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The Western Senators
Biography

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Saskatchewan's Grammy-nominated polka band,
T
he Western Senators!

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The Western Senators will be performing at the Legendary Danceland, Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan, Saturday July 22/23. Call Millie at 306-946-2743 to reserve. That 5000 square foot hardwood dancefloor built on horsehair will be jumpin'.

 

Saskatchewan's Grammy Nominated Polka Band, The Western Senators originated in Calgary, Alberta in 1973. After watching a western conference playoff game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saskatchewan won...) a group of musicians, originally from Saskatchewan went down the basement and commenced to playing Cleveland-style polka music. Several bottles of CC later, it was decided that since the music sounded so good, the group should record an album.

A while later, the group headed off to Edmonton’s Project 70 Studio and cut their first album, which was nominated Album of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association. The release party for the album took place in three centres...Regina's Trianon Ballroom, Yorkton's Holiday Inn, and the Red Barn, a huge dancehall on the outskirts of Edmonton, Alberta. To celebrate the release, the group invited a special guest artist to join them for the tour...America's Polka King, Frankie Yankovic. The tour sold out two weeks in advance, the group sold all 1000 albums and so began a musical journey that now has topped 40 years, and counting.


The Western Senators now have 32 albums, 33 DVDs, 92 PolkaRama television shows, and a Grammy nomination to their credit. They have been featured at Minot`s Norsk Høstfest every year since 2006 (barring pandemic postponements), have made five appearances at the Kimberley Accordion Festival, have appeared at the Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame Awards show, and regularly headline at casinos across Western Canada and at Danceland, Manitou Beach...Canada`s last grand dancehall.

 

POLKARAMA

 

The Complete Western Senators Available Now!


The Complete PolkaRama series is now available as a package...92 shows on 24 DVDs. The Complete Western Senators/Walter Ostanek CD collection is also available. The Complete PolkaRama series, plus all 12 Western Senators CDs are available as a package from this site! Save up to $400 by ordering these polka products as a package.

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The Polkarama Story

In 2002, the Western Senators decided to shoot 12 half-hour television shows with Canada's Polka King, three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek. The show was to be shot live at Casino Regina and broadcast on the Access system throughout Saskatchewan. One of the group's members, Joe Schultz, had been part of the group The Canadian Polka Kings in the late fifties and early sixties. The group had performed live on television and radio weekly and the shows had a large and enthusiastic audience. So the Senators thought it might be time for a revival of live dancehall broadcasts...this time performed live but recorded to allow for multiple replays.

 

The first PolkaRama show aired on New Year's Eve, 2002 and was an instant success. Now in its 15th year, it continues to be a fan favourite in an ever-growing number of markets.

 

In addition to Ostanek and Saskatchewan's Grammy-nominated Western Senators, PolkaRama has featured guest performers Eddie Rodick and his band from Cleveland, banjo wizard Ronnie Sluga, who worked with Frankie Yankovic for nearly 30 years, and Klancnik and Friends from Nashville. Brian Sklar's country band, the Tex Pistols also make guest appearances every week on PolkaRama. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site or by calling 306-545-1865 or 306-531-2200.

Polkarama Season One

 

Where it all began in 2002 starring three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and The Western Senators. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site and by calling 306-545-1865.

 

Polkarama Season One Episodes 1-4

 

Show 1
I Love to Polka (Red Raven Polka), Baby Doll Polka Blue Skirt Waltz , Maple Sugar Just Because Erika's Waltz, Theresa Polka

​Show 2
Marichka Moya, Painter Polka, Emily's Waltz, Boiling Cabbage Down, Roseanne Polka, Drinking Champagne, Bye, Bye My Baby

​Show 3
In the Navy Polka, Big Bang Polka, Rendezvous Waltz, Cajun Fiddle, Silk Umbrella Polka, Slowpoke, Clarinet Polka

Show 4
Beer Barrel Polka, Milwaukee Polka, Somewhere My Love, Old Joe Clark, Whoop Polka, Kiss Me Tonight Waltz, Bandura Waltz, Champagne Polk

