Essential Concert Series In Support Of Soldiers’ Extended

VK performing in The Essential Concert Series May 21st. (2) Valued at $2,000, the first grand prize, donated by The Northern Joinery and Makers Market, will be awarded Thursday, June 11th at 8 pm. 
First Grand Prize Draw to Take Place Thursday, June 11 The Essential Concert Series – weekly virtual shows featuring the musical talents of local artists – was set to wrap up this week, but has been extended instead. The grand prize draw will still take place Thursday. 
“The response to the live shows and the subsequent recordings has been really inspiring,” said Michael Martyn, one of the event’s organizers and a local musician himself. “We just felt it wasn’t the right time to end it. So, we’re going to keep going with the virtual concerts into the summer.” 
The Essential Concert Series was created in April by Martyn and Dave and Beth Shaw of Makers Market as a way to boost morale for those stuck at home and to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their music. The trio subsequently joined up with Anitta Hamming from Creative Nomad Studios to enhance the production. The shows are free, but donations to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness Fund are encouraged. To date, more than $2,500 has been raised. 
Each Thursday, a local artist performs a virtual show broadcasted live through Facebook from Makers Market in downtown Orillia. The concerts last anywhere from an hour to an hour-and-a-half and offer viewers the opportunity to experience the show from the safe distance of their own homes. Viewers are also encouraged to nominate an essential worker to win weekly prizes, like handmade wooden charcuterie boards, donated by Makers Market and other local businesses. 
This week, the first grand prize draw will take place at 8 pm before the concert featuring the talents of Megan Anne. Viewers who have previously donated (a suggested minimum of $25) are entered to win the grand prize of an artisan wood furniture set, generously donated by The Northern Joinery and valued at $2,000. Another grand prize will be announced for the second half of the series.
“We were thrilled when Michael approached us with this idea at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Kaitlyn St. Pierre, Development Officer with the OSMH Foundation. “It has been an amazing way for us to connect with the community virtually while raising awareness of the Hospital’s ongoing need for COVID-19 support.” 
To tune in to the virtual concerts, visit


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