‘Many Moons Events’ wins Awesome Kingston February 2024 grant

Image via Many Moons.

Every month, Awesome Kingston awards a $1,000 grant to projects the trustees think will keep Kingston awesome. This month, the micro-grant was awarded to Many Moon Events.

Laura Kelly has been hosting cultural events emphasizing inclusive community, creating environments for celebration, and showcasing diverse talent in the Kingston region for 20 years. For the last two years, she has programmed over 50 local events under the name Many Moons.

“My events and programming have fostered a safe and diverse community for music lovers in Kingston. Many Moons programming decisions are informed by a mandate emphasizing the inclusion of women, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC performers each season,” Kelly shared with Kingstonist.

“With Many Moons, I strive to curate national and international talent alongside local performers.”

She noted that the Kingston area offers a natural stop for touring artists travelling between major city centres for gigs, and she programs those bands and DJs mid-tour, if possible.

“Kingston has so much potential to become even more of a cultural hub than it already is and it needs as many diverse artists, event organizers, and patrons as it can find to help it get there. I want to see my hometown continue to be the type of vibrant place I’m excited to live in,” she expressed.

A Kingston local and graduate of Queen’s University, Kelly is currently the music events coordinator for Hotel Wolfe Island. She also founded Kingston’s annual Valentine’s Slow Dance, now in its 15th year.

When she was 15, Kelly began hosting her own radio show on CFRC, which continued for more than 10 years. During that time, she also started organizing events here, as well as in Toronto and Montreal. She currently DJs and has been a drummer in several bands.

In December 2023, Kelly began renting a studio that “can serve as a crucially needed small venue for Many Moons Events,” she said.

The space, at 12 Cataraqui Street, creates the potential for Many Moons Events to expand on its programming within Kingston, Kelly noted, where a lack of small to mid-sized venues acted as a significant barrier for attracting mid-sized talent.

“I have already been in talks with other community organizers hoping to use this space to host their own events, talks, art exhibits and concerts as well. In addition to this, the venue can equally serve as a jam space for local musicians in desperate need of places to practice,” she expressed.

Laura Kelly received the Awesome Kingston grant on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. Photo via Awesome Kingston on Facebook.

Kelly plans to use the Awesome Kingston money to upgrade her studio space.

“The funds will be used to cover the cost of much-needed equipment and small renovations for the event space. This includes industrial cleaning supplies, an updated PA system, and sound/security proofing for the space itself,” she shared.

“Receiving community funding like this goes a long way in the sustainability of this project, keeping rental costs negotiable for third parties, allowing patrons to ‘PWYC’ [Pay What You Can] at all events, and allowing for all excess funds raised at events to go directly to the artists and performers involved at each event.”

Many Moons’ next event will take place on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Find the concert details here.

Kelly invites everyone to follow Many Moons Events on Instagram @manymoonsevents or Facebook to learn more about their events taking place in the space and around town. She has also started an email list. Send a message to [email protected] to sign up.

Learn more about Awesome Kingston and how they help keep Kingston awesome here.

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