 

Polkarama Season One Episodes 5-8

 

Show 5
Valley Spring Polka, Orphan Waltz, Schultz's Polka, Westphalia Waltz, Top of the Hill Polka, Mom and Dad's Waltz, I Saw a Rainbow Polka, Money, Money Polk

Show 6
Marichka Moya, Painter Polka, Emily's Waltz, Boiling Cabbage Down, Roseanne Polka, Drinking Champagne, Bye, Bye My Baby

Show 7
In the Navy Polka, Big Bang Polka, Rendezvous Waltz, Cajun Fiddle, SilkUmbrella Polka, Slowpoke, Clarinet Polka

​Show 8
Beer Barrel Polka, Milwaukee Polka, Somewhere My Love, Old Joe Clark, Whoop Polka, Kiss Me Tonight Waltz, Bandura Waltz, Champagne Polka

Polkarama Season One Episodes 9-12

 

Show 9
Money, Money Polka, Barbara Polka, Forever and Ever Waltz, Hambone Habat Polka, Trio Polka, Over Three Hills Waltz, Helen Polka, Sail Along Silvery Moon

​Show 10
El Rancho Grande Polka, Keystone Polka, Aloha Waltz, Euclid Vets Polka, Across the Plains Polka, Snow Waltz, Lee and Anne's Polka, Wild Rose Polka

Show 11
Dance, Dance, Dance Polka, Wishbone Polka, You Can't be True Dear Waltz, Al Jolson Medley, Cherry Polka,
Ragtime Annie, Wooden Shoes Polka, Old Timer's Polka

Show 12
Rolling Rock Polka, Fleet Avenue Polka, From a Jack to a King, Julie's Polka, George M. Cohen Medley, Landler #7, Pony Tail Polka, Mistre Polka, I Wanna Call you Sweetheart Polka

Complete Season 1

 

3 DVDs in one deluxe package, featuring all 12 shows in Season 1.

Polkarama Season Two

 

Starring three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and The Western Senators. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site and by calling 306-545-1865.

 

Polkarama Season Two Episodes 1-4

 

Show 1
Andy's Jolly Hop Polka, Roseanne Polka, Carol's Waltz, Riel Reelers Reel, Wooden Heart, Bartender's Polka, You Are My Sunshine Polka, Euclid Vets Polka

Show 2
Oh Marie Polka, Rendezvous Polka, Helvak's Waltz, Crooked Stovepipe, The Key's in the Mailbox, Steeplejack Polka, Kamnik Polka, Let Me Call You Sweetheart Polka, Flutophone Polka

Show 3
Cheese and Crackers Polka, Old Oklahoma Polka, Pretty Blonde Polka, Wild Side of Life, El Rio Drive Polka, My Maria Polka, Linda's Lullabye Waltz, Page Polka

​Show 4
Cleveland Polka, Schultz's Polka, Slovenian Waltz Medley, I Get So Lonely Polka, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Iron Mike Polka, Joy Joy Polka, Gay Ranchero Polka, City Hall Polka

 

Polkarama Season Two Episodes 5-8

 

Show 5
Springtime Polka, My Little Girl Polka, Chinese Breakdown, Red Barn Polka, Highways are Happy Ways Polka, My Happiness, Strabane Polka, Ohio Polka, Danceland Schottische

​Show 6
Happy Polka, Joanne Polka, Cajun Fiddle - Toomaray Tomaray, Janet's Waltz, Katy's Polka, I Knew from the Start Polka, Sydney's Waltz, Jingle Tingle Polka

Show 7
Frankie's Polka, A Cleveland Polka, Isle of Capri Polka, My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You, Dreaming Waltz, Polka Jamboree, Grenade Polka, Just Because Polka, Happy Minute Polka

Show 8
Chicago Land Twirl Polka, I Love and Old Fashioned Polka, La Golondrina Waltz, Curly Hair, Happy Hour Polka, Your Hometown Polka, Make the World Go Away, Jeffrey's Polka, Liechtensteiner Polka

Polkarama Season Two Episodes 9-12

 

