The All-Star Boho Shindig
By Jake Robinson

“Don’t let the TV people brainwash you. Watching from a fake distance is never as good as being in person with something live and true.”

Those words from Jenn Pidgeon are wise and accurate – and if you add in the combination of live music while supporting a good cause, then you have found yourself a great evening.

The All Star Boho Shindig, which is presented by Spirit of Building Community Arts Series, will take place on Feb. 19, at the Church of Good Shepherd in Kitchener (located on the corner Queen Street and Margaret Avenue). The Shindig has been crafted to raise money for Kevin Doyle and The Boathouse, as all performers will donate their portion of the cover.

Pidgeon, who is the coordinator of the event, said the money will go towards building a new kitchen for the Boathouse after the City of Kitchener is finished covering the renovation costs.

“My drive behind this series is to keep a roof on a venue that is built for concerts and to put great players in a stellar sound space to make them a living, creating a whole different venue option for Waterloo Region,” said Pidgeon. “Kevin Doyle has been doing a great job of putting Ktown on the musical map, and continuously adapting to the ever changing music scene.”

The concert space inside The Church of the Good Shepherd seats approximately 200 people and allows a more diverse audience than most venues.

“This is a very open minded, multi-faith supporting venue, who rent to diverse community groups, including Organic Groove drumming classes,” said Pidgeon. “I recognize that not everyone wants to see a great band at a bar, and maybe they want to bring their kids.” The Spirit of Building is a monthly event, which is dedicated to showcasing local musicians, writers and artists. They have had a growing presence in the community for over a year as they have presented many performers.

“In the last year and a half The Spirit of Building has presented Adrian Jones, Richard Garvey, Rose Morris, The Runaway, Kevin Sutton and many more,” said Pidgeon. “Every month a balanced percentage of the ticket price goes to the artist, to the venue and to promotion. This month the church is lowering it’s take to support the Boathouse, and the artists are donating their time and skills.”

In a society where venues that are dedicated to live music are starting to become obsolete, it is important for the local industry to hang onto what’s left and to encourage more support for the up and coming acts. The Spirit of Building recognizes the receding demographic and is working hard to continue to support the local venues.

“I want to give credit to all venue owners over the years who have opened their spaces to jam nights and open mics, and paid out of pocket to have indie artists hone their skills to an audience,” said Pidgeon. “I was given many kind opportunities to participate in jams that made my being on stage even possible now. That support improves their art tenfold, and turns them into artists we are proud of in the long run, like Paul MacLeod, Danny Michel, Daddy Long Legs, or the late great Matt Osborne.”

The Boho Shindig fundraiser concert will feature many performers including Organic Groove, The Short Films and Ian Smith. All of the performers will play a short set; however, Pidgeon is anticipating a few collaborations as many of the artists already play together.

“All the artists on this bill are a whole evening’s worth of goodness on their own, so I cannot even predict how crazy good it will be. Everyone in our community has been working so hard together all in their own ways to support the Boho, that this can only be a great coming together of talent and like minds,” said Pidgeon. “We have world class creatives in this town, and they deserve nice venues to play in.”

Pidgeon encourages people to hang around after the show to check out the local businesses and to socialize.

“I am looking forward to seeing all the Boathouse folks, and friends, and know that just like at the Boho, the night will unfold as it will,” she said. “Afterwards I encourage folks to check out a local licensed/food venue, like the Boho, Little Bean or the The L Lounge/Chrysalids. For this show, there might be something great going on after and you will have to come to the show to find out.”

The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the performers will take to the stage at 7 p.m. The recommended cover donation will range anywhere between $10 and $20. Music isn’t the only treat that night – coffee, tea, hot apple cider and snacks will be served at a low cost during intermission.

For more information, visit the All Star Boho Shindig Facebook group.

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