City Centre Mirror
Having benefited from the generosity of the Regent Park School of Music (RPSM), Cameron House Records is looking to give back.
The record label and school are teaming up to bring a four-part music series to the Cameron House, with donations accepted in support of the RPSM.
Richard Marsella, RPSM director, said the series came about when one of the school’s supporters, David Gilbey, came into the school with a plan to hold a fundraising concert series. The series will continue the school’s ongoing goal of creating stronger ties with Toronto’s music community.
“My dream for the Regent Park School of Music has always been to connect it in a meaningful way with artists in the community,” Marsella said. “The guys at Cameron House are great guys, so this is a great fit.”
Marsella himself has become a regular fixture on the Cameron House stage, playing there Tuesday nights.
Mike McKeown of Cameron House Records said the series will also serve as a thank you to the school after a pair of pianos were donated to the Cameron House.
“They were doing their big move (into the new Daniels Spectrum building) and they got new pianos, so they offered us two of their old ones,” McKeown said. “Since they did that, and because they’re a great organization, we decided to do a benefit series for them.”
The funds will go toward ensuring children and youth in Regent Park have a chance at a music education. The RPSM has offered affordable lessons to youth in need in Regent Park since it began in 1999, and has since opened satellite branches in Parkdale, Jane and Finch and Lawrence Heights.
With the school’s recent move, they have the capacity to bring in more students, with funding the sole obstacle.
“After the move, we can reach so many more kids with our programs,” Marsella said. “We just have to have a sustainable model for doing that.”
The Cameron House music series, dubbed ‘Deeply Rooted’, will feature a number of local roots-based artists, including Big Tobacco and the Pickers, Whitney Rose, Devin Cuddy and more.
While the shows are free, McKeown said he hopes those in attendance are generous in supporting the RPSM.
“It would be nice to be able to donate about $4,000 or $5,000 when it’s all said and done,” he said.
Deeply Rooted will kick off with a show featuring Big Tobacco and the Pickers and David Baxter at the Cameron House, 408 Queen St. W. on Saturday, Jan. 12. Doors open at 8 p.m.
Subsequent shows will feature Whitney Rose and Kayla Howran Saturday, Feb. 23, The Rattlesnake Choir and Samantha Martin Saturday, March 30 and Devin Cuddy and Tarantuela Saturday, April 27.
For more information on the artists, visit www.cameronhouserecords.com/deeply-rooted-in-music-education