Show 9
Beer Barrel Polka, Jack on St. Clair Polka, Country Waltz, I Saw Esau Polka, On the Bridge Waltz, Moonlight and Roses Polka, Waltz cross Texas, Button Accordion Polka, Lenny Z Polka

Show 10
Mistre Polka, Helen Polka, Road to Boston, Alone Again Waltz, Joe's Polka, Hi-Li Hi-Lo Polka Captain John's Polka, Red Wine and Red Lips Polka

Show 11
Cecil's Polka, Flutophone Polka, Original Cotton-Eyed Joe, Carol's Waltz, Lee and Ann's Polka Just Because,
City Hall Polka, Vaya Con Dios

Show 12
Polka Poppers Polka, Mary Jo Waltz, El Rio Drive Polka, Forbidden Lovers, Polka Jamboree, Tony's Polka - Old Timers Polka medley, Sentimental Journey

 

Complete Season 2

 

3 DVDs in one deluxe package, featuring all 12 shows in Season 2.

Polkarama Season Three

 

Starring three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and The Western Senators. With special guests Eddie Rodick and his Orchestra, Ron Sluga & Dick Kuciemba. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site and by calling 306-545-1865.

 

Polkarama Season Three Episodes 1-4

 

Show 1
Snow Deer Polka, Long Way to Tipperary Polka, Say Thank-you Dear Waltz, Is Anybody Going to San Antone, Playing In a Polka Band, In The Mountains Waltz, I saw a Rainbow Polka, Pigskin Polka, Cotton-Eyed Joe

Show 2
Let's Have a Party, Cheek to Cheek Polka, Silver and Gold Two-Step, Barbara Polka, Jolly Five Polka, Moonbeam Waltz, When You're Smiling, Village Carousel Waltz, Just Because

Show 3
One for the Road Polka, Money Money Polka, Three Little Wishes Waltz, BellaFiesta Polka, Silk Umbrella Polka, Petite Waltz, Fast Eddies Polka, Maple Sugar

Show 4
Four Fellas Polka, Memories Polka, Slovenian Polka Medley, My Alice Waltz, Slap Happy Polka, Under Your Spell Country Waltz, Cheese and Crackers Polka

Polkarama Season Three Episodes 5-8

 

Show 5

Barking Dog Polka, You Are My Sunshine, Wine Me Up, Kufstein Song, Merone Polka, Something Special To Me, Andy's Jolly Hop Polka

Show 6

Cingel Congel Polka, Hi-Li Hi-Lo Polka, Just a Closer Walk With Thee, Tino's Polka, Good Time Polkas, 'Til We Meet Again Waltz, Orange Blossom Special, Long Black Veil

Show 7

Mistre Polka, Happy Mountaineer Polka, Ostanek's Polka, Break It To Me Gently, Oh Maria, I'm Just Looking for my Mind, Charms of Your Beautiful Dark Eyes Polka, French Maid Polka

 

Show 8

Oh Johnny Polka, Too Fat Polka, You are My Honey Bee Waltz, I'll Be There, Across The Plains, Slap Happy Polka, Walter's Theme Medley

Complete Season 3

 

3 DVDs in one deluxe package, featuring all 8 shows in Season 3.

Polkarama Season Four

 

Starring three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and The Western Senators. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site and by calling 306-545-1865.

 

Polkarama Season Four Episodes 1-4

 

Show 1
Oktoberfest Is Here To Stay Polka, Uncle Nick's Polka, Laendler #7, I Saw A Rainbow Polka, The Key's In The Mailbox, Take Me As I Am, Whiskey River, You Are My Sunshine Polka

Show 2
Let's Have A Party Polka, Wishbone Polka, Loretta Polka, Clap Happy Polka, Clarinet Polka, Uncle Pen, A Way to Survive, Augustine Waltz, Gregor's Polka

Show 3
Joy Joy Polka, Cheese and Crackers Polka, Whoop Polka, Polka Poppers Polka, Roseanne Polka, Different Kind of Flower, New Heartache, Garden City Polka, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain Polka

 

