Get ready to fill the streets with life and song, Stittsville! On Thursday, July 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., local musicians and bands will be playing on porches, in driveways, out of garages, and more to grace your ears for the 2nd Annual Stittsville Front Porch Concert Series.
The free event was conceived of last year by Stittsville’s Sarah Blakely, a musician herself. The event’s inaugural year was a smashing success overall. In addition to 32 performances having entertained those walking and biking around Stittsville, a whopping $5,983.90 was donated to the Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre, the organization Sarah chose to raise funds for by encouraging the various performers to accept donations on location and asking for pay-what-you-can corporate sponsorship from local businesses.
Different from last year’s event, this year the performances will begin at 6:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m. Additionally, musicians and bands are able to share what time they will play, which will help attendees better plan their evening and will give the musicians an opportunity to see other performances in the neighbourhood. Currently, Sarah has 38 confirmed performers, six more than last year’s 32! There is no deadline for signing up, so anyone interested in performing is encouraged to visit this link to share their music with their neighbours.
This year, Sarah has chosen to raise funds for the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa: “There have been countless struggles throughout the pandemic and this event aims to support the community’s mental health. For many, getting outside, seeing our neighbours and enjoying music can do a lot to lift our spirits, but music isn’t always enough. So as a community we do what we can to support one another.” The Executive Director of Youth Services Bureau, Patti Murphy, states: “Support from the concert will go right back into the Stittsville neighbourhood – and all areas of the city – as we work to provide the very best support for young people struggling with their mental wellness. We’ve all been put to the test these past 16 months, and we want to remind teens and families that we’re here to walk alongside you in working through struggles like anxiety, and the impacts of loss and isolation.”
Like last year, donations can be made at performances and corporate sponsorships from local businesses are being accepted on a pay-what-you-can basis. Donations can also be made online at the website set up by Youth Services Bureau this year. Having raised nearly $6,000 last year, Sarah is hopeful that more performers and fewer COVID restrictions will mean beating this incredible record and raising $8,000 for Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.
Sarah considers the event very lucky to have the support of local businesses. “In addition to hosting a performance location, the Kiwanis Club of Kanata-Stittsville, in partnership with Jiffy Photos, has provided us with beautiful lawn signs to place at performance locations.” Many other local businesses, including Crave Taco, Brew Revolution, Friends of Amberwood, U-Rock Music School, Mjolnir Construction, and MacDonald Webster Group – Real Estate have been kind enough to support the 2nd Annual Stittsville Front Porch Concert Series.
Stittsville residents are encouraged to get out and about on the evening of Thursday, July 15th by foot or by bike to see and hear their neighbours play. Sarah learned that many event attendees found biking to be the best way to get around quickly last year, having enabled them to see more performances. Sarah would also like to remind attendees “to be mindful and respectful of COVID-19 rules and restrictions. Please keep your distance from performers and other audience members, wear a mask if you are not able to distance yourself. Everyone did such a great job with it last year that I’m confident this year will be another smashing success.”
Sarah “can’t wait to see our neighbours out and about enjoying our community,” a sentiment Stittsville Central certainly shares!