Kingston area musicians come together for RKY Camp Summer Album fundraiser

The cover for RKY Camp Summer Album draws from one of the most memorable landscapes and experiences at RKY Camp, the “tower jump,” and the music and musicians that help build the soundtrack of summer for so many locally. Image via RKY Camp on Facebook.

Over 70 local musicians from around the Kingston area have come together to create the perfect summer camp inspired album.

Full Frequency Productions and RKY Camp will be presenting “The RKY Camp Summer Album Release Concert,” with some performances including Rocket Surgery, Paul Langlois Band, Emily Steele & The Deal, as well as many RKY Camp alumni.

The album features 18 songs and invites past camp-goers to relive their youth and celebrate the camp. The concert will take place on Friday, Apr. 12, 2024, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts. The admission is pay what you can, with a range of $10 to $50 to allow everyone who wants to attend an opportunity to do so.

All proceeds from the concert will benefit the RKY Campership Fund.

“RKY Camp is committed to providing summer camp and outdoor experiences to all children and youth, regardless of financial circumstances,” said D’Arcy Munn, Executive Director of RKY Camp.

“Music is such an important part of camp culture; our Campership Fund is going to be the beneficiary of this project. It is going to educate the community about the camp and the experience, and I think it is greater than the sum of its parts, really.”

RKY was founded by the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, and YMCA of Kingston (hence “RKY”) in 1902. The current 25-acres site was purchased in July 1930 by the Rotary Club of Kingston, Kingston Kiwanis Club, and the Kingston YMCA. RKY allows kids the chance to spend the summer participating in many different activities like swimming, boating, archery, climbing, and other group bonding activities.

Aaron Holmberg, the producer of the album, attended RKY for many years, both as a camper and as a councillor. Holmberg started working on the idea for this project in early 2019, making an album geared towards camp alumni while also being family-friendly, recognizable to any camp alumni, and fun. The whole album is live off the floor, which means the artists performed a few takes of the song and picked the best take, with very minimal overdub, which creates a liveliness and more authentic feel to the songs.

“I just wanted to do something for the camp that I love,” Holmberg explained. “The main focus for this was to raise awareness about the camp in Kingston and celebrate our musicians — they dedicated their time to do this record.”

People can donate to the RKY Campership Fund by attending the concert, donating at the event, or buying the album. The album will be available to purchase as a CD or vinyl, with the cover containing some recognizable camp classic artwork. The fund helps every one in 10 children attend the camp for the summer. One of RKY Camps main goals is to support children during a time where they may not be in a situation that is financially stable enough to send them to camp. By donating, RKY is able to help more kids and give them a memorable summer camp experience, according to the organization.

For more information or tickets to the album release concert, visit the RKY Camp website or the Isabel Bader Centre website.

Rylie Snider is the inaugural member of the Kingstonist NextGen team, dedicated to fostering the passion and knowledge of local youth writers and reporters while highlighting the vibrant sports, arts, and social scenes of the younger generations in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.
A Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School student, Snider is dedicated to keeping people updated on everything going on in our schools, and her coverage focuses on everything, from local sports and theatre, to fundraising events and opportunities for students in the area.
For more information on the Kingstonist NextGen team, email Editor-in-Chief Tori Stafford at [email protected].

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