Show 4
Stand And Sing Polka, Twilight Polka, Maria Polka, Marylou Polka, Kiss Me Tonight Waltz, Button Accordion Polka, I Love An Old Fashioned Polka, Baby Doll Polka

Polkarama Season Four Episodes 5-8

 

Show 5

Old Oklahoma Polka, Strawberry Hill Polka, Isle of Capri Polka, A Night In May Waltz, Sydney's Waltz, Another Bridge To Burn, Sensuous Woman

Show 6

You Told Me OUnce Polka, Bye Bye My Baby, In Heaven There Is No Beer, Old Oklahoma Waltz, Uncle Pen, Texas Two-Step Medley

Show 7

When You're Away Polka, Ukrainian Polka, Euclid Vets Polka, Joe's Polka, Farewell Party, I Knew From The Start Polka

Show 8

Oktoberfest Waltz, Sersen's Polka, Miller's Polka, A Night May Waltz, Sydney's Waltz, Long Black Veil, Augustine Waltz, Pecon Polka

 

Polkarama Season Four Episodes 9-12

 

Show 9

Joy Joy Polka, Oktoberfest Medley, June Waltz, Marylou Polka, Kiss Me Tonight, Morning After Baby Let Me Down, Face To The Wall, Cheese and Crackers Polka

Show 10

Old Oklahoma Polka, Snow Waltz, TP Polka, Marylou Polka, Misery Lovest Company, Undo The Right Medley, Ding Dong Polka, Wally And Andy's Polka

Show 11

You Told Me Once YouLove Me, Gornik's Polka, Safeway Waltz, Night In May,

That's Alright Mama, Folsom Prison Blues, Sukaloski Polka, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain.

Show 12

While You're Away, Wally And Andy's Polka, Be Satisfied Polka, Four Fellas Polka, Sydney's Waltz, Please Don't Squeeze My Charmin, Pyramid Polka, July Day Polka.

 

Complete Season 4

 

3 DVDs in one deluxe package, featuring all 12 shows in Season 4.

Polkarama Season Five

 

Starring three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and The Western Senators. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site and by calling 306-545-1865.

 

Polkarama Season 5 Episodes 1-12

 

Show 1
Beer Barrel Polka, Strawberries Raspberries Polka, Helvak's Waltz, Pop 'N John's Polka, Under Your Spell, Urpee's Polka, Terezenka Polka, Pyramid Polka

Show 2
Tic Toc Polka, Across the Plains Polka, Daj Daj Waltz, A Cleveland Polka, Farewell Party, Kramer's Polka, Bye Bye My Baby Polka, Snow Waltz

Show 3
Hi Li Hi Lo Polka, Sersen's Polka, Yellow Bird, Roseanne Polka, Sensuous Woman, Lou's Polka, Four Fellas Polka, In The Valley Waltz

Show 4
Red Raven Polka, Castle Rock Polka, Please Give Me Back My Heart, Bob Wills Medley, Old Oklahoma Waltz, You're My Something Polka. Marichka Moya

 

Show 5
Baby Doll Polka, Three Mountains Polka, La Golondrina Waltz, Face To The Wall, My Way, I  Saw A Rainbow Polka, Mary Jo Waltz, Cherry Polka

Show 6
Barbara Polka, Hello,  Hello,  Hello Polka, Above And Beyond, Good Time Polka, Magic Land Waltz, Life In The Finland Woods, You Told Me Once You Loved Me Polka

Show 7
Let's Have A Party Polka, Helen Polka, Faded Love, Another Bridge To Burn, Good Time Polka, Rolling Rock Polka, Mary Jo Waltz, The Cleveland Polka

Show 8

Three Yanks Polka, Valley Spring Polka, Cheer Up Sweetheart Waltz, Cajun Fiddle/Toomary Toomarai, Duluth Polka, Green Valley Waltz, Hello, Hello, Hello Polka, Cherry Polka, Euclid Vets Polka

Show 9

Mistre Polka, Cracker Jack Polka, Westphalia Waltz, Colinda, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain, Euclid Vets Polka, Strawberry Hill Polka, I Knew From The Start Polka

