Community rallies behind musician Justin Hiscox

An online fundraising campaign, organized by the managing artistic director at 4th Line Theatre, has raised nearly $40,000 in support of local composer and multi-instrumentalist Justin Hiscox.

Hiscox, who has been closely involved with Millbrook’s storied outdoor theatre for years, was admitted to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre on Aug. 1 after an infection in his leg that spread to his foot.

The infection is extensive and, as a result, doctors were forced to amputate all of Justin’s toes on his right foot. Currently, physicians are attempting to save the remainder of Hiscox’s foot and leg.

The medical procedure will have a significant impact on Hiscox’s work as a musician and performer. Due to his medical issues, there’s a good chance Hiscox will be unable to work for several weeks or even months while he focuses on recovering and rehabilitation.

The online fundraising campaign, on GoFundMe, is meant to give Hiscox the time he needs to recuperate, by covering financial costs to give him time to heal.

The aim of is also to ensure Hiscox can focus on getting better instead of worrying about medical finances.

In typical Hiscox fashion, the 4th Line Theatre fixture and renowned musician and composer is in high spirits and remains optimistic.

On Monday, Kim Blackwell, 4th Line Theatre’s managing artistic director, offered an update on the his well-being.

“Justin’s recovery is going well. There is a possibility that he might even be going home later this week or early next. There is a long road of rehab and physio and wound care ahead of him, but the financial and emotional support of this community will make this journey much easier,” Blackwell said.

“Justin is in shock at the level of everyone’s support and he wanted me to tell everyone, thank you on his behalf,” she continued.

The GoFundMe campaign was launched on Aug. 16 and as of Friday afternoon 439 donors had contributed $38,151 toward a goal of $40,000.

“We wanted to give him a fighting chance to get healthy,” Blackwell said.

“He’s actually being released from hospital today, so it’s been a roller-coaster of emotions. He’s going to be released from the hospital and the rest of his recovery and physio can be done at home.”

Blackwell notes that Hiscox’s influence and impact as a composer, musician and multi-instrumentalist isn’t limited to 4th Line Theatre.

“He also plays a big role at St. James Players and the Peterborough Theatre Guild,” she stressed.

In 2016, Hiscox and his brother Mark were inducted into the Peterborough and District Pathway of Fame for their musical efforts, the first time a pair of siblings had been honoured on the walk, located at Del Crary Park.

This summer alone, Hiscox has spearheaded music for two outdoor productions at 4th Line Theatre. He acted as musical director/composer and actor for “The Tilco Strike,” and filled he same roles for “Wishful Thinking.” The plays are just some of the 40 productions Hiscox has been involved for more than two decades at the Winslow Farm.

When it comes to the support Hiscox has received so far, Blackwell says he’s overwhelmed.

“(Hiscox) is shocked and incredibly grateful,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell expects the contributions made through the GoFundMe page will even exceed the initial goal. She anticipates up to $45,000 could be raised.

Donations can be made online at

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner