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Busking for Change

Busking, War Child, Kingston, OntarioWar Child Canada is a registered charity that provides urgent care to children in war torn countries around the world as well as raising awareness and advocating for children’s rights. In addition to the many companies that sponsor this endeavor, musicians all over Canada have been a huge source of raising funds and awareness for War Child with benefit concerts such as 2005’s Concert of Tsunami Relief in Vancouver and 2001’s Music Without Borders in Toronto. These concerts have included big name Canadian musicians such as Avril Lavigne, Billy Talent, Bruce Cockburn, Brian Adams, Feist, Kardinall Offishall, Metric and The Tragically Hip. This Saturday, October 17th, Kingston will host its own fundraiser entitled “Busking for Change”. The event is modeled after a similar benefit recently held in Toronto. Behind it all is Kingston’s own Emily Fennell.

Emily has become a well-known name in music in and around Kingston and after a recent tour of the west coast, is quickly becoming a name known across the country. You may know her from her regular Friday night show at The Merchant Tap House or perhaps you’ve seen her perform with her newest band, Sugarplum. When asked what inspired her to organize this event for War Child, Emily responded: ““We are fortunate to live in a country with opportunity! Such a small percentage of the world’s population has what they need for survival. We have all that and then some. We are part of the privileged few and it should be our duty to reach out to those less fortunate than ourselves.”

In order to help make this happen, Emily has rallied together seven Kingston bands to busk out front at the Grand Theatre from noon-4pm this Saturday. A portion of all proceeds will go to War Child Canada so be sure to come downtown for some great music and drop a few coins in the musicians’ guitar cases.

The schedule is as follows with intermittent performances by Emily herself:

12:30pm- Lia Dawson
1pm – The Rayne Makers
1:30pm – Stehfy Nash
2pm – John Torres
2:30pm – Mojo Shooter
3pm – Matt Hanlon

Special thanks to Matthew Armstrong for use of his image portraying the international sign of the busking musician.

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Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

4 thoughts on “Busking for Change

  • October 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm
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    Only a portion of all proceeds going to charity? *Thumbs down*

  • October 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm
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    @Andy Williams I have to agree with you. Great initiative, but how much, percentage-wise, is going to be donated to War Child. Where is the other portion going?

  • October 19, 2009 at 8:56 am
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    Exactly. Why give only a percentage? What is the percentage being donated? And how much money do they actually expect to make busking in Kingston? Every corner of Princess St has someone looking for money or donations, how successful will this type of charity event be in this location?

  • October 20, 2009 at 11:53 am
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    I’m not sure what the final tally was but there were many 20 dollar bills in the guitar case and I was there after only an hour of music. I’m not sure why the money isn’t going entirely to War Child though…the event certainly didn’t cost anything to run.

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