Show 10

Pony Tail Polka, Big Bang Polka, On The Bridge Waltz, Mama Tried, I Saw A Rainbow Polka, Waltz Of Love,

Everywhere You Go Polka, Highways Are Happy Ways Polka

Show 11

Gornik's Polka, Isle Of Capri Polka, La Planitza Waltz, I'll Be There, Four R's Polka, Connie's Waltz, Laendler #2, Pittsburgh Polka

 

Show 12

Just Because Polka, Strawberry Hill Polka, Black Velvet Waltz, Old Oklahoma Waltz, Euclid Vets Polka, Corby's Polka, Farewell Party, I Wanna Call You Sweetheart Polka

Polkarama Season Six

Starring three-time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and The Western Senators. DVDs of the show are available by mail order through this site and by calling 306-545-1865.

 

Polkarama Season Six Episodes 1-4

 

Show 1
Chicagoland Twirl, Laendler #7, Hi-Li Hi-Lo Polka, Perme's Polka, Odds and Ends, Wabash Cannonball, Barking Dog Polka, Safeway Waltz

Show 2
Euclid Vets Polka, Mary Joe Waltz, Let's Have a Party, Oom Pa Pa Polka, Deep Water, Tall Tall Trees, In the Navy Polka, Crooked Stovepipe, Over Three Hills

Show 3
Clarinet Polka, Emily's Waltz, Rendezvous Polka, Over Three Hills Waltz, Whiskey River, Joys of Quebec, Cleveland Polka, Orphan Waltz

Show 4
Schultz's Polka, Twilite Waltz, Dance Dance Dance, La Golondrina, I'll Go Down Swinging, Guitar Boogie, Question and Answer P, No Beer Today

 

Polkarama Season Six Episodes 5-8

 

Show 5

Buddy Lou's Polka, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Just Because, Waltz for Joannie K, Wabash Cannonball, Blue Mountain Waltz, Step Aside, Cleveland the Polka Town, Comnick Polka

Show 6

Joe's Polka, Old Oklahoma Waltz, My Maria Polka, Cherry Polka, Helvak's Waltz, Ever Need a Lady, Red Wing, Beer Barrel, Golden Pheasant Polka

Show 7

Polka Poppers Polka, Danceland Schottische, Clarinet Polka, In Heaven No Beer, My Darling Ann, Forbidden Lovers, You Belong to Me, Champ's Polka, Gornick's Polka

Show 8

Hambone Habat, Graden's Waltz, Three Yanks Polka, Marichka Moya, Blue Skirt Waltz, Step Aside, Lake Erie Polka, I Get So Lonely Polka

Polkarama Season Six Episodes 9-12

 

Show 9

Scott Joplin Polka, Three Yanks Polka, Bye Bye My Baby, Kiss me Tonight Waltz, Release Me, Mockingbird Hill, Oom Pa Pa Polka, Rolling Rock Polka

Show 10

Mozart's Polka, Meisner Magic Polka, 7-Step, I Love To Polka, Aloha Waltz, You Are My Sunshine, Four Walls, Four Fellas Polka, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain 

Show 11

My Maria Polka, Pretty Girl Polka, Chicagoland Twirl, I Wanna Call You Sweetheart, Red Lips Red Wine, Make the World Go Away, Baby Doll Polka, Whoop Polka

Show 12

Ponytail Polka, A Cleveland Polka, Scott Joplin Polka, Tic Toc Polka, She Told Me She Loved Me, Don't Squeeze My Charmin, Forbidden Lovers, Perme's Polka

Complete Season 6

 

3 DVDs in one deluxe package, featuring all 12 shows in Season 6.

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Artists on Polkarama

 

Walter Ostanek | Brian Sklar | Mark Leik | Wayne Kuntz
Aaron Sklar | Todd Lueck | Joe Schultz

 

Walter Ostanek

Playing polka music for polka dancers and audiences has been a passion of Walter Ostanek for over 50 years. To him, playing polkas is the greatest job in the world. You see, it’s really gratifying to see people having a good time as they're listening or dancing to their favourite polka after a hard day at work.

