On a June afternoon, a historic neighbourhood in Uptown Waterloo turns from a series of bucolic, residential streets to a bustling mecca of live music. This is the third annual Grand Porch Party.
On Sunday, June 9, get yourself on down to the Euclid-Avondale-Dunbar neighbourhood to see more than 25 musicians play live on front porches, offered up for the afternoon by kindly homeowners. Performers range from folk to roots, from opera to punk, from rock to jug-band standard, both plugged and unplugged.
People stroll through the neighbourhood on the sidewalks and streets, stopping whenever the music compels them. Some clever folks bring a folding lawn chair; enterprising neighbourhood kids sell lemonade and popsicles; and audiences are exposed to local, talented musicians. It is a terrific afternoon of music, community and a whole lot of #kwawesome pride.
The GPP, as it’s affectionately called, is the brainchild of Tenille Bonoguore, a recent transplant from Australia to Uptown Waterloo. “The original inspiration for this event was to give my musician brother-in-law a place to play when he came to visit: our porch instead of our kitchen,” says Tenille. “Then the idea spread to other musicians playing on other porches and the Grand Porch Party was born.” And the party just keeps on going, as this music festival just won a KW Arts Award for Best New 2012 Festival or Event. Well deserved.
This event brings people out from their houses and onto the street, to enjoy live music, think about an important social cause (GPP runs intentionally on Canadian Rivers Day so we can do some good thinking about the health of the Grand River Watershed), and enjoy each other’s company, all under the guise community fun.
What began as an experiment in music and community building is now a highly anticipated event in Waterloo Region with a team of volunteers to make it happen. Clear your calendar from 2-5pm this Sunday. And it’s rain or shine so bring your umbrella. I’ll meet you there.
Have you been to Grand Porch Party before? What did you think?