Pie Nourishes Island Music

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Pie Off

BREADALBANE – Humble pie was on the list at the 5th annual Pie Off, but it wasn’t up for judging. Instead, it nourished a fundraising effort to preserve a bit of the Island’s cultural heritage.

The Pie Off concept was initiated by Island singer-songwriter Catherine MacLellan,  during a performance stay in Toronto.

Her Island neighbour along the Dixon Road, Hal Mills, who has informally styled his property as The Dunk performance venue, read about the event. He thought it would be a good theme to associate with concerts and suggested MacLellan repeat the effort during a concert she was scheduled to perform shortly after her return from Toronto.

It was no half-baked idea.

“It’s a fun and enjoyable thing to do. With the various concerts here, some of them are very straightforward: it’s a musician coming to play. It’s hard to get people out, in some cases, depending on who it is. If you get something else going with it, a Pie Off or Winter Solstice or whatever, you can count on getting a much better crowd,” Mills explained.

“We had a lot better Pie Off here than they had in Toronto, and it has become an annual event,” he said.

Mills has offered his property for concerts over the past eight years, even providing a staging hut and allowing touring musicians to stay at a nearby cabin. He opened his home for smaller events about five years ago. A non-profit group, “Friends of the Dunk,” was incorporated by some friends and musicians to raise funds to help with maintenance of the venue and extend its impact.

For more see Tuesday's Journal Pioneer

Geographic location: Iceland, Toronto, Dixon Road

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