By Dan Rankin
Local and hand-crafted – those words describe the selection of goods on display at The Emporium, the recently-opened shop owned by Cindy McClory at 153 Queen Street East in St. Marys. It may be less concrete than some of the other items there, and harder to put on shelves, but the music coming to the Emporium on Sunday afternoon as part of a local music showcase is just as homegrown and hand-crafted. The show begins at 2:00 pm and is scheduled to last until 4:30 pm. Admission is by donation.
The event’s organizer, musician Kirk Sweetzir, who was born and raised in the area, said local musician Dave Ledgley first approached him about performing in an earlier showcase. Ledgley was interested in making a place to expose “local talent that really have nowhere in town to showcase themselves.”
“I was approached by Dave to perform and offered to take the reins when he traveled south for the season,” Sweetzir said. “I think it’s an awesome way not only to get exposure for my performing career, but to bring all the “bedroom musicians” – as I used to refer to myself – out into the public, as well as provide some much-needed live entertainment for the community.”
One performer Sunday will be Indian Giver, the musical nom de plume of St. Marys’ own Matt Fairthorne. Fairthorne has been living and working in Muskoka since 2011 as regional manager for a staging and audio visual company and also as a live audio engineer for some high profile acts at Peter’s Players in Gravenhurst. Some musical fans of a certain age will remember him as the frontman of the St. Marys progressive rock band Shady Thickets.
Describing his plans for the showcase, Fairthorne said his set would include himself, “a guitar, a lot of cosmic melodies done with effects, and moments and sounds that would normally have never been created or heard come to life.” He said he would play mainly originals, but also a few covers with some twists of his own thrown in.
Other performers listed on the bill include Greg and Hugh, Lucas Smith and Kyler Quewezance.
“There is so much talent literally hiding all around us that just needs a gentle nudge and moral support,” Sweetzir said, adding that they hope to put on showcases every three weeks.
For more information on this and future local music showcases, visit ‘Kirk Sweetzir Musician’ on Facebook.