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Forget the lawn chair and mosquitoes and get ready to roll up the rug and dance in your living room!
The Lions Club’s annual tradition of free summer concerts continues – with a twist for 2020!
The annual program kicks off this Sunday evening (July 12) with a virtual 2 hour performance by THE REASONS on Sunday July 12th, starting at 6pm and we’re excited to feature Ambush, on Wednesday, July 15th. The concerts continue every Sunday and Wednesday evenings featuring 15 different performances through July until August 30th . Viewers can tune into YourTV or view them on YourTVs YouTube channel if you do not subsribe to YourTV.
For over half a century, this program has featured, in most part, local entertainers performing in front of live audiences, but the pandemic has required the transformation to a virtual broadcast and taken the artists through a full recording session with a professional sound and video crew.
In the middle of May, most event organizers had resigned themselves to the reality that gathering restrictions were not going to be lifted soon enough for this summer’s plans to be fulfilled. The Belleville Chamber of Commerce, who organizes two of the key City events in July between Canada Day and Waterfront knew how disappointed the community would be without their food and music.
Curbside Culture was the first outcome of some imagination and out-of-the-box thinking but the Chamber didn’t stop there and invited the Belleville Lions Club to consider a virtual event to replace their annual Concerts on the Bay. The history of the program is one of community partnership and this year brought together YourTV and the Chamber to help ensure the annual tradition would continue while the current lockdown prevents live music performances or gatherings in the park.
Dating back to 1967 when the ANAF Veteran's Association, along with a few keen citizens, had the vision to create a venue for enhancing the summer experience with the sound of music and with the support of several local businesses a band shell was constructed. In 1993, The Belleville Lions Club was invited to participate in the program and the Club adopted the concert series (formerly Music in the Park) as one of its community service projects. After 43 years, the band shell was replaced in 2011 with the beautiful Lions Pavilion.
Year after year, the Lions have been rewarded with the public's overwhelming support at the concerts. In turn, the Lions wish to express their thanks and appreciation by endeavoring to provide audiences with the entertainment they have come to enjoy. This year, the concerts will be virtual – having been filmed by YourTV at Maranatha’s Youth Hall – and broadcasting on Sunday and Wednesday evenings from 6-8 pm.
The Belleville Lions Club extends special thanks to all the sponsors for financially supporting this concert series. Their willingness and ability to remain on board this year has meant the world to musicians and entertainers; this may be the only performance this summer for many.
In a “pass the hat” tradition, viewers are also invited to contribute with an online (or mailed in) free-will donation to help the Lions Club continue with the valuable work they do throughout the community.