Musicfest wraps up on a high note
“We were at a point where we were losing money every year.”
After a decade of bringing all sorts of music into Maxville, the organizers of the Maxville Music Festival are finally throwing in the towel.
Festival chairman Paddy Kelly, who has performed at MusicFest a number of times over the past 10 years, says the festival is no longer sustainable.
“The crowds were good but they weren’t growing,” he says. “We had support from North Glengarry and MacEwen, but we were at a point where we were losing money every year.”
Since 2009, the Maxville MusicFest had produced unique concerts in Maxville’s four churches -- Maxville United, St. James Catholic, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, and St. Michael and All Angels Anglican. The style ranged from classical to rock and roll. Although the festival has brought in a number of “big acts” over the years – the Toronto-based a cappella group, Cadence, for example – its last season shone the spot- light on more local acts like The County Lads, the Morris Family Choir, and Kelli Trottier.
“Sometimes you want to bring in an act to try to attract a larger crowd, but then you just get the same numbers,” Mr. Kelly said.
He said the festival has been losing money over the past few years. The festival committee felt that after 10 years, it was finally time to call it quits.
The festival attracted 800 concert-goers during its inaugural season, which ran May 29-31, 2009. That program included a Celtic Unplugged concert (which wound up being a festival mainstay) as well as performances by Safta & Saba (also known as Chloe and Abraham Fox), and the Montreal-based choral ensemble Concerto Della Donna.
In a press release, the organizing committee said: “Maxville MusicFest is saying “farewell” on a high note after an enjoyable 10 year run of great entertainment. We, the organizers, have enjoyed presenting the 40 concerts and thank the various talented individuals, bands and musicians, both local and from away. The annual spring music festival concluded in May 2018 with a grand celebration of local Glengarry talent. We also thank the sponsors, the patrons, the four Maxville churches used as venues, and the community for your support over the past 10 years. Thanks for the memories.”
In addition to Mr. Kelly, the committee was comprised of Janis Pasco, Jeannie Coleman, Lucy Rolland, Barb Newman, Jim Ferrier, and Erin Blair.