 

He's had the pleasure of recording well over 100 polka albums and polka videos since 1957. He's even been fortunate enough to be recognized three times by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences with the highest honour in the music business, the Grammy Award.

 

 

Brian Sklar

Brian Sklar started playing music as a child. He would take the long walk with his violin over the North Saskatchewan River bridge in Prince Albert Saskatchewan to the Academy Presentation of Mary, where he took lessons from Soeur (Sister) Gertrude Des Anges. At the age of eight, he won a silver medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, achieving the highest test score in Saskatchewan. Five years later, after spending several years with the Prince Albert Concert Orchestra, Sklar shifted gears and became an old-time fiddler, joining the Halldorson Family Orchestra, and later, at the age of 16, forming his own group.

 

At the age of 19, he went on tour for a year, playing mining towns in northern Ontario and the northern United States. It turned out to be the never-ending tour, which has included performances with virtually all of the legends of the Grand Ol Opry, including an appearance on the world-famous show with his good friend, Jean Shepard.

 

Sklar has a room full of awards from country music associations all over North America and Europe. He has, at this writing, done 43 European tours, recorded 39 albums, hosted and/or appeared in over 310 network and syndicated television shows, played 42 Calgary Stampedes, over 60 telethons, helped raise in excess of ten million dollars for children's charities, has an impressive display in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and most recently was accepted as a member of the Canadian Association of Country Music Legends. On December 6th, 2007, he added the title "Grammy Nominee" to that list of achievements.

 

Although he is best known as a country entertainer, Brian Sklar has had a long association with polka music. It all started during his childhood years, when he would hang around in front of the stage at family weddings. Just about every band had an accordion player in those days, and just about every radio and television station programmed live polka music, usually on Saturday afternoons. Groups like the Canadian Polka Kings and the Happy Roamin' Rangers played Cleveland-style polkas, and Sklar was totally taken with the happy staccato sound of the music.

 

So it was no surprise when after a night of jamming in 1976, Sklar suggested that a group of musicians travel to Edmonton to cut an album. The Western Senators were born.

 

Since 1993, Sklar and his wife Trudy, as well as his two sons, Aaron (a high school teacher and drummer with the Western Senators) and Damon (a music promoter and marketing guru) have lived in Regina, Saskatchewan. Summers are spent playing North American country music festivals in July and then touring Europe in August. Winters are spent playing one-nighters with his own group, the Tex Pistols (Canada's primo Western Swing and '60s-style Nashville band) and the Western Senators with Canada's Grammy Winning Polka King, Walter Ostanek.

 

Mark Leik

Mark Leik was born and raised in Killaly, Saskatchewan. His early achievements in the music business include 12 years with The Killaly Rhythm Kings, and numerous trips to Kimberley British Columbia for the International Accordion Championships, where he placed first many times in the 19 and under age category.

He now resides in Yorkton, Saskatchewan with his wife, Lindsey and their three children.

 

A master of both the piano and button box accordion, Mark continues to tour and record with the Western Senators and has penned several of the Senators' recordings, including the Flying Fingers Polka, which can be found on the Senators' Grammy nominated album, Dueling Polkas, and the Hot Box Polka, which is featured on the Senators' Freshly Squeezed album.

 

Wayne Kuntz

Born in British Columbia, Wayne Kuntz has had a long career in the music business, including stints with Buddy Knox, Janie Fricke and other noted rock 'n' roll and country stars. Wayne now resides in Regina, and has been a part of the Western Senators and Tex Pistols since the inception of the Tex Pistols in 1995. He does all the bass work and low harmony vocals on both the Senators and Pistols albums, as well as on the Senators' TV series, PolkaRama. Of course, Wayne was also proud to make the trip to Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards when the Western Senators were nominated in 2008which was very special because the nomination came on the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards.

