Jayme Lynne

By Ewa Chwojko-Srawley

The music industry was hit hard by COVID. Many musicians tried to have a presence via Zoom, but there is nothing that can replace performing live on-stage.

Our local musicians recently got that chance thanks to a Town of Georgina initiative, lead by Jodi Pridham, manager of Cultural Services, and Kate Ottaway, theatre coordinator.

“Musicians still feel the effects of covid,” said Pridham. “We wanted to support these talented homegrown artists in one showcased event. As more people become aware of this event, we look forward to building on its success.”

The “Homegrown ’22” performance at the Stephen Leacock theatre on October 15 featured seven Georgina musicians: Erin Blackstock, Michael Chianelli, Bernadette Connors, Kevin Foster, Katie Fuentes, Jayme Lynne and Joe McLeod. There was a mix of genres, including pop, country, rock, and indie.

Many of the artists sang about the vagaries of love, about growing up and about friendship, but some, like Katie Fuentes, also shared their personal experiences of the dark days of lockdown (song “Distance”) and their thoughts about today’s ‘upside down’ world.

Bernadette Connors

Bernadette Connors started her musical career in Georgina, but her talent took her to faraway places. She was excited to be a part of the Homegrown ’22 concert.

“To be able to celebrate with people who know my story and know how long and hard I’ve worked to be where I am means a lot,” said Connors. “Georgina has been there for me my whole life, when I was singing at church as a young girl, or at events when I got older.”

As the author of the song entitled “Georgina,” she admits that a big part of her music is about what makes small Ontario towns so special. Georgina, with its big enthusiastic audience and many talents, is certainly special, so for sure there will be more events like this.

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