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Block Party expanding to a two-day concert in Centennial

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Cathy Dobson

The Trews and Walk Off The Earth will share the stage with an eclectic group of accomplished Sarnia musicians for the 5th annual Block Party in Centennial Park.

Outdoor concerts are proving highly successful fundraisers for mental health and addictions at Bluewater Health, so the Block Party is expanding to two days, says Foundation executive director Kathy Alexander.

“In previous years, our one-day block party raised $40,000, so we’re hoping we’ll raise over $80,000 this time,” she said.

“People are just itching to get out and enjoy themselves. Tickets are moving well.”

The Block Party was initiated by Sarnia’s Dan Edwards, who wanted to raise money for mental health and addiction services.  Edwards’ success spurred the Foundation to continue the fundraising concerts.

Over the years, the Party has moved from the street outside The Refined Fool to the Suncor Agora on the waterfront, where more people can be accommodated.

Organizers are hoping for a sellout crowd of 2,500 per night. VIP ticket for both nights are moving quickly. General admission is still easy to find.

Sarnia favourites The Trews headline on Friday, June 10 with their catchy brand of Canadian rock.  Opening for them is Ohio-based rockers Red Wanting Blue, and Sarnia’s own Rocky Rivers & Company making its stage debut.

The latter is Rodney Medwid’s latest musical project featuring an ever-changing group of his musical buddies.

The idea, says Medwid, is to be able to play the music he’s written over the past two decades, accompanied by local talent.

“I think I’ve found a really cool way of doing it,” he said.  “It’s all about the fun of the music with no pressure.” Emphasis on no pressure.

Medwid says he’s done with the stress of keeping a band together and instead prefers to change it up regularly.  For The Block Party, Rocky Rivers & Co. will be comprised of Medwid on vocals and an assortment of string instruments, Chris Molyneaux on sax, Danny Ainsworth on bass, and Adam Kilner on the keys.

The new group is releasing its first recording, called Northern Moonlight, in a few weeks with Mike McKye of The Grove Productions joining them on guitar.

“We love celebrating our local artists,” said Alexander.  “We’re excited to hear what Rodney’s cooking up for us.”

Saturday is headlined by uber-successful Burlington band Walk Off The Earth.  They were chosen for their all-ages appeal, entertainment value, and unique use of non-traditional instruments that can include quirky things like plastic tubes and buckets.

Opening for Walk Off The Earth are the Monowhales from Toronto and Chris Molyneaux’s jazz band.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: The 5th annual BWHF Block Party to raise money for mental health and addiction services.

WHEN: Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11. Gates open 6 p.m. Show at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Suncor Agora in Centennial Park.

TICKETS:  Day 1 – GA $40; VIP $75. Day 2 – GA $45; VIP $75.  Weekend passes – GA $75; VIP $140. Available atbwhf.ca.

 

 

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