 

Wayne is the consummate Saskatchewan Roughrider fan, and the biggest day of the year is Labour Day, when he sponsors the annual Winnipeg Blue Bomber/Saskatchewan Roughrider tailgate party in his backyard, which just happens to butt up against Mosaic Stadium, home of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

 

Married 18 times, Wayne has been looking for number 19 since he joined the band. Applicants for the position can reach Wayne by phone...he's in the Regina directory.

 

Aaron Sklar

Born in Calgary Alberta, Aaron now resides in Lumsden Saskatchewan with his wife, Lindsey and their Pug, Esiason.

 

Always interested in music, Aaron became an avid fan of traditional country music before he could walk. His mother, Trudy Sklar, would put on Ray Price, Johnny Bush, and Mel Tillis albums for Aaron to listen to as he would spring in time to the music in his Jolly Jumper. His mother recalls Aaron swaying back and forth between songs waiting for the next track to begin.

 

Once Aaron was old enough to hold a 1/4-sized violin, he began lessons...but he would always sneak over to the back door neighbours' house to play Wayne's drums. The violin lessons would continue for another eight years, but in Aaron's first year of junior high the violin would be set aside for a pair of drumsticks.

 

Aaron's first band was "Youngstir" which was based out of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan with Randle Currie (now the steel player for Brad Paisley), Aaron Young (formerly with Barrage), and Tyler Kushneryk (The Cleavers).

 

In 1995 the movie "Frankie and Walter," which featured Frankie Yankovic and Walter Ostanek, was filmed in Saskatchewan. Aaron was hired to be a roadie on the tour, as well as the set photographer. Just prior to taping, drummer Lorne Pavelick suffered a heart attack. Concerned for Lorne's health, the band asked Aaron to sit in with the group after sufficient shots had been taken by the film crew. It wasn't long afterward that Aaron was asked to become a permanent member of the Western Senators, and remains so to this day.

 

Aside from playing with the Western Senators, Aaron plays drums and does some of the vocals with the Tex Pistols. At this writing, he has completed thirteen European tours. In addition to the drums, he plays violin, guitar, and piano. When he is not touring, Aaron is a high school physics and chemistry teacher and records traditional country music in his home-based, digital studio.

Todd Lueck

Todd Barrie Lueck was born and raised in Saskatchewan. His dad played sax in a polka band, which Todd joined when he was a very young man. Later on, he was the band leader and guitar player with the 80s group the Red Hot Burritos, who won numerous contests and eventually performed on Ralph Emery's Nashville Now TV show on the Nashville Network.

 

Todd became a member of the Tex Pistols in 1995, and by extension, a member of the Western Senators. He now doubles on guitar and banjo, as well as providing the high fifth harmonies on all of the band's tunes.

 

Todd has made twelve European tours with Brian Sklar and company, and continues to tour with both the Tex Pistols and the Western Senators.

 

Joe Schultz

Joe Schultz was born and raised in Grayson, Saskatchewan. His early achievements in the music business include stints with The Happy Roamin' Rangers, and The Canadian Polka Kings, two groups who were pioneers in radio and television and sound recordings.

 

In later years, Joe settled in Calgary, where he would remain until retiring from a career in the water purification business.

 

One of the two remaining original members of the Western Senators, Joe now resides in Melville, Saskatchewan with his wife, Olga.

 

Joe continues to tour and record with the Western Senators, and has penned several of the Senators' recordings, including the very popular Schultz's Polka and the Grenade Polka, which can be found on the Senators' Grammy-nominated album, Dueling Polkas.

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Polkarma
Band Members

Some Endorsements

 

"The Western Senators are favourites at Norsk Høstfest. Their performances are always jam-packed."
- Pamela Alme Davy, Executive Director, Norsk Høstfest 

 

"The Western Senators are a top draw at Danceland. They always fill the house and New Year's Eve wouldn't be the same without the Senators."

- Arnie & Millie Streuby, Owners, Danceland Manitou Beach

 

“Ein prosit!! The Western Senators were a smash hit at last year’s Whitefish Oktoberfest, and we can’t wait to get them back here this October! Oom pah, polka, western swing and rock…they do it all!”

- Kevin Gartland, Executive Director, Whitefish Chamber of Commerce

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