Thank you Kemptville Live Team! We can’t begin to say how grateful we are to those responsible for making this year’s Kemptville Live Music Festival such a wonderful experience. Thank you, Bob Besharah, Karen Bedard, the many sponsors, and the hundreds of volunteers, for selflessly giving your time, effort and resources to put on what has become Kemptville’s signature cultural event.
This year’s lineup had something for every musical taste, including the legendary Beach Boys, popular rock groups such as Loverboy and Trooper, Canadian icon Jann Arden, as well as pleasant discoveries such as Dawn Tyler Watson and Red Fox, not to mention our own local Rod Baird and the Agency.
Organizing an event of this magnitude requires brave visionary people with exceptional talents. A friend of ours who volunteers for the Ottawa Bluesfest, told us that this was one of the best run festivals he had ever seen. In fact, one tenacious problem that plagues outdoor festivals is the sitting vs standing battle and its impact on the elderly and those with disabilities. Kudos to Bob and his team for solving this challenge by establishing designated areas and firmly but politely enforcing the rule.
As the festival grows bigger every year, so does the quality. Even though we came away thinking that it can’t get any better, we know that next year will again surpass our expectations. And we can’t wait!
One concern for next year, however, is the new owners of the Kemptville College. This event brings significant economic benefits to our community. Depending on the formula you use, these benefits will easily exceed two million dollars this year. Will our elected and non-elected municipal leaders therefore demonstrate progressive thinking and leadership by facilitating and supporting it like the previous owner? Let’s be honest here: the current and previous councils have not always been as supportive of similar events as they should have. They have not always adhered to the Strategic Community Plan by promoting arts and culture events as “tourism anchors”. Perhaps this is something that we should look for from the candidates in this year’s municipal elections.
Victor and Linda Desroches