early 2000s, including from artists such as Tim McGraw and Keith Urban.
"There was no grass in Yellowknife, when we play golf, on the fairways, it's all sandy. Here in Hay River, it's a lot more lush and beautiful. We said a few times if you placed us in these areas, you could convince us we're in the Interlake or Whiteshell. We run into a lot of wild buffalo. It's an incredible, unique experience with many friendly people."
Many of the locations are fly-in communities throughout the year, except in the winter there are ice roads people drive on to get there.
"The home church here has set up bouncy castles, they've set up food, face painting and different things for the kids," says Janzen. "I believe yesterday we had about 400 people come through. We play a song from Tim McGraw called 'Live Like You Were Dying' and it just talks about this reality is short and fragile and we can still speak to that. We're still able to have those moments in the same way we would in a regular show. The hope is there is an ability to connect quicker because there's that familiarity."
Janzen says that while on this unique tour, he's also learned a lot when it comes to reconciliation.
"With the northern communities, it's easy to get fixated on the fact that life looks a little different. But it's been an honour to be here. There's a lot of history and some of that history isn't so pleasant. We've been hearing more about residential schools by hearing stories firsthand from people that attended."