This Sunday, The Caesar Company on Princess Street will play host to an afternoon and evening of live music, as Healing Notes seeks to raise money and awareness for the music therapy program at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). The event, which is being organized by Robin Robertson and Mike Brown, features live performances running from 2:00 p.m. to approximately 9:30 p.m.
Six performances are scheduled to take place throughout the day, with local artists like Erin Ball & Deborah Schuurmans, Doug van der Horden, and Christopher Jackson all lined up to play. Lucanus Pell starts things off at 2:00 p.m., and the event wraps with Jay “Smitty” Smith takes the stage to close out the show.
According to organizer Mike Brown, many members of Kingston’s music community were eager to participate. “There’s not a single person that I’ve talked to that has not been fully supportive [with] trying to help the mental health and addictions situation… So many people in the music [industry] — not everybody, but so many people — battle with their own mental health issues. Music has always been a huge point for them and myself [in] dealing with depression and anxiety.”
Those in attendance will have several different opportunities to donate to the cause, with all proceeds going to support music therapy services within KHSC’s mental health and addiction care program. Brown says the event was organized in part to support the expansion of such services. “Last year, they saw great improvement[s] [for] everybody involved. This year, they’re looking to expand that and bring [music therapy] out to the youth and the detox groups as well.”
Brown continues, “There’s been so much documented medical evidence [of the] healing properties of music, and to be able to see [that] happening live within our own community is pretty impressive… It’s been so powerful for both staff and patients.”
At a time when many people are opening up about their own mental health struggles, Brown notes that events like Sunday’s fundraiser are “incredibly important.” He says, “Just with the influx of mental health problems that we’ve seen in in the city… everybody knows how much music [can help] and ‘soothe the savage beast,’ so to speak.”
A number of raffles and other contests will be set up throughout the event, with prizes available from a variety of Kingston businesses. “We’ve got stuff from Caesar Company; my massage therapy company, Rejuvenation Massage… Tommy’s has donated; Cher-Mere, Symphony [Spa and Yoga], local barber shops… There’s a lot of stuff to get your hands on,” says Brown.
Sunday’s event officially gets under way at 2:00 p.m. with donations taken at the door. Brown says there will also be raffles and hourly draws available for those interested in making further contributions. “There is an incentive to donate there, and you [can] buy [door prize] tickets with all donations going towards the program.”
The Caesar Company is located at 177 Princess Street in downtown Kingston.