The Sunday Concerts in the Park series in Tottenham may have gotten off to a late start this year, but it finished with a big bang.
The summer series is made possible with the involvement of local sponsors including the County of Simcoe and the Town of New Tecumseth Arts and Culture, CRIC, the BTBIA, the Tottenham Chamber of Commerce, and the Tottenham Legion. Local business sponsors include Trevor's Roof Repairs, Budget Blinds, McGoey Bros Insurance, Helen Mabee, and Tottenham Home Hardware.
The weekly concerts took a different approach this season. Each week an acoustic solo performer started the show, then another performer or band finished off the second performance of the afternoon.
Local sound engineer, Dayne Polny, of We Love Sound recording studio near Tottenham, took over the event as organizer this year and added his own special twist to each week's concert to make for an exciting line-up that brought many residents back each week and many others attending for the first time.
“I've learned a lot already of what I've been able to do with the concerts,” Dayne said. “The community was really excited to have this go on, especially with everything else happening. They were really supportive. The Artisan Market has been a huge help to draw people in. When they get here it gives them something else to do along with all the music. They get to see all the crafts and shops and it's different every week.”
The Tottenham Artisan and Farmer's Market is held every Sunday at Keogh Park, and the two events make for a fun afternoon.
There's a lot work that goes into producing the concerts. Dayne will start working on next year's event in just a few weeks.
“We'll take a few weeks off to relax then start working on next year,” Dayne explained. “Because of COVID and everything all the planning got started a little late because we had no idea if we were going to be able to go at all. It all came together, and I think we threw together an event that may not have been bigger and better than it's ever been, but it's something everyone is familiar with and it gets them out and they enjoy it.”
This year's series had a new host.
Megan Baillie hosted the series, and she is also a performer. She got involved through the We Love Sound studio.
“I recorded music with Dayne at We Love Sound,” she explained. “I was there doing a song and he was talking about taking this event over and he needed some help. So I said, what ever you need, let me know. I booked all the openers for him and he booked all the bands. It's a lot of fun being host. I get to meet all the bands, talk to them, find out what they want me to say about them, and what their story is. It's been great meeting so many local people.”
Megan said she also plans to return to the concert series next year.
The final concert, held on Sunday, August 29, featured four acts on the bandshell stage.
Acoustic performer, Drew Snider, kicked off the afternoon.
He was followed by Willy and Turncoats with their classic rock, Daze Gone By with a mix of vintage rock and blues, and That 80's Thing with a line-up of classic 80's rock tunes.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times